Putin receives Hariri in Moscow, Friday, April 1, 2016. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)
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Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri Friday capped his three-day visit to Moscow with a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, discussing ongoing efforts to end the 22-month-old presidential vacuum in Lebanon.The one-hour meeting, which included a tete-a-tete between Putin and Hariri, focused on the situation in Lebanon and the efforts exerted by Hariri to end the presidential vacuum and elect a president, according to a statement released by the former premier's media office. After holding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov Wednesday, Hariri said he had sought Russia's help in ending the presidential vacuum.The presidential battle is pitting Hariri's choice, Marada Movement leader MP Sleiman Frangieh, against MP Michel Aoun, who is backed by Hezbollah, some of its March 8 allies and the Lebanese Forces.Hariri's nomination of Frangieh for the presidency was part of an initiative aimed at filling the vacuum in the top Christian post.
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