News from Beirut April 2 1998 ...Search

Israeli air raid kills one Lebanese civilian

Lebanese civilian, Ali Hatab, was killed today in an Israeli air raid near the village of Louwaizeh in the Iqlim Al-Touffah Mountain Ridges. The 35-year-old civilian was transporting construction material when his tractor was hit by an air-to ground missile. Earlier, Israeli warplanes also hit the village of Okmata and Louwaizeh in Iqlim Al-Touffah.

Cabinet rejects Israel's plan to withdraw from the South

Cabinet today held its weekly session at the government palace. It rejected Lebanon's conditional offer to pullout its troops from Southern Lebanon reaffirming Lebanon will not provide Israel with security guarantees. The Lebanese premier called for continued coordination between Lebanon and Syria adding the region is entering a new phase which requires unity. After the meeting, Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa said Lebanon will not provide Israeli with security guarantees in the absence of a peace treaty since peace brings security and not vice versa. Sabaa adding Lebanon is ready to resume peace negotiations with Israel but on the basis of the Madrid Conference and UN Resolutions. Today's sessions also discussed financial problems faced by state-run Tele Liban among other issues.

Nasrallah rejects the Israeli offer as a trap

Hizbullah's secretary general Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah today rejected Israel's conditional offer of withdrawal from South Lebanon describing it as a trap. He said the only logical solution for the situation in the South would be an unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon. Nasrallah added there will be no problems in the occupation zone if Israeli forces withdraw. The secretary general also said the Israeli proposal is aimed at saving the Jewish state from an increasingly costly operation.

Phalanges Party introduces new political office

Following his re-election, the head of the Phalanges Party in Lebanon, George Saadeh today held a press conference to introduce the eight new members of the party's political office in the presence of those members who were re-elected. The deputy chief of the party announced recommendations issues during the 21st general meeting of the Phalanges explaining the party's stances regarding current political issues and the general situation in the country. The party stressed the full implementation of UN Resolution 425 which calls on Israel's immediate and unconditional withdrawal from Lebanon. The recommendations also reiterated the unity of the Lebanese-Syrian tracks.

Zoghbi updates GLC leadership on his recent talks with the premier

The executive council of the General Labor Confederation today held a meeting headed by Ghaneim Al-Zoghbi. The GLC leader informed the meeting of his recent contacts with Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri which included discussions on the confederation's memorandum of demands. Zoghbi added a new round of talks will be held with the premier and Labor Minister Assaad Hardan in this regard. During these meetings, discussions will continue on the demands that were agreed upon by the concerned authorities as a first step towards their ratification.

Boueiz starts talks in Italy

Lebanese Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz who arrived yesterday in Italy met Italian premier Roman Prodi top discuss bilateral ties and the current deadlock in the Middle East peace process. Discussions also tackled future Italian projects in Lebanon which include electricity and water development. The Lebanese foreign minister also held talks with his Italian counterpart Lamberto Dini on the repercussions of the stalled Mideast peace talks on situation in South Lebanon. Boueiz today met a number of Vatican officials including Vatican Secretary Cardinal Angelo Sodano.

Lebanon signs tourist agreement with Tunisia

A tourist agreement was today signed between Lebanon and Tunisia that aims at boosting tourist activities between the two countries. The accord also facilitates visa issuing and the exchange of expertise between Lebanon and Tunisia. It was signed today by the Lebanese Tourism Minister Nicola Fattoush and his Tunisian counterpart Salaheddine Mouawiya in the presence of the Tunisian ambassador to Lebanon Najib Hashana. After the signing, Minister Fattoush said the agreement will lead to launching direct flights to Tunisia starting the month of June. For his part, the Tunisian Minister reaffirmed a follow-up committee will be formed to watch the implementation of the different parts of the accord.

Arab Tourism Conference opens in Lebanon

Minister of Tourism Nicola Fattoush and before signing the tourist agreement with his Tunisian counterpart opened the 17th meeting of the Middle East Committee of the International Tourism Organization at the Commodore Hotel in Beirut. The conference was opened in the presence of the Secretary General of the International Tourism Organization, Franchisko Frangili, along with representatives of 16 participant Arab countries.

Speakers stressed the importance of tourism as an industry which enhances the economic sectors in these countries. They also agreed that Arab countries are capable of providing tourist attraction due to its natural resources and remarkable hospitality.

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

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