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 : BoutrosHarb@Lebanon.com or read about his Personal Biography, Political Life and candidacy speech.
Analysts in the country do not expect any significant developments in the subject of presidential elections before the summit between Lebanese President Elias Al-Hrawi and Syrian President Hafez Al-Assad. Sources said the two leaders might meet tomorrow in Latikia, where the Syrian President is spending a vacation. But some observers believed the presidential summit would not be held before October 1, when Assad is expected to return to the Syrian capital. Consequently, the Lebanese cabinet would meet to call for the opening of an extraordinary parliamentary session to amend Article 49 of the constitution.
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri this evening concludes his US talks in a meeting in Washington with US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright. Upon his arrival there late yesterday, Hariri met Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz. Washington is currently witnessing high diplomatic activity. Hariri is expected to discuss with Albright the results of her recent contacts with both Arabs and Israelis aimed at pushing the peace process in the Middle East forward. Albright will also brief the Lebanese premier on future US efforts to be paid in this regard.
In a seven-page statement delivered late yesterday at the UN General Assembly, Lebanon's Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri made a strong appeal to the international body to address conflict in the Middle East more seriously. Hariri blamed Israel and its intransigence for the stalemate in the peace process. He also implored Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to return to the negotiating table in a bid to secure a better future for both Arab and Israeli children. Hariri also called on the UN body to work on the implementation of all international resolutions. He complained that the UN Security Council was applying double standards in dealing with world conflict.
Also from the podium of the UN in New York, Hariri stressed the unity of the Lebanese-Syrian peace tracks. He also defended the right of the Lebanese Resistance in fighting against Israel's occupation. The premier called on the international community to help Lebanon release all its prisoners in Israeli jails, most of whom are being held without trial or charge.
The new US ambassador to Lebanon, David Satterfield, held talks this morning with President Elias Al-Hrawi at the presidential palace in Baabda. Satterfield also visited today Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister Michel Al-Murr. Discussions centered on the general situation in the country. After the meeting, Murr denied he held talks with Satterfield on the subject of the upcoming presidential elections, stressing it was merely a protocol visit. The newly appointed ambassador yesterday presented a copy of his credentials to House Speaker Nabih Berri in parliament. He later announced his country would not intervene in the election, describing it as a "decision for Lebanon and the Lebanese" and a "constitutional process"which only involves Lebanese institutions.
Minister of Trade and Economy Yassin Jaber today discussed economic and trade ties between Lebanon and the United Kingdom with the British Ambassador to Lebanon David Ross MacLenin. During the meeting, Jaber explained the development of the economic situation in Lebanon. Discussions also tackled the government's efforts at post-war reconstruction. The Economy and Trade Minister and the British Ambassador also discussed ways to boost bilateral ties between their countries, especially on the economic level. Jaber reiterated the importance of investment cooperation with Britain.
Israel this morning shelled the village of Yater and areas in the Iqlim Al-Touffah Mountain Ridges. Shells launched from Israeli outposts in Zaffateh targeted the area of Jabal Al-Rafii, Sojod, Al-Rayhan, Mazraat Okmata and the riverbanks of Zahrani. Meanwhile, Israeli warplanes at noon carried out intensive flights over areas in the Western Bekaa. For its part, the Lebanese Resistance announced it attacked this morning the Israeli position in Ahmadiyyeh scoring direct hits. The resistance also attacked an Israeli tank in the Sojod outpost, inflicting casualties among Israeli soldiers there.
A cultural exhibition on the Qana massacre was opened today in Sidon's Khan Al-Ifranj. The exhibition displays international newspaper documents, photos, and paintings depicting Israeli massacres in Qana, Nabatieh Al-Faouqa, and Al-Mansouri during Israel's wide-scale attack in April 1996.
At the opening last night, Deputy Bahiyya Al-Hariri said these massacres are daily remembered. She also stressed unity among the Lebanese, their refusal to surrender and their right to resist the Israeli occupation until their land is liberated.
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