President Elias Al-Hrawi is expected to leave to the United Arab Emirates next Thursday for an official visit. He will hold talks with UAE President Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. Discussions are expected to center on recent regional developments and the current situation in South Lebanon in light of recent Israeli proposals of a conditional withdrawal from South Lebanon. Hrawi is also due to open a new building of the Lebanese embassy there. Hrawi had put the foundation stone of the embassy during a visit to the UAE last year. The Lebanese president will be accompanied by an official delegation that includes Defense Minister Mohsen Dalloul and Agriculture Minister Shawki Fakhoury
At the Baabda Presidential palace this morning, President Elias Al-Hrawi received the credentials of three new ambassadors to Lebanon. The ambassadors represent Sri Lanka, Austria, and Japan.
House Speaker Nabih Berri today reiterated that municipal and mayoral elections will take place on time adding that it is scheduled to be held in South Lebanon on July 7. Berri was speaking after talks with officials and heads of municipalities from the villages of Iqlim Al-Touffah in his residence in Msayleh this afternoon. Berri stressed the important role of the Lebanese resistance in South Lebanon and also reiterated the unity of the Lebanese-Syrian tracks.
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today concludes his two-day official visit to Vienna where he held talks with Austrian leaders on the Mideast peace process, the situation in South Lebanon and possibilities of economic bilateral cooperation. Hariri this evening leaves Vienna to France and will later head to Saudi Arabia. He is expected back in Beirut at the beginning of next week. During his visit, the Lebanese premier stressed the necessity of the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 425 which calls for Israel's unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon. He also reiterated Lebanon's will to boost bilateral ties with Austria adding a comprehensive and just peace in the region would create numerous ways of cooperation between countries in the Middle East and Europe.
Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani today reiterated his call for the withdrawal of the civil marriage bill. Qabbani warned the issue threatens unity in the Lebanese society as well as destroys family ties in the country. Qabbani praised the stance of prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri regarding the issue. Meanwhile, the head of the higher Shiite Council Sheikh Mohammed Mahdi Shamseddine also reiterated his rejection of the civil marriage bill. In Friday's sermon, Shamseddine revealed that preparations are underway for a joint Christian-Muslim Summit to discuss the issue. Qabbani and Shamseddine will hold a meet this afternoon in this regard.
Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Nasrallah Boutrous Sfeir today held talks in Bkirki with the head of the Phalanges Party in Lebanon George Saadeh. Saadeh updated Sfeir on his talks with Dr. Bashar Al-Assad during his recent visit to Damascus. The Party will open this afternoon a three-day meeting which ends on Sunday with the election of a new president, a vice-president and the 16 members of the political office. Saadeh along with Paul Jmayyel and Fouad Khoury are running for the presidency.
At 11:35 this morning, three bombs exploded on the road leading to the village of Bourj Kalaway which lies in the central sector of the occupied zone. No one was hurt despite the fact that the bombs were exploded near civilian areas. The explosions were accompanied by inspection flights of Israeli warplanes over the area.
The United Nations Development Program in Lebanon is organizing a competition for journalists in the print and broadcast media, which this year is on the subject "Man Helps Man". The 10,000-dollar prize will be awarded by the program in cooperation with the Information Ministry and the Press and the Journalists' associations. Prizes in each category will be awarded to the best achievement portraying sustainable human development and highlighting positive initiatives taken by individuals and groups to improve the lives and prospects of people in Lebanon. UNDP officials say the objective of this award is to the concept of sustainable human development better known in Lebanon. Participants are expected to send their articles, photos, TV and radio productions published or broadcast between July 1st, 1997 and May 15th, 1998 to UNDP's office in Beirut.
Daylight saving time in Lebanon will begin at the midnight on Saturday, March 28. Clocks will be moved forward one hour, making Beirut three hours ahead of Greenwich mean time. This was announced by Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri?s office in a statement which added that summertime remains in effect until midnight Saturday, September 27.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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