File - President Michel Aoun sits near Speaker Nabih Berri at the Parliament in Beirut, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. (The Daily Star/Stringer)
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A new relationship of mutual respect and cooperation between President Michel Aoun and outgoing Speaker Nabih Berri is being gradually built ahead of the formation of a new government, replacing the previous tensions between the two leaders.This new stage was further reinforced Tuesday by the decision of Aoun's Free Patriotic Movement to leaving to MPs the decision of whether to vote for Berri to take up another four-year term as speaker of Parliament, with MP Elie Ferzli as deputy speaker.This rapprochement was first made clear when an ice-breaking meeting was held between Berri and Aoun in Baabda Palace following this month's parliamentary elections.This concept can explain the party's decision to elect Berri to the speakership – a position which he has held since 1992 – and to nominate caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri to head the new Cabinet.The LF is aiming to secure four seats in the new Cabinet, one of which should be a sovereign ministerial position, to reflect its success in the parliamentary elections.
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