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Moscow hopes the recent election of a president in Lebanon
Moscow hopes the recent election of a president in Lebanon will help the country end its protracted political crisis, a senior Russian Foreign Ministry official said on Monday.

"Moscow welcomes the presidential election in Lebanon," official spokesman Andrei Nesterenko said in a statement. "We hope ... Lebanon will emerge from a series of crises and shocks and enjoy internal conciliation and democratic stability on a solid constitutional basis, heeding the interests of all religious and political groups."

Lebanon's parliament elected army commander General Michel Suleiman as the country's president on Sunday. His candidacy was backed 118 votes out of 127.

All of Lebanon's warring political leaders earlier agreed to vote for Suleiman under a deal brokered in Qatar last Wednesday to end a 19-month political crisis, which has led to the worst violence the country has seen since 1990.

The political stalemate began in late 2006 when pro-Syrian ministers quit the cabinet of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora during a power struggle. The U.S.-backed government and the Hezbollah-led opposition spent over a year deadlocked and unable to elect a president.


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