Following cabinet's decisions to allocate a sum of LL50bn to the rehabilitation of roads in rural areas in Baalbeck, Al-Hermel, and Akkar, government sources revealed that Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri will conduct a series of consultations in the coming few days. The sources added these consultations were decided to be carried out before the premier's latest visits to Malaysia and Azerbijan, adding they were aimed at finding adequate resources which enable the government to carry on with its development plans in the country's rural areas and to be able to ratify the pay-scales draft law. Government sources also revealed Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri is expected to visit Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Boutrous Sfier in the coming few days as part of his consultation tour.
At the presidential palace in Baabda, President Elias AL-Hrawi held talks with Public Works Minister ALi Harjli on issues related to his ministry. He also received the French Ambassador to Lebanon Daniel Jouanneau. Discussions centered on recent developments in Lebanon and the region. Hrawi reiterated support for his optional civil marriage proposal and other issues which he earlier discussed with a delegation form the editors' syndicate headed by Melhem Karam. Hrawi later convened with a number of deputies and the economic conditions in the country topped discussions. The president discussed the Iraqi situation and recent regional developments with Foreign Minister Faris Boweiz.
In parliament, House Speaker Nabih Berri expressed surprise at transferring the Ain Bourday incident to the Lebanese Judicial Council. Meanwhile, Judge George Ghantous, appointed in charge of the case, started questioning a number of people who were accused of participating in the stand-off between Lebanese army units and supporters of former Hizbullah Secretary General Sheikh Sobhi Toufaily in Ain Bourday recently.
Also at Nijmeh Square, the Justice and Administration parliamentary committee held a meeting headed by deputy Shaker Abu-Sleiman and attended by the head of the General Labor Confederation Ghaneim Al-Zoghbi. The committee started discussions on the Rent Draft Law which will be further discussed clause-by-clause next week.
At the Government Palace, Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri held talks on development issues concerning the Western Bekaa area with deputy Robert Gahnem. He also discussed the situation in Jbeil and Batroun with MP's Fayez Akel and Mahmud Awwad. Hariri later received the French ambassador to Lebanon Daniel Jouanneau ahead of two French delegations. Discussions centered on ways to boost media cooperation between Lebanon and France. The Lebanese premier also convened with the Japanese ambassador to Lebanon Yasuji Ishigaki in a farewell visit and a delegation from the alms giving fund in Dar Al-Fatwa headed by Dr. Marwan Kabbani.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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