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Hariri backs Aoun for Lebanese president

Aoun (L) and Hariri (R) were long-time rivals [Getty]

Date of publication: 20 October, 2016

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Lebanon's former prime minister and Sunni leader Saad Hariri has publicly given his support for former rival and Hizballah ally Michel Aoun as president in a speech given this afternoon

The leader of the Future party, Saad Hariri, announced in a speech given to his party this afternoon, that he would be supporting Christian leader Michel Aoun for president.

The move is likely to lead to Aoun's election in the coming weeks as both men command enough votes in parliament to secure the outcome.

Hariri gave a lengthy speech, in which he detailed the problems that Lebanon currently faces and his reasons for wanting to break the country's political deadlock, even at the cost of backing a rival unpopular in his own constituency.

"It's not Future or Amal first - it's the greater good of the people that we should be putting first," said Hariri, referring to two major Lebanese political parties.

It is expected that Michel Aoun will appoint Saad Hariri as prime minister as part of the deal, which also includes maintaining Lebanon's neutrality in the Syrian civil war.

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