People carry a Hezbollah flag with a picture of Aoun, then newly appointed as president, affixed to it in Beirut’s southern suburbs on Oct. 31, 2016.
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While the rift between two of the country's biggest political parties, the Free Patriotic Movement and the Amal Movement, deepens, analysts say this will shake but not break the important FPM-Hezbollah alliance. Just a few days before the 12-year anniversary of a comprehensive political understanding signed by then-FPM head President Michel Aoun and Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah, the alliance – the first of its kind in Lebanese history between a major Maronite Christian party and a major Shiite party – appears to be at risk. And although the alliance has faced obstacles in the past, the recent situation created by now FPM leader Gebran Bassil's derogatory comments about Speaker Nabih Berri of the Amal Movement was too much for Hezbollah to remain quiet. Former independent minister Ziad Baroud feels that the alliance between the FPM and Hezbollah is greater than the recent troubles.A Hezbollah source echoed this, adding that the party's alliance with the FPM was stable.Although the alliance with the FPM was a strategic one, Hezbollah, the source said, was clear from the beginning that the party's relationship with the Amal Movement was an "existential one".
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