Three Lebanese civilians were killed and a fourth wounded today in mine blasts in the village of Majdel Selem near the zone Israel occupies in the South. Lebanese police said a man tending flocks was killed when a mine exploded, two other villagers who went to rescue him died in a second blast and a third was seriously wounded.
Russian special Mideast peace envoy Victor Posuvalyuk today held talks in Beirut with prime minister Rafik Al-Hariri, Hizbullah's secretary general Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and the foreign ministry's director general Zafer Al-Hassan.
Posuvalyuk offered to mediate in negotiations to swap the remains of Israeli soldiers killed in South Lebanon for Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails. Posuvalyuk held talks with Hariri on the peace process, the developments in the region and the situation in the South. Bilateral ties were also discussed. After meeting Hariri, the Russian envoy told reporters if Russia can help in that humanitarian matter, they were ready. Hariri himself held separate meetings on the possible swap the delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Beirut, Jean Jacques Fresard.
Earlier today, Posuvalyuk met Nasrallah and the swap negotiations were top on the agenda of talks. The Russian peace envoy later said his talks were also aimed at trying to ease tensions in South Lebanon. In the foreign ministry, Posuvalyuk said after meeting its director general, a possible swap of prisoners between Israel and Hizbullah guerrillas is a very sensitive issue adding the Russians understand its humanitarian nature. The Russian envoy is on a regional tour aimed at reviving the stalled Middle East peace process which also took him to Israel, the Palestinian territories, Jordan and Syria.
President Elias Al-Hrawi today received a Kuwaiti economic delegation at the presidential palace in Baabda. The delegation headed by Abdel Razzak Al-Khaled held talks with the president on bilateral economic ties.
Al-Khaled who also heads the Kuwaiti chamber of commerce and industry later said the delegation has formulated a clear conception investment opportunities in the country. The delegation yesterday held economic talks with Acting Finance Minister Fouad Sanyoua and later toured downtown Beirut to inspect reconstruction work. The Kuwaiti delegation also held discussions with a number of Lebanese officials and top leaders over the last week.
Lebanon's highest court today began trying former militia chief Samir Geagea for the alleged 1987 murder of Former prime minister Rashid Karami.Karami was killed when a remote-controlled bomb blew up a helicopter in which he was traveling. The High Judicial Council in May sentenced Geagea to life imprisonment for the attempted murder of current interior minister Michel Al-Murr in 1991.
The International Volunteers Day is celebrated all around the world every year on the 5th of December. It is the day of millions of volunteers around the world who are willing to serve others and make a real difference in their lives. On the occasion, the UNDP in Lebanon marked the day with a press conference that grouped a number of those volunteers working in Lebanon. The conference held at the UNDP headquarters in Beirut was opened by UNDP resident coordinator Ross Mountain who stressed the important role of volunteers in Lebanon describing UNV's as people of good will who give of themselves to contribute for a better life for others. Mountain said the UN General Assembly has recently designated the year 2001 as the international year of volunteers around the globe. He also explained the role of UN volunteers in the process of Lebanon's economic and social reconstruction. The UNV program in Lebanon provides some international but more national volunteers to contribute to the process of reconstruction and rehabilitation describing them as a small vibrant team dedicated to offer technical assistance in all kinds of fields and to contribute in community-based and environmental management activities. Mountain added volunteers in Lebanon offer specialized expertise but more than that they offer enthusiasm, commitment, and a willingness to work in difficult areas and very often among the less privileged. Mountain praised the remarkable spirit of volunteers which transcends all selfishness.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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