Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today concluded his two-day official visit to Cairo. During his visit, the Lebanese premier held talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Prime Minister Kamal Al-Ganzouri, Foreign Minister Amro Moussa, the Secretary General of the Arab League Ismat Abdel Majid, Mubarak's political advisor Oussama Al-Baaz among other high-ranking Egyptian officials. Hariri who appeared at a live interview on Orbit satellite channel late last night in Cairo reiterated Lebanon's rejection of Israel's latest proposal of the conditional implementation of UN Resolution 425. Hariri also reported Egypt's support for the Lebanese stance. He said Lebanon and Syria are both ready to re-start negotiations with the Israeli government at the point where talks left off and in light of comprehensive and just peace in the region. The Lebanese premier said peace would ensure prosperity among all the peoples of the region including the Israelis.
At Boustrous Palace this morning, Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz ended discussions with heads of the diplomatic corps in Lebanon. This is part of Lebanon's campaign to explain and clarify Lebanon's stance regarding the recent Israeli offer of a conditional withdrawal of Israeli forces from South Lebanon. The foreign minister today met a second batch of diplomatic delegates to Lebanon comprising 12 Arab, 16 European and 8 Latin American diplomatic officials. Qatar's ambassador Al-Nouaimeh said after the meeting Resolution 425 is a strong resolution agreed upon by all five permanent members of the UN Security Council. He also stressed the unity of the Lebanese-Syrian tracks. Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Lebanon Ahmad Al-Kouhaimeh voiced his country's absolute support for the Lebanese stance.
The head of Kuwait's Nation's Council Ahmad Al-Sadoun today continued his official talks in Lebanon. He met this morning President Elias Al-Hrawi at the presidential palace in Baabda. The meeting was attended by Deputy House Speaker Elie Al-Firzli, the Kuwaiti ambassador to Lebanon Abdel Razzak Al-Qandari, and the accompanying official Kuwaiti delegation. Al-Sadoun later told reporters at the palace Kuwait supported Lebanon's stance which calls for the immediate and unconditional implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 425. The Kuwaiti official called on all Arab parliamentarians to hold an emergency meeting of the Arab Parliamentary Union to voice solidarity with Lebanon and full support to its stance regarding the Israeli offer. Al-Sadoun will shortly meet Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri at the government palace.
French former prime minister Raymond Barre was received today by President Elias Al-Hrawi at Baabda. Barre who currently heads the municipality of the French city of Leon is in Lebanon to sign cooperation agreements with the municipalities of Beirut and Deir Al-Qamar. Barre yesterday said the accords would enable Lebanese cities to benefit from French expertise on the social, cultural, and architectural levels. The meeting today between Barre and Hrawi was also attended by the French ambassador to Lebanon Daniel Jouanneau, deputy George Deeb Toumeh, and the head of the municipality of Beirut Mohammed Ghaziri. Discussions centered on bilateral ties between France and Lebanon and ways to boost cooperation between the two countries' municipalities.
Israel today shelled the outskirts of the Litani River and the villages of Sojod, Al-Rayhan in the Iqlim Al-Touffah area.
The Amal Group, meanwhile, said it carried out three attacks against Israeli groupings. For its part, the Islamic resistance in the South attacked the Israeli outposts in Bir Kallab, Sojod, and Radar. A statement by the group said it scored direct hits in the attacks.
The five-nation cease-fire monitoring group opened its session at 9:00 a.m. this morning at the UNIFIL's headquarters in Naqoura. The panel is looking into six complaints, three filed by Lebanon and three others by Israel.
Lebanon protested the Israeli shelling of civilian areas in Nabatieh Al-Faouqa and Shakra. The complaints of the Israeli sides centered on alleged resistance attacks launched from civilian areas inside the zone Israel occupies in South Lebanon. The truce was set up in the year 1996 following Israel's offensive on Lebanon which was dubbed the Grapes of Wrath Operation. The panel calls on Hizbullah and Israel not to carry out attacks to or from civilian areas.
At the headquarters of the Economic and Social Committee of West Asia (ESCWA) the preparatory meeting for the second Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization (WTO) was held today. A second meeting will take place tomorrow at the headquarters of ESCWA in the downtown area of the capital. The two meetings prepare for a conference on the WTO to be organized in Geneva next month. The opening ceremony was attended by Minister of Trade and Economy Yassin Jaber representing Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri. The meeting is organized by ESCWA, UNDP and UNCTAD in coordination with the Lebanese Ministry of Trade and Economy. Speakers discussed economic policies in participant countries and future plans of the World Trade Organization. Among the speakers were the Lebanese Trade Minister and ESCWA's Executive Secretary Hazem Al-Biblawi.
Over the past few days, Nagorno-Karabakh Premier Leonard Bedrosian held meetings in Lebanon with President Elias Al-Hrawi, House Speaker Nabih Berri, Interior Minister Michel Al-Murr, and a group of the Armenian business community in Lebanon. During a press conference, Bedrosian stressed his visit aims at informing Lebanese leaders about Karabakh's stance regarding the conflict with Azerbijan. During his different meetings, he presented his country's views on a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Caucasus. His meeting with members of the Armenian business community in Lebanon resulted in the formation of a working group that would visit Karabakh to look into investment opportunities in the enclave.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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