News from Beirut December 14  1996 .......Search

Al-Hrawi sent a message to President Bill Clinton

The President of the Republic, Mr. Elias Al-Hrawi, sent yesterday a message to the American president, Mr. Bill Clinton, in which he said that holding the Conference of Lebanon Friends in Washington D.C. reflected the American government commitment to help Lebanon recover its independence and welfare.

The relations between both people are deeply rooted in history. President Al-Hrawi added that the Conference would, for sure, help Lebanon recover its rank among nations.

Al-Hrawi had already received the Prime Minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri , who left at 14:30 to Washington, via Paris along with a high ranking delegation of  Minister and officials.

Before leaving, Al-Hariri reaffirmed that important events concerning the peace process would occur in 1997, hoping on the other hand, the U.S.A would take several steps to cease the ban on Lebanon.

He also noted that the Israeli aggressions on South Lebanon, were meant to put pressure on Lebanon and Syria to create a non-stable situation in the region. As for the conference, Al-Hariri said it was limited to economic matters.

The minister of state for Financing Affairs, Mr. Fouad Assanyoura, declared the conference of Lebanon Friends would be very important, and an opportunity on political, economic and security levels, adding that when 30 country get together, for one small country, that would mean a genuine support  for Lebanon.

Assanyoura said there would be a positive things coming out and Lebanon would set forward projects and means of carrying out the international support.

Assanyoura then hoped the American travel ban would cease, for there was no-reason for it now, and security was enforced in Lebanon, even better than many of  the great cities in the U.S.A.

Al-Hariri received Hobeich and Demergian

Before leaving to Washington, the Prime Minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri, handled yesterday the current situation with the Minister of High Education and Culture Mr. Fawzi Hobeich, and the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs, Mr. Hagop Demergian. He also received the dean of the diplomatic corps, Mr. Joseph Habis, who stated that the visit was meant to inform the Prime Minister of the results of  his last visit to Singapore. He had invited the chamber of commerce and Industry and the Banking Association to visit Lebanon, to realise the economic and developmental situation.

Hobeich: all issues of the L.U. would be settled.

The Minister of High Education and Culture, Mr. Fawzi Hobeich, met yesterday with the executive body of the league of  full-time Professors in the Lebanese University, headed by Dr. Issam Khalifeh.

Hobeich declared, after the meeting, the university matters were discussed with the league and another meeting was set for next month, to handle, first the Solidarity fund, and second the salaries scale. Hobeich then stated that all problems in the Lebanese University would be handled by mutual understanding, and that the Lebanese University is a national institution and he will support it and enforce its role.

About admitting 428 full-time professors in the league, Hobeich said the file was in the hands of the head of the Lebanese University to examine it  and suggest convenient settlements.

Then, Dr. Khalifeh declared all matters concerning the University were being discussed, point by point.

Essabeh: Freedom is not a gift

The Minister of  Information, Mr. Bassem Essabeh visited yesterday the head of  Editors Union, Mr. Melhem Karam, as well as the union council.

During a speech, Essabeh said he belonged to this career and to this union, and, as a Minister of Information, he would be a minister for this career and union, that is the editors union.

Addressing the assembled, he declared they were the guardians of freedom, and together a new vision for the information would be developed. The press has been responsible of  informative freedoms in the country, and together we would cooperate.

About the satellite broadcasting, Essabeh said that one legal mechanism would be applied on satellite broadcasting authorized media.

About the conference of  Lebanon Friends, Essabeh declared  Lebanon would present documents about forecasted projects, and the conference would be a starting point in dealing with many countries.

Essabeh added that audio visual media could still present requests, to obtain authorization.

Concerning the constitutional modification, Essabeh stated all parties have the right to declare their points of view, and this would take time.

About modifying the printing law, the Minister of  Information declared it was within the power of the press and Editors' Unions, and whether a law on publicity would be set, Essabeh said the press union was preparing such a law,  and then the Ministry would review it.

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