News from Beirut December 17  1997 ...Search

Parliament continues question-answer session

The parliamentary session started this morning and is at this hour underway. Issues related to the expansion of the Beirut International Airport, the restoration of historical sites and natural gas production were tackled during the morning session which was headed by House Speaker Nabih Berri and attended by prime minister Rafik Al-Hariri. The prime minister stressed the government is committed to the law in its decision-making process. Parliament is expected to end its last round of discussions and questionings during tonight's session.

Hrawi receives union of Arab News Agencies

In the Baabda presidential palace today, President Elias Al-Hrawi received a delegation of the union of Arab News Agencies. The delegation informed Hrawi that Lebanon has become the head of the Union of Arab News Agencies for the next two years. After the meeting, Hrawi said the country will always stick to its stance stressing the necessity of the implementation of  UN resolution 425 which calls for the unconditional withdrawal of Israel from South Lebanon and the Western Bekaa. The president also said Lebanon will be the last Arab country to sign any peace agreement with Israel.

Kfar Falous crossing to be reopened within days

The Kfar Falous crossing border between Sidon and occupied Jezzine is due to reopen within the next two days after a 12-year closure. But Jezzine officials said no confirmation of the reopening was yet issued. The move would positively serve the future of the occupied area. The opening was originally scheduled to take place on the Army Day on the first of August.

Hizbullah states France will guarantee swap agreement

The Secretary General of Hizbullah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah today announced France will guarantee the swap agreement of the remains of Israeli soldiers with Lebanese prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails. The swap will be overlooked by the international committee of the Red Cross. During a TV interview last night, Nasrallah said an international guarantee like that of France would make help the swap operation.

He added recent negotiations on the agreement dealt with the specification of appropriate numbers and in a later phase would discuss the names of bodies or prisoners involved in the swap. The agreement was recently tackled by Russian Mideast envoy Victor Posvalyok during his visits to Tel Aviv and Beirut where he held discussions with Nasrallah on the issue.

Kuwaiti Fund signs deals with Lebanese medical companies

Two joint Lebanese companies, the company of Technical Progress and the Lebanese Medical Companies, today signed an agreement with the Kuwaiti fund for Arab Economic Development. Bassam Al-Othman represented the Kuwaiti side while George Khayyat and George Saloumi signed on behalf of the two joint Medical Lebanese companies. The contract general cost is estimated to be one million and a half US dollars. It is also part of Kuwaiti donations aimed at reconstructing Lebanon's medical institutions. Today's contract involves providing the Sir Addinieh public hospital with medical equipment and furniture. The hospital is expected to be operational next August.

Educational sector celebrates National Day for Public Schools

The day called for by the national committee for public schools was celebrated in all Lebanese areas. Economic, financial and social committees all participated in donations allocated to the development of public schools in the country. Representatives of the committee today filled the streets of Lebanon gathering donations from passers-by. Banks, clubs and public schools also participated today. The head of the committee deputy Bahiyya Al-Hariri was glad at the participation level saying it was really high among individuals and especially students. The campaign aims at improving the situation of public schools in Lebanon as part of the Education Ministry's plan to boost the role of public schools in the country's educational sector.

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