News from Beirut October 2  1998 ...Search

Email your presidential candidates. Member of parliament Boutros Harb said he would run in Lebanon's presidential elections planned for October. You can contact him using E-mail : or read about his Personal Biography, Political Life and candidacy speech.

Lebanon reiterates commitment to international human rights

President Elias Al-Hrawi today reaffirmed Lebanon's right to resist the Israeli occupation of South Lebanon and the Western Bekaa. The president also called on the international community to assist Lebanon in its struggle to liberate its land and to help Syria in liberating the occupied Golan Heights. The president also stated that Lebanon reiterates its commitment to the international conventions on human rights, but he urged the international community to respect and implement them.

Hrawi was speaking at the opening of an international conference on the freedom of the audiovisual media held by Lebanon's Bar Association this morning. Speakers also stressed the important role played by the media in promoting human rights values and insuring these rights are not violated.

The event coincides with the 50th anniversary of the International Convention for Human Rights. It was attended by President Elias Al-Hrawi, House Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri, and a number of government officials, lawyers and dignitaries.

Iraqi official says his country and Lebanon are to resume diplomatic ties

The president of the agriculture and economic committee in the Iraqi parliament today announced from Beirut that Iraq and Lebanon intend to resume diplomatic relations after a halt of four years. The visiting Iraqi official also revealed that Iraq's Foreign Minister Mohammed Saeed Al-Sahhaf is expected in the country next week. During his second visit to Lebanon this year, Sahhaf is due to carry a message from Iraqi President Saddam Hussein to be delivered to the Lebanese President. Diplomatic contacts between the two countries were severed in 1994 following the assassination of an Iraqi opposition figure in the Lebanese capital.

Deputies condemn Israeli-Turkish alliance reiterating solidarity with Syrian

Lebanese deputies today highly condemned the Israeli-Turkish alliance calling on Ankara to reconsider its military alliance with the Jewish State. This came amid reports of a Turkish military build-up on the Syrian border. The Turkish government yesterday issued a final warning to Syria for its alleged support of Kurdish rebels. Lebanese Deputy Mahmud Awwad said Israel's continuous efforts to besiege Lebanon and Syria are similar to former colonial alliances against the Arab world. For its part, the Arab National Forum called for a solidarity meeting with Syria to be held next Tuesday at the Carlton Hotel in Beirut.

Israel releases two Lebanese from Khiam and expels four from the occupied zone

Israel today released two Lebanese, Khalil Hasan Hashem and Maher Ghanem Naji. They were detained for one year at the Israeli-run Khiam prison in occupied South Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Israel today expelled the parents of Raja Ward from the occupation zone into government controlled territory. Ward, who used to work for the Israeli intelligence, defected four months ago. Ward also provided the Lebanese government with information on a spying network in the country working for Israel. Ward's parents, Sheikh Mahmud Hasan Ward and his wife Zahr Mohammed Nammour come from Hasbayya. Israeli troops also expelled the parents of an Israeli allied militiaman, Naji Monzer who reportedly defected from the militia. His parents were expelled from Majayoon. The four were handed to the Lebanese army through the Zemrayyah border crossing.

Israeli attacks continue on civilian areas

Israeli artillery in Beit Leef this morning shelled the eastern outskirts of the village of Yater and the outskirts of Haddatha. The towns of  Srebbeen and Harees in the western sector of the occupied zone were also heavily bombarded. Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes broke the sound barrier twice today over the Hermel area and Akkar.

Cabinet approves news and political satellite broadcasting

After a halt of 10 months, the country's two satellite TV stations, LBC and FTV, are to resume satellite broadcasting of news and political programs. This was announced by Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa following cabinet's session last evening. Sabaa told reporters the decision followed contacts by government officials with representatives from both stations. These news bulletins and political talks shows are not to be subject to any kind of governmental censorship.

UN Conference on water resources suggests immediate action is required

At the headquarters of the UN Economic and Social Committee for West Asia in Beirut, a conference on water resources today concluded discussions. The meeting called on ESCWA's 13 member states to cooperate with UN agencies for further actions on water shortages. The UN subcommittee on water resources also called for the conduction of studies in all member states on fresh water resources in Western Asia to determine their needs and assess current levels of fresh water supply. Regarding Lebanon, international water experts affirmed that the country has plenty of water for the time being but that it cannot be said that Lebanon is exempted from the problem in the future due to expansion plans in the agricultural and industrial fields in addition to population growth.

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