News from Beirut September 29  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 in Beirut this evening after talks in Damascus

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri is expected in Beirut this evening after a tour that took him to New York, Washington, Paris, and Damascus. During his US visit, Hariri held talks with world leaders and top US officials that centered on the current stalemate in the Middle East peace process. The premier also delivered Lebanon's statement at the UN General Assembly meeting stressing the implementation of Resolution 425 and just and comprehensive peace in the region. Hariri last night held a meeting in Paris with French President Jacques, briefing him on the outcome of his US discussions. This afternoon, Lebanon's Premier will meet Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam and a number of top Syrian officials for the same purpose. Upon his arrival in Beirut, Hariri will head to Baabda to brief President Elias Al-Hrawi on the outcome of his tour. The two leaders will also discuss developments in the subject of the upcoming presidential elections.

Hariri-Chirac meeting centered on peace process stalemate

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri last night held long discussions with French President Jacques Chirac at the Elysee Palace. The two leaders mainly discussed the outcome of Hariri's talks in New York and Washington. Premier Hariri, who was accompanied by Lebanon's Ambassador to France, Naji Abi Assi, stressed that his talks with Chirac tackled the latest results of peace efforts that aim at pushing the Mideast peace process forward. Hariri added everyone is now waiting to see what is currently happening in Washington, referring to US President Bill Clinton's meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Hariri reiterated that there could be no movement on the Syrian-Lebanese peace track before a breakthrough on the Palestinian front. But the Prime Minister denied his talks with Chirac tackled the subject of the upcoming presidential elections in Lebanon.

Charles Helou describes Hariri's UN statement as a strong national stance

Former President Charles Helou today praised Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri's statement at the meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York. Helou said the premier's reiteration of our adherence to just and comprehensive peace in the region on the basis of Israeli withdrawal from occupied land and the implementation of UN Resolution 425, can be considered as the strongest and most balanced national stance delivered by a Lebanese premier.

Berri says presidential elections picture clears in a period of 2 to 3 weeks

The final picture of the upcoming presidential elections will crystallize within a period of two or three weeks. This was reportedly announced by House Speaker Nabih Berri today. Berri held talks with delegations from the Armenian Tashnak Party and the National Bloc Party. After meeting the House Speaker and his deputy Elie Al-Firzli, visiting Oil Minister Shahe Barsoumian said discussions tackled the call for the amendment to Article 49 of the constitution adding the Tashnak Party have not taken a final decision yet regarding the subject of presidential elections. Berri also received today a delegation from the National Bloc Party headed by its secretary general, Ibrahim Istfan. The delegation reiterated the party's call to extend the mandate of President Elias Al-Hrawi for another three years.

Ghana's economic delegation visit Baabda

Ghana's Minister of Trade and Industry today visited President Elias Al-Hrawi at Baabda. The meeting was attended by the visiting minister's accompanying economic delegation and Lebanon's Minister of Trade and Economy Yassin Jaber. Minister Jaber later told reporters that the delegation briefed President Hrawi on possible steps to be taken in a bid to boost bilateral ties between the two countries. Such steps include signing an economic cooperation agreement, boosting airlines between Lebanon and Ghana and forming a bilateral committee to activate joint projects. The visiting minister and the accompanying delegation later headed to parliament were they held talks with House Speaker Nabih Berri.

British foreign ministry official stresses his government's concern for peace in the region

The head of the Middle East and North African bureau at the British foreign office, Derek Plumbley, today discussed the stalemate in the Middle East peace process with Lebanese President Elias Al-Hrawi in the presence of the British Ambassador to Lebanon David Ross MacLennan. The British delegation later met House Speaker Nabih Berri at Nijmeh Square. Plumbley stated he was briefed by Lebanese officials on the situation in South Lebanon. He stressed the importance of implementing all international resolutions. But Plumbley denied he discussed with Lebanese officials the subject of  Israel's withdrawal from occupied Jezzine. He added during his Southern visit yesterday, he had the chance to inspect in person the work of UNIFIL soldiers there describing their role in peacekeeping as extremely important. Plumbely will later today head to Damascus for talks with top Syrian officials.

Cabinet meets Thursday at Baabda

Cabinet is expected to meet Thursday at the Presidential Palace in Baabda. 87 clauses are to top the agenda of discussions. Among the topics to be tackled are the subjects of granting licenses to first and second rank radio stations and allowing TV stations to air news and political programs on satellite. The file of organizing quarries in the country will also be handled during the session. A demand by the Education Ministry to discuss the subject of religious teaching in public schools and a proposal by the Ministry of Defense concerning family visits to Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails will moreover be studied by ministers. Also on the agenda are draft projects of cooperation agreements to be signed with a number of  countries.

Draft project announced to preserve national archives

Administrative Reform Minister Bshara Merhej and the head of the board of directors at the National Archives Center, Antoine Khawaja today held a joint press conference announcing a draft project on national archives. The project aims at organizing this institution and specifying its tasks. Merhej told the conference these draft laws would help preserve national archives and specify all dealings with historical documents.

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