News from Beirut November 12  1998 ...Search

Hrawi to leave hospital in three days

President Elias Al-Hrawi's health condition is stable and improving. This according to his doctors at the Heart of Jesus Hospital in Beirut. The hospital's administration today said the president underwent an angiography to determine the condition of his heart and arteries.

Doctors said he is now under supervision and he is still in intensive care. The president will thus have to stay in hospital for three more days. He was admitted to hospital with chest pains on Tuesday.

President Hrawi today received messages and phone calls from a number of Arab and foreign leaders. President-elect General Emil Lahhoud and official, diplomatic, religious and popular delegations also visited him at the hospital.

Lahhoud continues official meetings ahead of November 24

Days before his official accession to the presidency of the Lebanese Republic, President-elect General Emil Lahhoud today continued his talks with a number of government officials. Lahhoud discussed with his visitors important political and economic files in preparation for the new phase.

The president-elect today received Deputy Anwar Al-Khalil who headed a delegation of religious figures and families in the districts of Hasbayya and Marjayoon. The delegation congratulated Lahhoud on his election as the country's next head of state. After the meeting, Deputy Al-Khalil said the delegation also wished the upcoming president all success in his new mission. Al-Khalil added Lahhoud stressed the importance of rebuilding the state of institutions and liberating all occupied land in the South and the Western Bekaa.

Lahhoud also met today Orthodox Syrian Patriarch Zakka Awas I ahead of a delegation of archbishops in a congratulatory visit. In the same regard, Lahhoud received the Armenian bloc in parliament among a number of deputies.

Hariri heads to Damascus for talks with Khaddam

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today arrived in Damascus coming from the Saudi capital. Hariri held talks with Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam. The premier is expected to be back in Beirut later today.

At the end of his tour, Hariri said his discussions in Paris with President Jacques Chirac, in Cairo with President Hosni Mubarak, and in Riyadh with King Fahd centered on the recent developments in the region in light of the Wye Plantation Agreement. Hariri reiterated Lebanon's bid to liberate its land from Israeli occupation. In the three capitals, Hariri said he traced all understanding and support to Lebanon.

Jumblatt to hold talks with Syrian officials

War Displaced Minister Walid Jumblatt will head later today to the Syrian capital for talks with Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam. During his visit, Jumblatt will also meet a number of Syrian officials.

His meetings and discussions in Damascus are expected to focus on bilateral issues and recent developments in the Middle East.

Sfeir and Kaddoumi discuss developments following Wye summit

At Bkirki this morning, Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Nassrallah Boutros Sfeir held discussions with the head of the Political Department at the Palestinian Liberation Organization, Farouq Al-Kaddoumi. Their talks focused on the Wye River Accord signed between the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority and its expected outcome on the region.

During his two-day visit to the country, Kaddoumi met Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz and a number of Lebanese officials. His discussions mainly centered on developments in the Mideast peace process in light of the Wye Agreement.

Arslan holds talks with Italian ambassador

Immigrants Minister Talal Arslan today discussed with the Italian ambassador to Lebanon a number of immigration issues. The meeting also tackled Israel's theft of rich soil from areas in the occupation zone and its transportation to the Northern Galilee for agricultural purposes.

The Italian ambassador later said the matter constitutes a scandalous theft. He added the Italian authorities were highly concerned with the subject, which was also reported in a number of Italian newspapers.

Joint committees meet in parliament

Joint parliamentary committees today held a session that was headed by Deputy House Speaker Elie Al-Firzli. The meeting was also attended by Minister of Trade and Economy Yassin Jaber.

Following the session, Ferzli told reporters the committees approved the law of intellectual property rights and copyrights. He added the law is now ready to be presented for ratification at the first meeting of parliament's general assembly.

Also in parliament today, the agriculture and environment committee met headed by Deputy Elie Skaff and attended by Environment Minister Akram Shhayyeb. The committee's deputies met to discuss a draft law allowing Lebanon to join an environmental pact.

Lebanon and Sweden decide to avoid double taxation

Lebanon and Sweden today signed an agreement to avoid double taxation in the presence of Acting Finance Minister Fouad Sanyoura. Sanyoura later said the agreement follows another one signed earlier with Sweden in a bid to encourage bilateral investments between the two countries.

The Acting Finance Minister added the two projects would be referred to cabinet and parliament for discussion and ratification.

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