Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today concludes a three-day official visit to Washington where he met US President Bill Clinton, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and other high ranking officials in the American Administration. Hariri will move to New York today ahead of his scheduled meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan tomorrow. Discussions with Annan will center on UN Security Council Resolution 425. Talks will also focus on the extension of the mandate of the UN Interim Forces in South Lebanon (UNIFIL).
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri told the National Press Club in Washington he was confident something would happen in the next few weeks on the Lebanese-Syrian tracks. In a statement to Radio Orient, Hariri reiterated Lebanon's refusal of the recent Israeli proposal to withdraw conditionally from South Lebanon. He added his proposal that an agreement with Israel could be reached in three month?s time was seriously considered by President Clinton as well as by Albright.
Meanwhile, US Mideast envoy, Dennis Ross said the Lebanese-American discussions were characterized by excellent exchange of ideas. For his part, White House Spokesman Michael McCurry revealed that President Clinton discussed with the Lebanese prime minister steps that can push the peace process forward.
President Elias Al-Hrawi today received a letter from his Libyan counterpart Moammar Ghadafi. The letter was carried by Ghadafi's personal envoy Abdel Hafiz Zlaity in the presence of Libya's ambassador to Lebanon Ali Mohammed Marya. Zlaity who arrive in Beirut on an official visit yesterday evening will hold discussions with a number of Lebanese officials regarding the general Arab situation and bilateral ties between Lebanon and Libya. After his meeting with the Lebanese President, Zlaity said practical steps are now being prepared to sign the accords of a trade agreement between the two countries in a bid to strengthen bilateral cooperation on all other levels.
The General Labor Confederation (GLC) yesterday made an announcement calling on boycotting labor confederations to participate positively in the scheduled July 7 election to replace GLC president Ghaneim Al-Zoghbi. The statement urged all labor confederations to work together to end the three-year-old split in the GLC. It also called on all the nation's workers to unite in the face of mass dismissals and the government's failure to grant labor demands. The split, according to the statement, is weakening the workers' position and strengthening that of the state and employers.
The judicial council yesterday announced charges against Palestinian Muslim fundamentalist leader Abdel Karim Al-Saadi (known as Abu-Mehjan) and 13 of his supporters. Abu-Mehjan, who is believed to be hiding at a Palestinian refugee camp near Sidon, is being tried in absentia in connection with an assassination attempt against Tripoli's Mufti, Sheikh Taha Sabounji, who narrowly escaped death, and another rival cleric in 1994. Two other defendants are on the run while ten men are in custody and one is free on bail.
Abu-Mehjan?s supporters killed Sheikh Nizar Al-Halabi, leader of the Association of Islamic Philanthropist Projects in Beirut in 1995. Three of the convicted killers were hanged in 1997.
The Head of the Parliamentary Education Committee, deputy Bahiyya Al-Hariri today opened a workshop on the development of technical and vocational education in Hariri Second High School in Beirut in the presence of a number of concerned educational figures in the country. In her opening speech, Hariri said giant steps should be taken in the field of technical and vocational training with the purpose of guiding our new generation towards a successful future. She added all the Lebanese are responsible for a development of an educational structure that can meet the challenges and the needs of modern life.
The obstacles facing the partnership agreement project between Lebanon and the European Union (EU) was today the center of discussions in Boustrous palace between the foreign ministry's director general Zafer Al-Hassan and a number of EU representatives. After the meeting, Al-Hassan said "the project is progressing in spite of some obstacles which we are trying to deal with this will take some time". For their part, EU representatives described the talks as good hoping the agreement will be signed in the near future.
Feyrouz will sing on August 14, 15, 16, 20, 21, 22 in the temple of Jupiter in the city of the sun, Baalback. The concert will be organized by Mansour Al-Rahbani with the participation of Elias and Ziyad Al-Rahbani. Feyrouz held a concert last year in Beirut after 22 years of abstinence. Today, the organizing committee for the Baalback Festival held a press conference at the Press Syndicate announcing the program of this summer's festival. The program was announced by the head of the committee May Areeda in the presence of the head of the press syndicate Mohammed Al-Baalbacki, the member of the committee, and number of Lebanese artists. The program will also include a number of orchestral, jazz, and oriental concentrates.
The Luxurious Hotel in the heart of Kaslik, Jounieh, Lebanon
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