News from Beirut May 29 1998 ...
Chirac in Beirut this evening
French President Jacques Chirac is expected in Beirut at 9:15 (Beirut Time)
this evening. An official receptions ceremony will be held at his honor.
During his three-day official visit to Lebanon, the French President
hold talks with his Lebanese counterpart Elias Al-Hrawi, House Speaker
Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri. France also gives special
importance to Chirac's expected inauguration of the Palais du Pins
Beirut after it underwent renovation. The palace will host the headquarters
of the French embassy in Beirut. During his visit to Lebanon in the
1996, Chirac promised he will come back to inaugurate the palace once
reconstruction work is complete. Chirac will also head the meeting
heads of municipalities in the 91 Francophone cities of the world.
his visit, Chirac will be accompanied by the French First Lady, Foreign
Minister Hubert Vedrine and a number of high-ranking French officials.
Elysee officials stress France's support for 425 implementation
The Elysee Palace today stressed the importance of Chirac's official visit
to Lebanon describing it as a visit of lawyalty and trust. It also
reiterates the special ties between the French and the Lebanese peoples.
Elysee officials also stressed the visit expresses the Paris's trust
capabilities of Lebanon and its continuous support for its reconstruction
drive. Paris reiterated its stance regarding the implementation of
Security Council resolution 425 stressing the importance of implementing
the resolution without conditions. During his three-day visit to Lebanon,
Chirac is expected to brief Lebanese leaders on his latest discussions
US President Bill Clinton, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Egyptian
President Hosni Mubarak which centered on the deadlocked peace process
the Middle East.
Hariri continues contacts to reach consensus regarding upcoming local ballots
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today discussed preparations underway for
the upcoming municipal and mayoral elections in Beirut with Minister
Administrative Reform Bshara Merhej, former Minister Fouad Boutrous
Father Saad Nimer. After meeting the premier, Merhej stressed the
importance of balance in the coming municipal council. He also reiterated
the importance of reaching a consensus list in the capital over these
ballots, a list which represents all sides, whether political or religious,
in Beirut. For his part, former minister Fouad Boutrous is trying to
mediate between the premier and Christian parties in the capital to
the consensus list desired. Following his meeting with Hariri at the
government palace this morning, Boutrous will attend a meeting of
representatives of Christian parties this evening over Beirut's local
Electoral battle escalates in Tripoli
There is widespread denunciation in Tripoli for recent speeches made by
former Prime Minister Omar Karameh concerning the expected municipal
mayoral elections in the city next Sunday. Transportation Minister
Miskawi today described Karameh's statement as nervous and unacceptable
accusations. Deputy Mohammed Abdel Latif Kabbara also reacted to Karameh's
statements saying he made irresponsible speeches aimed at arousing
in the city. Karameh last night held a press conference in Tripoli
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri of trying to control the city's
municipality. The Tripoli MP also announced his own list of 24 candidates
for the city's municipal council. A rival list of independents headed
Ahmad Qammareddine is believed to be backed by Hariri, Miskawi, and
Mosbah Al-Ahdap among others.
A meeting of Arab foreign ministers opens Monday in Beirut
The meeting Arab foreign ministers will be held on June 1-2 at the Vendome
Hotel in Beirut. The Arab countries represented in Monday's meeting
Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, Morocco and
Palestinian Authority. It is a preparatory meeting for the
European-Mediterranean Partnership conference to be held in Palermo,
next week. The meeting is also aimed at reaching a common strategy
Israeli attempts to separate regional politics from economics. Foreign
Minister Faris Boueiz yesterday said the Arab countries involved will
the Palermo meeting to use the economic benefits of the program in
pressuring Israel to respect the accords of the Mideast peace process.
New meters obligatory for all airport taxis
New officially calibrated meters were recently made obligatory for all
airport taxis. This decision was taken by Transportation Minister Omar
Miskawi. This might be a first step towards modernizing this service
hotels, the port and taxi offices. It might also put an end to conflict
which used to arise between travelers and some taxi drivers concerning
cost of their trip. Only licensed drivers are permitted to work at
Another cannabis plantation destroyed in the Bekaa
A plantation of Cannabis was recently ploughed in the village of Yammouneh,
northwest of Baalbeck city. The operation was monitored by a group
internal security forces and soldiers along with an anti-narcotics
This comes as part of a government strategy to crack down on new attempts
at growing drug plants in the country especially in the Bekaa valley.
campaign enabled Lebanon's name to be removed from the US list of
drug-producing countries in the world last year.
The Luxurious Hotel in the
heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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