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President l Michel Aoun sent a telegram to Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, congratulating him on his re-election as President of Syria.

Aoun said, “I hope that efforts will continue in the next phase to stabilize your country, and that the process of returning the displaced to their homeland will be consolidated to take part in its revival.”

Similarly Aoun-s son-in-law the head of the Free Patriotic Movement, MP Gebran Bassil, sent a cable of congratulations to Assad on the occasion of his re-election.

The telegram read: “Mr. President, I extend my sincere congratulations to you and the brotherly Syrian people for your re-election, which reflects your people’s confidence in you and their hope that you will lead the process of rebuilding Syria, stabilizing it and returning it to its place and position in the Arab world in general and the eastern Mediterranean in particular.”

He added, “The sacrifices made by the Syrian people will be the guarantee to prevent any suspicious project aimed at striking the social fabric of Syria by dispersing a portion of its people around the world.”

This comes after Assad was re-elected for a fourth term as president of war-ravaged Syria, official results showed on Thursday, despite Western accusations the polls were “neither free nor fair”.

The controversial vote extending Assad’s stranglehold on power was the second since the start of a decade-long civil conflict that has killed more than 388,000 people, displaced millions and battered the country’s infrastructure.

The parliamentary speaker announced Thursday that Assad garnered 95.1 percent of the votes cast, trouncing two virtually unknown challengers.

On the eve of the election, the US, Britain, France, Germany and Italy said the poll was “neither free nor fair”, and Syria’s fragmented opposition has called it a “farce”.

It is worth noting that Aoun went into exile in France after the Syrian Army stormed Baabda Palace and other strongholds of Aoun on October, 13 1990, (when Bashar’s dad Hafez was the president of Syria ), killing hundreds of Lebanese soldiers and civilians and ousting Aoun, marking the end of the Lebanese Civil War. Aoun remained in France till April 2005 and returned to Lebanon after the Syrian Army pulled out from Lebanon following the assassination of Former PM Rafic Hariri on February 14, 2005. A Hezbollah operative was indicted in Hariri’s murder. Aoun criticized Syria and Hezbollah during his exile in France , but since his return he allied himself with Hezbollah and the Syrian regime

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