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kerry hariri in parisFormer Lebanese PM and Future Movement leader  MP Saad Hariri held talks on Thursday with U.S. Secretary  of State John Kerry in  Paris to discuss the latest Lebanese and regional developments, Hariri’s press office said in a statement 

The statement added  that the two officials stressed the need to end the vacuum in the presidency and “exert all possible efforts to elect a new head of state as soon as possible.”

They also tackled measures to ensure Lebanon’s stability and  the  strengthening  of the security and military forces.

In addition, Hariri and Kerry focused on the case of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and the burden they have on the country.

The meeting was attended by Hariri’s  Advisor for  American  Affairs Dr Amal Mudallali and  his office manager Nader Hariri, and on the American side, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs Lawrence Silverman and director of the Middle East and North Africa at the U.S. National Security Council Alyssa Catalano and assistant chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army Vice Admiral Kurt Ted. the meeting lasted for 1 hour and was followed by  a working  breakfast.

Kerry  visited  Lebanon on June 4 during which he held talks with Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Tammam Salam, and Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi.

He highlighted during his trip the negative impact the Syrian crisis is having on Lebanon, urging Hizbullah, Iran, and Russia to help end the war in the country.

He also voiced his concern over the “deeply troubling” political stalemate in Lebanon given the political powers’ failure to elect a new president.

Presdident Suleiman’s six-year term ended on  May 25 , but  the lawmakers failed in seven parliamentary sessions  to elect his successor due to disputes between the rival March 8 and 14 camps.

The eighth session is scheduled for July 2

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