Prime Minister Saad Hariri and President Michel Aoun attend a Cabinet session in Baabda, Monday, Feb. 19, 2018. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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The question of normalizing ties with Syria is the latest obstacle facing premier-designate Saad Hariri's efforts to form a new Cabinet, political sources said Thursday.An adviser to Hariri met with a high-level Russian official Thursday to discuss the Cabinet formation and the return of Syrian refugees.The meeting between George Chaaban, Hariri's adviser for Russian affairs, and Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov, was held in Moscow and comes after Bogdanov met with Arslan earlier this week, as well as with a delegation from the PSP.A statement from Hariri's office said the meeting covered the general political situation, and in particular, Cabinet formation.Lebanon's relationship with Russia and the Syrian refugee issue were also the focus of discussions in Arslan's meeting with Bogdanov Wednesday, a statement from the LDP reported.The issue of Syrian refugees in Lebanon was also discussed in the meeting.Lebanon welcomed Russia's proposal for the return of Syrian refugees, and high-level meetings between Lebanese and Russian delegations were held last month.
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