April - June 2000

    Beirut city center welcomed this quarter Their Royal Highnesses Princes Bandar Bin Saoud, Bandar Bin Khaled and Khaled Bin Faysal of Saudi Arabia; Cardinal Patriarch Sfeir with former prime minister Rafik Hariri; Monaco prime minister Patrick Leclerq; European Commission minister Chris Patton; Terje Roed-Larsen, representative of the UN secretary-general; British MP Nick Raynsford, minister of construction, housing and planning at the UK department of the environment, transport and the regions; US senator from Connecticut Joseph Lieberman, trade department representative Thomas Sams, and state department economic affairs officer for the Near East and Africa Douglass Bell; Bulgarian parliament speaker Jordan Socolov; German member of parliament Christoph Moosbauer; French national assembly member Jacques Chaumont and financial committee director Stanislas Godefroy; Polish army chief of staff General Henryk Szumski; former Jordanian minister Samih Darwaza; and a Chile parliamentary delegation.
Other visitors included a 24-person delegation from Italy participating in Project Lebanon 2000; 250 members of the international Rotary club; businessmen from Chile; 120 French naval officers; 40 army officers from France and 26 from Italy; 25 representatives of French industrial and commercial firms; 8 members of French architecture and interior design companies; representatives of Belgian construction companies; 25 technical advisors from Holland: and Hermès group president Eric Festy.
From international financial institutions came National Bank of Liberia governor and former finance minister George Saleebi; Natexis Bank vice-president Hervé de Bonvoisin and regional director Michel Chaterlain; ABN-AMRO Bank senior executive vice-president Gan Koopman and vice-president Hanno Van Veen; Chase Manhattan Bank executive director for the Middle East and Europe Federico Imbert; member of the Union Bancaire Privée management Heinz Blank; and a delegation from Oppenheimer fund management.
Academics included Washington university Islamic Institute vice-president Dr Jamal Mwerzanji; Harvard Business school executive director Lynton Hayes; 17 university lecturers from the school of architecture at the university of Damascus; 25 Lebanese university students; and a group of architecture students from the American University of Beirut.
Journalists from the New York Times, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Washington Post, EuroNews, Multimedia International network, Swiss TV and Swedish TV; 15 Arab, 25 Dutch, and other journalists from Italy, USA and France, also came to the city center.