News from Beirut February 23  1998 ...Search

Israel steps up attacks on South Lebanon

During a period of three hours, Israel launched about 10 consecutive air raids on the Iqlim Al-Touffah mountain ridges. The raids started in the morning when warplanes launched tens of rockets on the villages of Sojod, Mazraat Okmata and Jabal Al-Rafii. Heavy Israeli shelling later targeted the hills of the Western Bekaa. Mock air raids were also performed over Sidon, Nabatieh and the Iqlim Al-Touffah area. Inspection planes also flew over the area.

This comes a few days after the five-nation cease-fire monitoring group ended a three-day meeting in Naqoura to look into eight complaints, four filed by Lebanon and four other by Israel. The group called for more self-control and demanded both sides nor to launch attacks to or from civilians areas.

Meanwhile, the Lebanese resistance in South Lebanon announced it attacked the Israeli outpost in Bir Kallab saying in a statement it scored direct hits. In the afternoon, the resistance carried similar attacks on other Israeli positions.

Hariri starts official consultations

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri is due to start a series of consultations with top Lebanese officials on current economic and social issues prevailing in the country. Hariri will begin his tour with by separate meetings with President Elias Al-Hrawi and House Speaker Nabih Berri.

Discussions are expected to center on three main topics: the problem of the displaced, the government's development plans and the pay-scales draft law.

Hariri will also hold discussions with a number of religious and political leaders including former prime ministers on these topics in addition to holding talks on Lebanon?s stance of the current Iraqi crisis. Sources close to the premier say the consultations are aimed at including all Lebanese officials in the government decision-making process.

Journalists hold seminar to boost Lebanon's image abroad

A two-day seminar was held over the weekend in Beirut's Carton Hotel aimed at boosting media cooperation between Lebanese journalists working in Lebanon and abroad. During the seminar, speeches were made by Immigrants Minister Talal Arslan, Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa, the head of the press syndicate Mohammed Baalbaki and the head of the editors' syndicate Melhem Karam. Speakers stressed on the necessity of boosting Lebanon's image abroad and encouraging interaction between Lebanese expatriates and their mother country. The conference was attended by representatives of media corporations from the US, Australia, Britain, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, France, Italy, and Germany.

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

   ..Minkara Center

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