The Council of Ministers held yesterday a session, headed by President Al-Hrawi, who started by congratulating the government for the confidence.
Then discussions went on about municipal elections, and it was decided to fix the first and eighth of June 1997, as dates of these elections, to allocate necessary funds to make the elections card, rectify electoral lists and computerize the elections, and assigned legal and administrative arrangements concerning these measures to the Home Secretary and Minister of Finance.
Then, the Cabinet agreed on the agenda items, among which:
-The exposure by the Ministry of Justice of the agreement supplementing the judicial pact between Syria and Lebanon
-A draft-decree to ratify the general and detailed design of Barbara region, Caza Jbeil.
-A draft-decree to grant the municipality of Baalbeck a treasury loan of 500 million L.P.
-A draft-decree to cease the function of the general director of the state employees cooperative, for reaching legal age.
-A draft-decree to grant the municipality of Al-Mina a treasury loan of 500 million L.P.
-The request made by the Ministry of Finance to shift a credit of 1 billion 410 million L.P. to compensate some real estate owners in the south, the lands of whom are occupied by the U.N.I.F.L.
-The exposure by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Lebanon's participation in the technical committee assigned with setting a draft-agreement, in the aim of rending the Middle East region without any total destructive weapon.
-The exposure by the Ministry of Foreign affairs of Lebanon's participation in the conference of Foreign Ministers of Countries members in the Islamic Conference Organization.
-The request made by the Ministry of Public Health to forbid smoking in meetings halls, within governmental buildings, including the Cabinet one.
The president of the parliament, Mr. Nabih Berreh received yesterday a delegation of the National High Committee on Environment, including former deputy Samir Aoun, the head of Engineers Union, Mr. Assem Salam, the head of Doctors, Mr .Fayeq Younes, and the head of lawyers Union, Mr. Chakib Qortobawi, among other persons.
Aoun said this committee would cooperate with the Ministry of Environment, and the parliamentary committee on environment, and would set programs to preserve the environment.
Berreh also received the Minister of Information, Mr. Basem Essabeh, the Minister of State, Mr. Ghazi Sayf Eddine, and Ministers of Education and Public Works, Messers Jean Obeid and Ali Hrajli.
Berreh, on the other hand, declared the suggested constitutional modifications would change the country's regime, which becomes a presidential one, and this would be right if the president was elected directly by people.
The Home secretary, Mr. Michel El-Murr visited yesterday the prime Minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri, and said, after the meeting, the government was serious in holding municipal elections.
Al-Hariri also-received the Brazilian and Algerian ambassadors in Lebanon, Mr. Michal Neel, and Mr Lahassan Bou fares.
Then, the Prime Minister headed a meeting with Ministers Yassine Jaber, Chawqi Fakhoury, Nadim Salem and Fouad Assanyoura, besides the Head of Industrials Associations Mr. Jack Sarraf, and Mr. Atef Edris.
The Minister of Agriculture, Mr. Chawqi Fakhoury said discussions were about enforcing the agro-industry sector . Lebanon imported agro-products that could be locally manufactured.
The National Gathering, which includes General Michel Aoun, President Amin Jemayel, and head of the Liberal Party, Mr. Dorry Chamoun, seems to be working in secret.
According to its sources, the Gathering will take part in the expected municipal elections.
The same sources added that the general secretary of the Gathering, former Minister Fouad Naffah did not yet come back to Beirut, for his wife was having an eye treatment in Uruguay, where he lives.
The Parliamentary committee on foreign Affairs held yesterday its first meeting, headed by deputy Ali El-Khalil speaking on behalf of the committee, El-Khalil said discussions were about the situation in the South, and in the whole region. He also declared the committee adopted the following recommendation.
In order to face the Israeli threats, reinforce the resistance, and keep martyr's case open before the international community, the Foreign Affairs committee recommends the following:
1-To reinforce coordination with Syria.
2-To provide shelters immediately and all resistance requirements, within a comprehensive plan.
3-To sue Israeli officials, and have indemnities for human and material losses.
4-To follow-up on the prisoners issue and make all political and diplomatic efforts to help release them.
5-To sue Israeli officials as criminals of war, who have committed crimes against humanity, especially in Qana.
Under the patronage of the President opf the Republic, Mr. Elias Al-Hrawi, the Casino of Lebanon was inaugurated yesterday, during a ceremony attended by more than 400 guests, among whom the president's wife, Mrs Mona Al-hrawi, besides Ministers El-Murr, Hobeich, Barsomyan, Sayf Eddine, Hrajli, Hemayyed, Salem, Essabeh, Hanna, Tabbarah, Fakhoury, El-Barbir, Assanyoura and Bweiz, Several deputies and ambassadors were also present.
On this occasion, President Al-Hrawi delivered a speech, saying that, on this night and after 20 years of crises, a dream was fulfilled, but we're still waiting for the day our South and West Bekaa would be liberated.
The director of political affairs within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, ambassador Samir El-Khoury, reviewed with the Italian ambassador in Beirut Carlos Calia, the on-going preparations for the Conference of Lebanon Friends, to be held at Washington on December 16th 1996.
The new French president on watching cease-fire, ambassador Jean-Michel Goussot, visited yesterday President Al-Hrawi and declared the committee's movement contributed into calming the situation in the South, and hoped this state will continue.
Goussot also met with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Fares Bweiz, and said after the meeting, the committee has a great role to play, that is to calm the situation, and the South is not in a perfect state, but it is much more better than before. Goussot has visited the Ministry of National Defense and met with chief commander of Army, Emil Lahoud.
Came back yesterday to Beirut the Lebanese Karate delegation, after participating in the championship held and organized in Syria. The Lebanese team won over the Syrian one in individual fighting for men and in individual and group Karate fighting for women.
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