News from Beirut January 13  1997  .......Search

Lebanon-Syria Three agreements and three memorandums signed

Lebanon and Syria are going ahead in implementing the brotherhood, coordination and cooperation treaty signed in 1991. The coordination committee after two days consecutive meetings signed three agreements and three memorandums of understanding. Lebanon prime minister and syria counterpart headed their countries delegations including many ministers .

The agreements include.

1- A custom agreement aims to establish joint manned border posts to facilitate transit of goods and persons .

2-A 29 point agreement on the double taxation and

3-An agreement includes incentives and guarantees for investments.

The memorandums include water, commercial exchanges and transport. Mr Hariri said further talks will take place to discuss economical, commercial and industrial relations. The water memorandum resolved an outstanding issue that is dividing waters of  Orantes river (Al Assi)-

Prime minister Hariri said the possibility of economical unity with Syria is premature because of the two countries different systems and for that there is no grounds for such unity. Secretary general of the Lebanese Syrian supreme council Nasri Khoury said there is an attitude in favor of free trade exchanges between two countries before a Lebanese Syrian economical common market is established . All texts of the agreements are published in the media to avert any misinterpretations.

Lebanon rejects Israeli offer

Responding to last week remarks by Israeli official Uri Lubrani, foreign minister Fares Boueiz rejected  Lubrani offer of a unilateral withdrawal, provided adequate security arrangements and not necessarily signing a peace treaty or normalization of relations with Israel. Mr Boueiz described the offer as vague and unacceptable . Lebanese Israeli peace talks broke last year and Lebanon has rejected earlier two other proposals by Israel including the Lebanon First, and another proposal calling for deployment of  Jordanian Egyptian and possibly Syrian forces to replace Israeli forces. Boueiz said Israel must clarify first

1- If its withdrawal is complete and total not partial

2- Israel should say explicitly that its withdrawal is back to the international recognised borders and

3-It should say explicitly it will not turn over the land to its proxy militia the SLA and demand after ward halt of resistance. He said the withdrawal to international borders should allow Lebanese regular army to establish state authority on all Lebanese territory.

Lebanon ruling troika and the political establishment

More sharp critics was spelled on Sunday by minister Elie Hubeika who said Lebanon is a Quasi- republic ruled by the law of jungle. He criticised  Lebanese politician for their reliance on Syria to solve their problems, added that political establishment is still immature. Hobeiqa also said Lebanon political immunity is not strong enough to ensure civil peace, and stated two elements which endanger the country stability and peace that is the Israeli enemy and the foolish officials.

Defense minister Mohsen Dalloul said Sunday, since the troika is dead there should be an abolishment of its effects, adding that much of the corruption in the public administration is because of the Troika.

MP Boutros Harb congratulated  speaker Berri for announcing death of the Troika, which was a contrast to democracy, and its death would lead to a reform of the political establishment. Mr Harb said also that such death would bring back speaker Berri to his original post as a speaker and consequently brings back parliament to its role, instead of packages and compromises between troika members.

Parliament foreign affairs committee debates figures

Parliament foreign affairs committee meeting today is to debate the figures given by prime minister Hariri amid washington conference of  Lebanon friends.

Opponents of Mr Hariri see the given figures were exaggerated and its less than $ 1 billion.

Yasser Arafat to wish an economical tie with Lebanon

Yasser Arafat told Jan 12 a delegations of Israeli businessmen that he wishes one day a Benelux style economical union to be established in M.E including  Jordan, Palestine, Israel, and Lebanon.

Lebanon prime minister dialogue with economists

Prime minister Rafic Hariri in a televised dialogue with Lebanon economists held  Jan 12 at his palace in Beirut briefed his views.

Occupation of a part means all country is occupied - Fadlallah says.

Sheikh M. Fadlallah said Jan 12 there is no freedom to any village if not all villages are liberated and occupation of a part of a country means all country is occupied.

Maronite Bishops says faith declines

The newly appointed bishop for Maronites in Brooklyn-USA Estephan Duwaihy said yesterday that the Lebanese, as a whole, are going through a deep crisis and have changed their approach to religion. He added that we have substituted faith for moral needs, eccentric trends, vengeance, selfishness, pleasures, liquor and love of money.

South Lebanon, release of Prisoners

Eight Lebanese prisoners Jailed at the Khiam concentration camp were released by the SLA yesterday as a gesture of good will in the occasion of  Ramadan. One of the prisoners suffers severe injuries. Committee for the support of Lebanese detainees in Israeli prisons said the release is a trick because those released had been imprisoned for short periods and the SLA should have released who have been imprisoned for 10 or 12 years and who need urgent medical care.

Patriarch Sfeir critics and remarks

Patriarch Sfeir, on Sunday sermon criticised the restrictions and censor imposed on satellite broadcasts, including posting censors at television stations licensed for satellite broadcasting. He argued how much left for Media man if he is controlled by the censor who tells him what to say or not, broadcast or not, and in that case why he should be under law if he is dictated what to say.

Israeli budget allocations to defense and security

Lebanese Mp Mohammed Baydoun said Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu wants to shift all military potential to Lebanon to negotiate Syria over Lebanon not Golan. He said that at a time Israel increases budget allocations to security up to 120 m $ lebanon allocates very little to its army.

Lebanon foreign labours

Lebanon spends $ 10 m a year on foreign workers wages but the officials and employers admit saying those are not dispensable- Some 50 thousands foreigners are registered at labour ministry in 1996, with some 500 thousands are working illegally. The foreign labours are needed because the Lebanese refuse manual labour. Large majority of the 500 thousands are Syrians and most of them are unskilled.

National lottery new year winner

Boutros Franjieh, 42 years old, from zgharta and seven members family, won the national lottery new year draw of 1.25 billion L.L. Boutros said he had to ask his company a loan to pay school tuition of his children.

Hizbullah deputy secretary general Sheikh Naim Kassem

refuses ceasefire in south because it will give Israel a rest and it would mean recognition of Israel's right to exist there and further more could be regarded as a halt and abolishment of the resistance. He said present interim ceasefire could be prelude to a permanent and total halt of operations against the enemy.

Damour calls for state come back

Damour repatriation committee head Elie Abu Faysal says security is not restored at the coastal town, and the latest thefts was due to unreturn of citizens and absence of security agencies. He added that Damour original population of 50 thousand are in diaspora as only 100 person already returned.

Shiite Cleric see monitoring committee discredible

Shiite religious leader M.Shamseddine said Jan 12 that monitoring committee turns to be inactive and discredible because of the US Israeli method of dealing with it. He called for the return of April 1996 spirit.

Airliners ask passengers via beirut airport

to report to its offices at airport 3 hours before scheduled departure time. Reasons are the works along airport road.


Lebanese players failed in their bid to score a victory over the visiting Algerian team. The match between two national teams ended in a 2-2 draw, with large crowd spectators at Burj Hammoud stadium. First half ended 1-0 to Algerians who were in full control and relied on low and simple passes while the Lebanese relied on long passes which were easy meat for the more experienced Algerians. Wartan and Wael Nazha scored the two Lebanese goals.

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