President Elias Al-Hrawi today called former US President George Bush to congratulate him on the victory of his two sons in state elections. Bush's eldest son was elected the governor of the state of Texas. He is also a Republican Party candidate in the upcoming US presidential elections. The second son was also elected the governor of the state of Florida.
The former US president today reiterated his country's compassion with Lebanon and the causes of its people. Bush was speaking during a meeting with Deputy Issam Faris. Faris held consultations with Bush and members of his family on the international situation especially that of Lebanon and the Middle East. Faris also congratulated him on the victory of his two sons in the state elections.
President Elias Al-Hrawi today signed a Justice Ministry Bill to combat illicitly gained wealth by senior government officials and public sector employees. Hrawi was handed the final draft of the project this morning by Justice Minister Bahij Tabbara. The justice minister later told reporters at the presidential palace he also discussed with President Hrawi a number of judicial matters that need to be ratified before the next presidential term.
Tabbara added he will hold a press conference next Tuesday to explain the details of the project on illicit wealth. The bill was ratified during cabinet's last session and it was signed by Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri.
The Justice Minister late yesterday completed the final draft of the project after including all introduced amendments to it.
The bill is then expected to be referred bill to parliament for endorsement. During cabinet's last session, President Elias Al-Hrawi proposed the introduction of some amendments to the project to include the country's top officials.
President-elect General Emil Lahhoud today received Minister of Immigrants Talal Arslan who headed a delegation of Druze religious figures. Arslan after the meeting stressed his support for the national orientations that General Lahhoud embodies in the process of building a just state.
Arslan added Druze Sheiks today came from Hasbayya, Rashayya, Alay, the Shouf and Metn to visit Lahhoud in a bid to congratulate him on his election. He also said the Druze figures expressed their adherence to the principles of General Emil Lahhoud.
House Speaker Nabih Berri today stressed Syria's role in Lebanon is that of guidance. He added Syria aims at boosting national unity in the country in a bid to help Lebanese build and create civil peace.
Berri also announced he sent invitations to heads of senate councils and deputies from 19 countries including senators and MPs who are of Lebanese origin to attend President-elect General Emil Lahhoud's oath session in parliament.
Berri added that members in the diplomatic corps in Lebanon and heads of syndicates and political parties will also be invited to attend the session. The house speaker also praised the qualifications of president-elect General Emil Lahhoud.
In Paris, Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri is holding talks with a number of French officials on regional developments and issues related to bilateral ties between Lebanon and France. During his private visit to the French capital, Hariri is also scheduled to meet President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee Palace.
On Sunday, Hariri will head to Cairo on a three-day official visit for similar discussions with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Prime Minister Kamal Al-Janzouri and a number of government officials there.
Israeli occupying forces today detained two Lebanese young people from the village of Kfar Kila. Mounif Nayef Hammoud, 33, and Faraj Ali Hammoud, 25, were led to the Marjayoon military base. Israel earlier detained the village's Imam, Sheik Abbas Fadlallah and imprisoned him in the Kkiam camp.
The village has been under Israeli siege for some days with Israeli patrols searching its homes and citizens. A delegation from the village today visited Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir to brief him on their daily suffering. Sfeir condemned the Israeli aggressions and violations of human rights.
The Lebanon Watch Organization in Australia today warned against the outcomes of Israel's theft of rich soil from a number of areas in the zone it occupies in South Lebanon. The organization, which was founded to defend South Lebanon and the Western Bekaa, warned against the economic and environmental threats that would result from such practices.
Meanwhile, Lebanon is holding contacts with Arab and international leaders in a bid to stop the new kind of Israeli aggression. A complaint was filed in this regard to the UN Security Council. Israel is literally stealing top quality soil from Marjayoon and Hasbayya and transporting it to the northern settlements for agricultural purposes.
The organization also called in a statement dedicated to the Human Rights Committee at the UN and a number of international organizations to pressure Israel to stop its new kind of aggressive acts against Lebanon and its citizens in the South and the Western Bekaa.
President Hrawi received today Spain's Deputy Foreign Minister who handed him a letter from the King of Spain and the Spanish government. The message expressed appreciation to Hrawi's role in rebuilding the Lebanese Republic after the war year.
The letter also reiterated Spain's support to Lebanon stressing the Madrid principles as a gateway for reaching peace in the Middle East.
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