News from Beirut September 16  1998 ...Search

Email your presidential candidates. Member of parliament Boutros Harb said he would run in Lebanon's presidential elections planned for October. You can contact him using E-mail : or read about his Personal Biography, Political Life and candidacy speech.

Armenia's Prime Minister signs four cooperation pacts with Lebanon

The Armenian Prime Minister, Armen Darbinian, today arrived in Beirut ahead of a high-ranking official delegation. He was received at Beirut's International Airport by his Lebanese counterpart, Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri and a number of Lebanese officials. The Armenian Premier is being accompanied by a delegation of 35 officials including the Ministers of Transportation and Trade in his government.

The visit aims at boosting ties with Lebanon and especially encouraging bilateral investment and industrial and trade exchange between the two countries. Ministers from both sides today signed cooperation agreements in the fields of tourism and education, in addition to a pact that aims at avoiding double taxation between Lebanon and Armenia.

The Armenian Premier and his Lebanese counterpart headed to the Grand Saray to start their official talks. After the meeting, the two premiers held a press conference briefing journalists on their discussions. Prime Minister Hariri said Armenia has always supported Lebanon, the unconditional implementation of Resolution 425, and peace in the region. Hariri added Armenian leaders had reiterated this stance during his different visits to Armenia.

Assad receives Berri at People's Palace

At noon today, Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad received Lebanon's House Speaker Nabih Berri at the People's Palace. This was announced by Syria's presidential spokesman, Gibran Kourieh. Berri headed this morning to the Syrian capital to hold discussions and consultations with the Syrian leader on recent local and regional developments.

Hariri and Lahhoud discuss situation in Jezzine

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today received Army General Emile Lahhoud at the Grand Saray. Following a one-hour meeting, Hariri and Lahhoud refused to make any statements to the press. But governmental sources said discussions centered on the situation in occupied Jezzine. Hariri and Lahhoud reportedly held talks on recent Israeli escalation in South Lebanon and the Western Bekaa.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri will head cabinet's weekly session this evening at the Grand Saray. Ministers are expected to discuss an agenda of 53 clauses. Among the issues to be tackled are the subjects of quarries, granting licenses to air political programs on satellite, and the cooperation agreements signed with Egypt last week.

Norwegian UNIFIL soldier wounded in the South

The official spokesman of the United Nations Interim Forces in South Lebanon, Timor Goksel, today announced that at 6:30 a.m. an Israeli tank situated in Ayshiyyeh launched three bombs on seven Norwegian UNIFIL soldiers who were patrolling near the village of Blat, north of Marjayoon. One Norwegian soldier was seriously wounded in the Israeli attack. Goksel added that on December 27, 1993, an Israeli tank launched three shells on a Norwegian patrol in the same area killing one soldier and wounding another.

For its part the Norwegian battalion strongly protested to the Israeli Army for the injury of one of its peacekeepers.

Monitoring group condemns Israeli violation of the truce

The International Panel charged with monitoring the April 1996 Understanding today expressed concern regarding Israel's shelling of the village of Marj Al-Zohour in the Western Bekaa, which resulted in the injury of one Lebanese civilian and the destruction of seven civilian homes. The group issued a statement following its meeting at the UNIFIL's headquarters in Naqoura saying the shelling also damaged the electricity network in the village and blazed fires in olive fields and grape trees in the area. The group described the incident as dangerous adding it constitutes a violation of the understanding. The panel reiterated its call on both sides to avoid civilians and civilian areas when fighting in the South.

British Ambassador reiterates his country's concern for the situation in the South

The British Ambassador to Lebanon, David Ross MacLenin today reiterated his country's support for Lebanon and the implementation of all international resolutions especially UN Security Council Resolution 425. MacLenin was speaking after talks with the head of the municipality of Tripoli, Samir Shaarani. He added London has been following up with concern the escalating situation in South Lebanon during the last few weeks. The British Ambassador stressed the necessity of abiding by the April 1996 Understanding. Asked about the situation in Jezzine, MacLenin said civilians and civilian areas should be avoided by both Israel and Lebanon when fighting in the South.

Arab League Council to discuss Israeli attacks on Lebanon

The 110th session of the Arab League Council today started discussing clauses that top its agenda in Cairo. The council is expected to ratify two projects delivered by Lebanon; the first condemning the persistence of Israeli occupation in South Lebanon and the Western Bekaa and the second calling on the implementation of UN Resolution 425 with no conditions. The Lebanese statement also condemns continuous Israeli violations of human rights through the imprisonment of Lebanese in Israeli jails without trial and under no humanitarian conditions. Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz is representing Lebanon during these meetings.

Prince Albert tours the Shouf area expressing interest in reforestation

Prince Albert of Monaco today continues his four-day official visit to Lebanon. The Prince this morning toured the Shouf region along with a number of Lebanese officials. He first visited the town of Debbeyyeh in Iqlim Al-Kharroub where he inspected a new plantation site founded by the principality. Prince Albert also toured the Social Center of Nabil Boustani in the presence of Deputy Boustani. The Prince is expected to inspect the protected area of the Barouk cedars, which his principality helped in funding. Monaco's Prince is later scheduled to visit the towns of Deir Al-Qamar and Beiteddine. The Prince had yesterday started his official visit to the country by meeting Lebanon's three top leaders, Army General Emile Lahhoud and other officials.

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