Michel Suleiman
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Sources: Bkirki Hopes Iran Deal Would Help Resolve Presidential Crisis

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi is hoping that the deal struck between Iran and major powers would help resolve Lebanon's presidential stalemate, Bkirki sources said Friday.

The sources told al-Joumhouria newspaper that al-Rahi “has always told visiting officials that Lebanon is not an isolated island.”

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Berri Says Presidential Crisis Solution Should Come from Abroad

Speaker Nabih Berri has reiterated that the solution to Lebanon's presidential deadlock should come through settlements made by major powers following the Iran nuclear deal.

“I am becoming more convinced that the Lebanese solution would be the result of settlements abroad by bridging differences" between different countries, Berri told al-Joumhouria daily published on Friday.

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Salam Wants Neutral President to Avoid Victor-Vanquished Scenario

Prime Minister Tammam Salam reiterated that Lebanese lawmakers should elect a neutral president to avoid a power grab by either the March 8 or 14 alliances.

Salam told BBC television in Arabic on Wednesday that there are several candidates who have popular representation, parliamentary blocs and parties.

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Berri Says Lebanese 'Useless' in Finding Solution to Presidential Crisis

Speaker Nabih Berri has expressed regret that Lebanese officials failed to resolve the presidential crisis without the mediation of countries that have influence on Lebanon.

“We the Lebanese are useless,” Berri told al-Mustaqbal daily in remarks published on Thursday.

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Salam Says Christians Not Satisfied with FPM's Actions

Prime Minister Tammam Salam has expressed confidence that Lebanon's Christians were not satisfied with the protests led by the Free Patriotic Movement of MP Michel Aoun against him.

“ I am sure through the reactions I have heard that the Christians were not satisfied with what the FPM did,” Salam, told his visitors, according to al-Joumhouria daily published on Wednesday.

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Lebanese Officials Have Mixed Reactions to Nuclear Deal

Lebanese politicians had on Wednesday mixed reactions to a historic accord struck a day earlier by Iran, the United States, and five other world powers to check Tehran's nuclear efforts short of building a bomb.

Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun said the deal could have a positive impact on Lebanon's presidential elections. But stressed that granting Christians their rights cannot be influenced by any change in the world.

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Lebanese Officials in Action to Resolve Cabinet Crisis

Several parties have launched initiatives to resolve the dispute among cabinet members over the government's decision-making mechanism, sources said.

Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat, a centrist, has tasked Health Minister Wael Abou Faour to hold talks with Prime Minister Tammam Salam and Hizbullah officials.

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Italian FM Concerned over Baabda Vacuum, Says Lebanon Can Preserve Coexistence

Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who is on an official visit to Beirut, has expressed concern over the presidential crisis in Lebanon.

“A commitment to elect a president concerns all the Lebanese,” Gentiloni told An Nahar daily in an interview published on Tuesday.

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Franjieh Denies Row with FPM but Calls for 'Consultation' on Decision-Making

Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh denied on Friday he was engaged in a row with the Free Patriotic Movement, but said he had different viewpoints with it on several issues, including a proposal to have a federal system.

“We don't have differences with the FPM,” Franjieh said at a press conference he held in Bnashii.

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Eichhorst Regrets Leaving Lebanon without Seeing Election of President

European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst has expressed regret that she will leave Lebanon at the end of her mission amid a continued vacuum at the presidential palace in Baabda.

In remarks to An Nahar daily published on Friday, the diplomat said: “I regret that I will leave Beirut in this situation, without knowing when a president will be elected.”

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