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.
Israel escalated its attacks on civilian areas in South Lebanon. Late last night, Israel once again breached the April 1996 Understanding. Israeli shells fell on the outskirts of Nabatieh damaging civilian homes in Eastern Zawtar and destroying the electricity network in the village. A shell caused damage in the house of civilian Hassan Ali Dawy. Israeli bombardment also targeted the outskirts of the town of Qlayaa, the southern outskirts of Houla, Qlayleh, Amliyyeh, Sawwaneh, Qabreekha, Majdel Selem, Kherbet Selem, Wadi Al-Qaisseyyeh and Touline. A number of civilian cars were damaged in the attacks. Israeli warplanes also raided the hills of Mleeta and Mazraat Okmata in Iqlim Al-Touffah. Israeli shells also targeted the outskirts of Hasbayya and a number of villages in the Western Bekaa Valley.
The five-nation cease-fire monitoring group convenes today at the UNIFIL's headquarters in Naqoura to look into complaints filed over violations of the April Understanding. Lebanon filed two complaints to the group over Israeli shelling of civilian areas in the South, damaging civilian homes and cars, and inflicting material losses in a number of villages. The Israeli side to the panel lodged one complaint over alleged resistance shelling of Israeli positions from civilian areas in the South. The truce, which comprises delegates from Lebanon, Syria, France, Israel, and the US, bans attacks to and from civilian areas.
Security services in Lebanon detained 22 people in the Western Suburb of Beirut on charges of collaboration with Israel and planning a number of assassinations and sabotage acts. The arrested, including a woman, were also detained in connection with the recent assassination by Israel of Amal leader, Housam Al-Ameen near the Southern port-city of Tyre last month. The Lebanese daily Ad-Diyar yesterday reported the suspects were believed to be providing information to a branch of the Israeli intelligence service, Mossad, based in Cyprus. But the report did not specify what kind of information was given to the Mossad branch.
President Elias Al-Hrawi is expected to receive late this afternoon at Baabda the recently released Lebanese detainee, Soha Bshara who spent the last 10 years of her life in the Israeli-run Khiam detention center.
The president this morning held talks with Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz on the outcome of the 12th Summit of Non-aligned Countries in South Africa. Boueiz is expected to hold a press conference at the foreign ministry later today to brief reporters on the talks he held in Durban with world figures during the preparatory meetings to the summit.
At the Grand Saray, the Lebanese Premier today received former Prime Minister Shafik Al-Wazzan. The visit aimed at congratulating the premier on his moving to the new government house, which underwent recently reconstruction and rehabilitation. Asked about his views on the qualities of the upcoming president, Al-Wazzan told reporters the next president should be respected and appreciated by all the Lebanese. Al-Wazzan added he should be an Arab nationalist, stressing the importance of Lebanon's relations with Syria.
The premier also held talks today with a delegation of the World Bank in the presence of the head of the Education Committee in parliament, Deputy Bahiyya Al-Hariri. Discussions centered on the project of introducing the Internet to Lebanese public schools, which will be carried out by the World Bank. Hariri said the recent reduction of Internet subscription prices in the country comes as part of this project. Hariri also received today Transportation Minister Omar Miskawi and deputies Elias Al-Khazen, Ahmad Fatfat, Michel Faroun, Saleh Al-Kheir, Wajih Baarini and Jihad Al-Samad.
Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri over the weekend held talks in Damascus with Syrian Vice President Abdel Halim Khaddam. Discussions centered on the situation in South Lebanon and the upcoming presidential elections in the country. The meetings were attended by Lebanese Information Minister Bassem Al-Sabaa and Acting Finance Minister Fouad Sanyoura.
House Speaker Nabih Berri is expected to head a series of preparatory meetings in parliament next week in anticipation of the upcoming presidential elections. No exact date has been set yet for holding these elections scheduled for the coming fall. The House Speaker will start his parliamentary consultations upon his return from a private visit to Italy.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Faris Boueiz last night arrived in Beirut via Cairo coming from Durban, South Africa where he represented Lebanon during the 12th summit of non-aligned countries. In Cairo, Boueiz held talks with his Egyptian counterpart Amro Moussa. The two ministers evaluated the outcome of the Durban Summit and its preparatory meetings. Discussions also centered on issues that are expected to top the agenda of talks during the coming session of the Arab League which will be opened next week in Cairo.
Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Nasrallah Boutrous Sfeir reflected on the future of the country in light of the accumulating debts. Sfeir was speaking yesterday during his Sunday sermon at the patriarchy's summer headquarters in Al-Deeman. In his speech, the Maronite Patriarch also talked about the upcoming presidential elections saying the next president should be able to shoulder the responsibility of developing the country.
The head of the General Labor Confederation Elias Abu-Rizk stressed the unity of the Lebanese-Syrian tracks in the face of Israeli aggressions and Israeli expansionist policy. Abu-Rizk was speaking after talks with his Syrian counterpart, Ezziddine Nasser, in Damascus. Abu-Rizk later said the meeting helps boost the friendly and strong ties between the two unions.
Abu-Rizk also said he appreciated Syria's support for the unity of the GLC in Lebanon and its understanding for the current socio-economic situation in Lebanon. He also praised the national role of Syria and its support for Lebanon in every field.
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