News from Beirut September 18  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.

Hariri to deliver Lebanon's statement in UN General Assembly meeting

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri heads to New York Sunday to participate in the United Nations General Assembly meeting. Hariri, who presides over the Lebanese delegation to the meeting, will deliver Lebanon's statement there on the 24th of this month before returning to Beirut on the 26th. Hariri is also expected to hold discussions with a number of Arab and world leaders on Israel's occupation of South Lebanon and the Western Bekaa, in addition to the stalemate in the Middle East peace process as a result of Israel's hard-line policies in the region.

Armenian Premier meets Hrawi and Hariri before concluding his Lebanon visit

Armenia's Premier, Armen Darbinian, this morning met President Elias Al-Hrawi at Baabda. He handed Hrawi a letter from his Armenian counterpart. For his part, Hrawi invited the Armenian President to visit Lebanon. Darbinian told reporters at Baabda his visit to Lebanon was very successful and praised the Lebanese-Armenian Economic Conference that was held here during his four-day visit to the country. He also hoped more economic projects would be carried out between the two countries in the near future.

Armenia's Prime Minister later held talks with a delegation of the Armenian community in Lebanon. Before concluding his official visit to the country, the Armenian Premier is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri.

Hariri yesterday hosted a dinner in his honor attended by a number of ministers, deputies, and economic figures.

Iranian Minister hands Hrawi a letter from his counterpart

Upon his arrival in Beirut today, the Iranian Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Atallah Mahajrani, met President Elias Al-Hrawi at the presidential palace in the presence of Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa. After the meeting, Mahajrani praised Hrawi's accomplishments stressing the will to boost bilateral ties between the two countries. The Iranian Minister also hoped recent developments in Northern Iran would not have any effect on the role Iran plays in the region.

Mahajrani had arrived in Lebanon this morning via Damascus after holding discussions with Syrian officials there. He was received at the Lebanese-Syrian border by Sabaa and a delegation of high-ranking officials at the Ministry of Information.

Mahajrani discusses cooperation possibilities with Sabaa

Visiting Iranian Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Atallah Mahajrani later today held a meeting with Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa at the ministry's headquarters. During a joint press conference held later, Sabaa stressed the importance of boosting cultural and media cooperation between Lebanon and Iran. Sabaa also reiterated Lebanon's compassion with the people of Iran in light of the recent attack that targeted a number of Iranian diplomats in Afghanistan. He also praised the wisdom of Iranian leaders in handling the current crisis. Sabaa added Mahajrani's visit aims at boosting the already friendly ties between Lebanon and Iran.

Kuwaiti Trade Minister on a business visit to Lebanon

President Elias Al-Hrawi today received Kuwait's Trade Minister, Abdullah Al-Dakheel at Baabda. The meeting was held in the presence of Lebanese Trade Minister Yassin Jaber. The Kuwaiti Minister later reiterated his country's firm support for Lebanon. Al-Dakheel yesterday opened a five-day Kuwaiti exhibition at the Forum de Beyrouth. The exhibition is displaying the products of 40 major Kuwaiti firms. Also at the Forum de Beyrouth, a forum on Investment Opportunities in Kuwait was held today under the patronage of Jaber and in the presence of his visiting Kuwaiti counterpart.

One Israeli soldier injured in resistance operation last night

An Israeli military spokesman today admitted one Israeli soldier was wounded last night during a combat fought between his unit and a Lebanese Resistance group on the road leading to the village of Kawkaba near the Ahmadieh Israeli position. A resistance statement said the group had also attacked the Ahmadieh outpost scoring direct hits in the operation.

Meanwhile, Israeli shelling targeted hills in the Western Bekaa Valley, especially the village of Mashghara.

Lahd's militia pulls out from Neeha outpost

The Israeli allied militia in the South late yesterday withdrew its forces from the outpost of Toumat Neeha after destroying it. This outpost is a strategic position which overlooks the village of Mashghara and the Western Bekaa to the east and Jezzine and the Shouf area to the west.

Security sources in the South said the pullout gives the resistance access to the Kfarhouna-Aramta axis and to the road leading to the Jezzine area. This would also enable the resistance to monitor the area of Marjayoon and Northern Israel. But the sources added such steps are only tactical moves to avoid increasing casualties among the militia.

Big Mac opens today to the Lebanese public

McDonald's first Lebanese restaurant today opens its doors to the Lebanese public. A dress rehearsal was held yesterday at the restaurant in Dora with journalists all around the place enjoying the chain's famous burger and potato skins. But security measures were high there. Ronald McDonald, the mascot clown, assured reporters, this was part of opening preparations stressing the guards will be leaving in a couple of days. The 4,000 meter-square restaurant provides seating for 300, a 50 meter-square play space for children, a huge parking, and a drive-in facility. In Lebanon, US-style food chains such as KFC, Hardee's, Sbarro Pizza, and TGI Friday, are being graciously welcomed especially by the country's youth.

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