House Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today met in parliament to discuss preparations for the upcoming municipal and mayoral elections in the country. After the meeting, Hariri refused to issue any statement to reporters at Nijmeh Square. The two leaders later had a working lunch together at the premier's residence. Berri and Hariri continued their discussions in Kraytem later this afternoon. Analysts believe that a long-expected agreement over local election candidates in the capital and the southern suburbs topped the subject of their discussions today. They were also expected to discuss a number of current political and economic files in the country.
Deputy Tammam Salam today visited House Speaker Nabih Berri at Nijmeh Square. The upcoming municipal and mayoral elections topped their discussions. Salam later expressed confidence in the residents of Beirut adding he traced a will of consensus among all sides in the capital. Salam reported Berri's special interest in the subject of municipal elections in all areas of the country especially in the capital. The House Speaker who met a number of deputies at parliament today was quoted as criticizing the municipal and mayoral election draft law, reportedly saying the law caused a number of disagreements even inside the same family in certain areas. Berri was also quoted as downplaying the possibility of parliament's ratification of the public sector pay scales draft law during its session this month as a result of the technical delay which hindered its arrival to parliament. The project is expected to be discussed during a parliamentary session to be held in June.
Four days before the beginning of the first phase of local elections in Mount Lebanon, Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri continued discussions and consultations with his visitors at the government palace on the latest preparations for the expected municipal and mayoral elections in the country. Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa visited the premier twice today. After his meetings, Sabaa told reporters the meeting today between the House Speaker and the premier is natural adding it is a continuation of their consultations which began during their latest meeting in Damascus.
The premier later held talks with Northern MP Ahmad Fatfat who expected an escalation in the electoral battle in Tripoli. Fatfat explained that his contacts with Former Prime Minister Omar Karameh in a bid to reach a consensus in the city have not yet led to any result.
Apart from the subject of local elections, Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today received the Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon Adel Al-Khodari.
Discussions centered on bilateral ties specifically the possibility of enhancing trade exchange between the two countries on both the industrial and agricultural levels. Al-Khodari also stressed the importance of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's latest talks with his French counterpart Jacques Chirac in Paris. Al-Khodari referred to the call for regional peace which both leaders launched after their meeting. The Egyptian ambassador also discussed with the Lebanese premier recent developments in the region and the Middle East Peace Process.
The Egyptian ambassador to Lebanon Adel Al-Khodari today announced that he delivered an oral message to Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz from his Egyptian counterpart Amro Moussa concerning the latest joint French-Egyptian suggestion agreed upon during the recent visit of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to Paris. The suggestion includes holding a conference for countries interested in peace under the title: " The Call for Peace in the Middle East." Boueiz welcomed the idea of such a conference. Neither the date nor place or the identity of participant countries in the meeting were yet set. Al-Khodari also said the Egyptian
Foreign Minister will visit Lebanon in June to take part in the preparatory conference for the Middle Eastern-European Ministerial Meeting which will be held in Beirut on June 1st and 2nd.
Two Israeli allied militiamen were killed yesterday in South Lebanon in separate roadside bomb explosions. The first bomb was detonated by the Lebanese resistance on the road between Jezzine and Kfar Houne. It exploded when an allied patrol was passing on the road killing one of its members.
The second militiaman was killed in another roadside bomb explosion between Jezzine and Anan. Hizbullah claimed responsibility for both attacks in a statement issued yesterday.
Spinneys Supermarkets will return to Beirut this summer. A branch will be opened on the Beirut-Jounieh highway 23 years after the old branch in Jnah was closed. The reopening provided job opportunities for around 230 Lebanese citizens. The store will be the biggest branch of Spinneys in the Middle East. 12 similar stores will open in different parts of the country.
The British-based company owns branches in more than 65 countries in the world.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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