News from Beirut May 30 1997 ...Search

-Hariri-Vote of Confidence

69 MP voted in favor of the government under Rafic Hariri with 7 against and 3 abstained. Zahle MP George Kassarji insisted on vote of confidence on Hariri in his capacity as P.T.T minister. Speaker of the house Nabih Berri was not convinced of such a move which gave Hariri an updated and renovated confidence. The voting took place in the absence of Hariri who walked out of the parliament second day session . Mr. Hoss persisted that Hariri has to pledge before parliament to abide by constitution and law on the issue of TBs policy. Mr. Hoss went far in saying "wasting the public money should be compensated from the personal money", a remark that mostly angered Mr. Hariri. The speaker endorsed the vote of confidence after the prime minister walked out in protest refusing casting doubts on his government. Speaker Nabih Berri was dismayed of the media circulation saying the parliament would doubtfully make a vote of confidence. He asked the government to regularly and monthly informs the parliament of any lending. Mr. Berri announced that the parliament has enough freedom and its not canned, and when it is required the confidence will be withdrawn.

-President Elias Hrawi quoted being dismayed of some opposition members stands, emphasizing that democracy allows everyone to express his opinion but in the framework of respecting other options. Hrawi called the opposition not to go on with negatives without finding substitutes. He said the opposition raising of some issues is harmful to the country and its rebuilding. Hrawi did not see the vote of confidence necessary at this stage because it will shake the trust in Lebanon. He said casting doubts is harmful to the general atmosphere and affect the incoming investments. Hrawi reminded the opposition that the treasury lendings are approved by parliament and said the opposition is now against laws they themselves laid down.


-A report on the possible visit of Dr. Bashar Assad to Bkerke was an extreme concern in Lebanon including the presidency, public, and other official and political circles. Patriarch Sfair, not surprised and calm, responded to reporters after a visit by a delegation of the Lebanese Journalists Association headed by Melhem Karam "our doors are open to all people especially when the visitor is on such level as Dr. Bashar, welcome to anyone visiting us". Asked if the visit will take place, he said "I am not informed of what you say in your newspapers as I know that from you and from newspapers". Asked when he will visit the mountain, he said "we are ready to visit the mountain but when the the roads are open as now there are psychological and material barriers". Asked about rumors on attempting assassination of the Pope, he said "You know about it more than I do and you know how things are treated and how balloons are made". Patriarch Sfair speaking to the delegation said "the apostolic guidance says that the Christians are in a region where they should be, their fate is one together with the people of this region. We are in Lebanon and our concern is in Lebanon and our thinking too. We want to be in the best possible relation with Syria in precise, but when things settle and security restored, we should be in good relation, same as other countries, with all peoples. We said many times we cannot fight anyone neither concile anyone unilaterally. We want independence, sovereignty and free decision and our hands open to all same as our hearts".

- The National Bloc party under Raymond Edde, commenting on the news over dialogue with Syria, said in a statement read by S.G Ibrahim Istifan "the party is opposing any accord before the withdrawal of Syrian army from all Lebanese territory, and release of all Lebanese political prisoners in the Syrian jails. The party statement said "with regard to the apostolic guidance calls for openness on the Arab brotherly countries, and in adherence to the constitutional principles, the party oppose any agreements with the Arab Syrian state before achieving the two conditions". The party recalled that negotiating the national and political affairs is a mission which should be carried by a national balanced government which is a result of national conciliation and which works in the framework of Lebanese free national sovereignty".

- The Lebanese National Conference (Gen Aoun loyalists) criticized yesterday the complaint of both Rafic Hariri and Nabih Berri on the tapping of the ordinary and cellular telephones by security agencies. The group said this is "a creation of an opposition from inside the troika and it is for local consumption only". The conference statement argued if the official is complaining who then is responsible of adjusting the error. The conference ridiculed the too many oppositions "opposition inside the troika, inside the council of ministers, inside the ministry, as if they are always in opposition, but these oppositions are for local consumption".

News In Brief

- Islamic resistance fighters attacked yesterday the SLA post at Sojod by mortars and machine-guns drawing retaliatory fire from the Israeli and SLA artillery. The SLA claimed resistance attempted to infiltrate to its post at Sueida but were repelled back. At the evening the outposts of Houla and Tallouseh came under resistance fire. Iqlim Toffah hills came under Israeli and SLA artillery fire while the Israeli warplanes flew over Nabatieh town.

- US senator Carl Levin, member of the military forces in the congress and representing a constituency including so many Lebanese origin voters, met in Beirut with Lebanese officials including president Hrawi, prime minister Hariri, and also religious leaders including Mohammed Mehdi Shamseddine, Mufti Mohammed Rashid Kabbani, and Patriarch Sfair. Senator Levin, accompanied by US ambassador Richard Jones, said he is visiting Lebanon as a congressman and member of the military forces committee. He hoped the US travel ban on Lebanon will be lifted and said he asked Mr. Hariri and others if the security situation in Lebanon allows Americans to come safely to Lebanon with their passports. He said he collected information on whether it is time now for a safe travel of the Americans to Lebanon. He said many Americans come to Lebanon but not through the usual travel means but in other way, and it is an important matter to be discussed with the defense minister and security officials in Lebanon. US ambassador Jones said the visit of Senator Levin is official and approved by the US administration.

- Lebanon's army commander Gen. Emile Lahoud received at Yarze H.q. the US defense ministry deputy director of military assistance accompanied by the US embassy military attaché. The US official has arrived to Beirut Wednesday to deliver new batch of American military assistance to the Lebanese army. The assistance included armored personnel carriers.

- Papal Nuncio handed a message from the Pope to president Hrawi and reviewed the outcome of the visit with sheikhs Kabbani and Shamseddine.

- The G.Catholic high council at a meeting May 29 called all the churches for special synods to acquaint with the apostolic guidance, make it the future working program, and to commit fully to the guidance content in text and spirit.

- Former prime minister Saeb Salam after receiving Beirut Maronite's bishop Boulos Mattar said the apostolic guidance included very much advanced national contents helping the Lebanese unity. Salam said the guidance is a concern of both the Christians and Muslims seeking common living.

-Foreign minister Fares Boueiz reiterated his conviction that the emigrants attaches were dispensable and their mission abroad is not justified. He said however the case will be discussed again at the council of ministers.

- UK state minister for foreign relations, now visiting Beirut as one of his ME tour stations, met president Hrawi, prime minister Hariri, and foreign minister Fares Boueiz. His visit aims to assure the UK foreign policy invariables after the UK labor party upon the last elections. He also assured the new government concern to have a role in the ME peace process. He put the emphasis that the European Union is not willing to compete with the USA in the region but to coordinate with.

- Prime minister Rafic Hariri send a cable of congratulation to Iranian newly elect president.

- Japanese Kyoto news agency received a statement issued by the Japanese Red Army saying "the Japanese government bought the arrest of five of its members in Lebanon by paying money to Lebanese officials". The statement said the Japanese government paid amounts of money to Lebanese officials, added that some Japanese were seen cooperating with with Lebanese authorities at the day of the arrests, which took place "because some Lebanese officials denied the Arab justice and preferred economical aids". Lebanese lawyer defending the Japanese red Army five said their wish to celebrate 25th anniversary of the Lod operation carried by one of the five Kozo Okamoto has been met. They asked for 12 kg of sweets and 3 packages of roses. He said one of the five Masao Adchi asked the sweets two days ago to distribute it on the prisoners of Rumieh jail. Beirut criminal court is to start the trial of the five on June 9 and some 11 additional new lawyer joined lawyers who volunteered to defend their case. Japanese Diplomats will attend the court session.


- The Quarantine waste dump has been moved to Monte Verde in the beautiful Metn area under the pretext of enlarging the Beirut seaport. The new waste dump is overlooking Beirut river threatening a serious pollution and public health.

- The UNESCO world heritage center's director in a letter to Lebanon heritage directory warned of canceling Byblos from the list of world heritage sites because of enlarging Byblos seaport which would damage Byblos Phoenician heritage.

Portemilio Suite Hotel   The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon

 Chateau Kefraya

email us for more details ...

More news from International Agencies

[ Weekly Business Reports ]

Back to Local News Wire

© 1995-1997 Interactive- USA ,
All Rights Reserved.

For any comments or questions please e-mail