Back in Lebanon, former PM Hariri calls for president to be elected

BEIRUT Fri Aug 8, 2014 2:38pm EDT

Former prime minister Saad al-Hariri (R) speaks during a meeting with the members of the ''14 March Alliance'' as former President Amin Gemayel (2nd R) and Samir Geagea (2nd L), leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces listen in Beirut August 8, 2014. REUTERS/Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters

Former prime minister Saad al-Hariri (R) speaks during a meeting with the members of the ''14 March Alliance'' as former President Amin Gemayel (2nd R) and Samir Geagea (2nd L), leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces listen in Beirut August 8, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Dalati Nohra/Handout via Reuters

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, back in Lebanon after over three years in self-imposed exile, on Friday called on lawmakers to elect a president to help ensure the stability of the country.

"Electing the president is everyone's responsibility. It is not true that it is a responsibility borne by Saad al-Hairi alone," Hariri told a meeting of officials from his political bloc, according to remarks published by his office in Arabic. It was his first detailed statement since returning.

Hariri criticized Shi'ite movement Hezbollah's military intervention in Syria, saying it would "only bring harm to Lebanon" but added that if Hezbollah had made mistakes it did not mean that "we respond to them with similar mistakes."

(Reporting by Alexander Dziadosz; editing by Andrew Roche)

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