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Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri speaks to the media in front of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon ahead of the closings arguments in the trial of Lebanon's Rafik al-Hariri alleged killers in the Hague, the Netherlands September 11, 2018. Bas Czerwinski/Pool via REUTERS

(reuters_tickers)

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said on Wednesday he was "very optimistic" about the formation of a new government five months after national elections.

Political stalemate is preventing Lebanon from forming a national unity government, raising concerns for the heavily-indebted economy.

"We agreed on the need to speed up the government formation because of the economic situation," Hariri said in televised comments after meeting Aoun. "The atmosphere is positive. There will be another meeting with President Aoun soon."

In the five months since the May elections, Hariri has said a number of times that he was optimistic there would soon be a breakthrough.

(Reporting by Lisa Barrington and Ellen Francis)

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Reuters