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Hariri Meets With Hezbollah Delegation in Beirut


Lebanon's two main rival political factions have met in Beirut to pave the way for a possible reconciliation.

Lawmakers from the opposition Hezbollah movement Wednesday visited Saad Hariri, leader of the ruling March 14 coalition, at Hariri's home, the Qoreitem Palace. The head of the Hezbollah delegation, Mohammed Raad, told reporters it was a frank discussion.

Raad said he expects a meeting "soon" between Hariri and Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

If and when that happens, it would be the first time the two leaders will have met face-to-face since the start of Lebanon's political crisis in late 2006.

The two factions spent a year and a half locked in a bitter standoff that shut down the government and eventually exploded into violence in May. A power-sharing deal reached at talks in Qatar ended the fighting.

The talks allowed the election of consensus President Michel Suleiman, as well as the appointment of a Cabinet where Hezbollah and its allies hold enough seats to veto any government decision.

Hezbollah's Al-Manar television says the two sides are trying to reach political reconciliation by the end of Ramadan next week.

Meanwhile, parliament speaker Nabih Berri has called for a special session of the assembly to approve a new electoral law, which was a key part of the Doha accord.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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