On Friday morning, the Lebanese commemorated their 53rd Independence day by watching samples of the Army forces. The ceremony was attended by the President of the Republic, the prime minister, the president of the parliament, several ministers and deputies, political, military and administrative directors, as well as members of the diplomatic missions.
First to arrive on the site were reporters of local and international mass media, then ministers, deputies, ambassadors, and high-ranking officials.
Then came the chief commander of the Army, Emil Lahoud, followed by the home secretary, Mr. Michel El-Murr, the prime minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri, the president of the parliament, Mr. Nabih Berreh, and when the President of the Republic, Mr. Elias Al-Hrawi, put a wreath on the gravestone of the unknown soldier, the review of the Army began.
At the end of the Army review, the three presidents went to Baabda and received former presidents, ministers, deputies, as well as party leaders, and religious members, who came to congratulate them.
An authorization petition, concerning the demonstration decided on November 28th 1996, was set by the follow-up Committee before the Ministry of Interior Affairs, in order to take all necessary measures.
The minister of dislodged people Affairs, Mr. Walid Jounblat, met with a popular delegation of Damour village, headed by deputy Wadih Aql, who thanked him for the efforts he has done for the dislodged people issue in Damour .
Jounblat announced he wouldn't attend the confidence vote session, but gave all members of the Struggle bloc the right to decide.
The President of the Republic, Mr. Elias Al-Hrawi held yesterday a dialogue with journalists, and university students, besides heads of unions and other citizens.
After greeting the audience, Al-Hrawi said his period was extended in response to a request made first by the parliament and second by the cabinet, he however, still has the same enthusiasm.
He pointed that modifying the constitution, which was mentioned by him during the independence speech, would be raised within the Cabinet. The President said each of the 3 presidents, Al-Hrawi Berreh and Al-Hariri was doing his job, and agreement or disagreement between them would occur. He added that the proposed modifications wouldn't interfere with the power of the president of the parliament, but would allow the parliament to hold sessions immediately after the parliamentary elections, since the cabinet was considered resigning immediately after these elections.
President Al-Hrawi said jobs in the state were assigned to qualified persons, regardless of their community. But, on the other hand, our civil status law should be changed, to grant social freedom to every person.
There are in Lebanon about one million and one hundred thousand students, and President Al-Hrawi promised to build Lebanon for them as a free country, he also promised to help direct them, especially towards locally required fields.
To achieve administrative reform and cease corruption, Al-Hrawi announced that each Minister would be responsible for his Ministry, along with the general director and the heads of offices.
In addition, he said the role of inspection bodies was strengthened and immunity would be taken from employees.
About the toxic waste, Al-Hrawi said it was imported under different type of material, and investigators were looking into the case. He also invited opposition leaders who are abroad to come back, especially the ex-president Sheikh Amin Jemayel, and the ex-chief commander General Michel Aoun.
Asked to make a referendum about fundamental issues, Al-Hrawi said Baabda Palace was wide open and he was receiving a great number of visitors daily.
About the external debt, which is about 11 billions dollars, according to the president of the Republic, the state would pay it through revenues coming from tourism, industry and agriculture.
President Al-Hrawi expected the American president, Mr. Bill Clinton would work hard to settle down the Middle-East issue, and the latter has decided to hold within the conference of Lebanon Friends, a session dedicated to help Lebanon economically.
He also pointed that, if peace agreement would be signed with good intentions, he would shake hands with Israeli officials.
He added , the Lebanese government, in order to let Beirut recover its financial and banking role, would protect the banking secrecy, and encourage investments, while infrastructure is being rebuilt now.
Finally president Al-Hrawi greeted all Lebanese people, whether within the country or abroad, since the dialogue was broadcasted by satellites.
Within the 11th period of the Lebanese football series, 7 matches were held as the following:
1-Racing v/s Annejmeh (2-1) (at Tripoli local stadium)
2-Al-Ansar v/s Attadamoun-Tyre (1-0) (at Bourj Hammoud local stadium)
3-Chabab-Assahel v/s El-Hekmeh (0-0) (at Assafa local stadium)
4-Assafa v/s Achabiba-Mazraa (2-1) (at Saida local stadium)
5-Al-Homentmen v/s Arryada-waladab (0-0) (at Bourj Hammoud local stadium)
6-Assalam v/s EL-Bourj (0-0) (at Tripoli local stadium)
7-Al-Homenmen v/s Al-Akha-Aley (4-1) (at Assafa local stadium).
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