News from Beirut September 8  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.

Israel steps up attacks on the South and the Western Bekaa

Israel today escalated its attacks on civilian areas in South Lebanon, especially on the towns and hills of the Iqlim Al-Touffah Mountain Ridges. For four consecutive times, Israeli warplanes raided the hills of Lowaizeh,

Mleeta, and Mazraat Okmata rocketing these areas with air-to-ground missiles. The warplanes also carried out mock air raids over Nabatieh. No casualties were reported in the attacks, which were accompanied by the bombardment of Mleeta, Jabal Safi, Mazraat Okmata, Sojod, Al-Rayhan, and the riverbanks of Nabaa Al-Tasseh. Israeli shelling also targeted a number of villages in the Western Bekaa today.

Meanwhile, Israeli soldiers and members in the Israeli allied militia implemented a siege on the Southern village of Taibeh, preventing entry to and exit from the village without giving reasons. The soldiers also broke into civilian houses searching for cellular phones.

Monitoring group still in session in Naqoura

The international cease-fire panel is still in session at the UNIFIL's headquarters in Naqoura. The group, charged with monitoring the April 1996 Understanding, is looking into seven complaints, three filed by Lebanon and four others by Israel. The Lebanese complaints mainly center on Israeli shelling of civilian areas in Mansouri, Eastern Zawtar and Mashghara injuring one Lebanese civilian, Fatima Hijazi, and inflicting damage in civilian homes, cars and electricity networks in these villages. The Israeli complaints, however, allege that the Lebanese resistance shelled Israeli positions and patrols from areas outside the occupied zone. A statement is expected to be released at the end of the meeting.

Hrawi stresses the support of Lebanese Resistance

President Elias Al-Hrawi stressed that the Lebanese Resistance in the South stands as an honor for all the Lebanese people, adding all must participate in it. Hrawi added we should support the resistance until our land is liberated. The president also said that some people outside the country mix between resistance and terrorism in an attempt to portray the security situation in the country as unstable. Hrawi was speaking last night after his meeting with released detainee Soha Bshara who visited him at Baabda.

Hrawi praised the courage of Soha and encouraged her to continue her education. He added that Lebanon is today the only resisting power in the Arab world.

At the presidential palace today, the president received a delegation of the committee of Lebanese parties and political forces headed by Mounir Sayyad. The delegation demanded the government exert more effort in boosting the economic situation in the country and amending the taxing system.

Hariri holds local discussions on presidential elections

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri today held talks with Deputy Boutros Harb who recently announced his candidacy for the presidential elections. Discussions centered on the upcoming elections and especially Harb's candidacy. Harb also discussed his political program today with the head of the Higher Shiite Council, Sheikh Mohammed Mahdi Shamseddine.

The premier later received the head of the press syndicate, Mohammed Baalbacki and the head of the editors' union, Melhem Karam. Discussions centered on the necessity of coordination between the government and the press in light of the upcoming election of a new president for the republic.

Hariri leaves for Cairo tomorrow

Prime Minister Rafik Al-Hariri is currently preparing for his two-day visit to Cairo scheduled for tomorrow evening where he is expected to head the Lebanese delegation during the meetings of the joint Lebanese-Egyptian Higher Committee. The sessions will be jointly headed by Hariri and his Egyptian counterpart Kamal Al-Janzouri. Talks will center on the Middle East Peace Process and ways to boost economic cooperation between the two countries. Hariri recently held talks with a number of Lebanese ministers who are expected to accompany him in his visit: Acting Finance Minister Fouad Sanyoura, Minister of Trade and Economy Yassin Jaber, Agriculture Minister Shawki Fakhoury, and Industry Minister Nadim Salem. Hariri will be also accompanied by a number of political and economic advisors.

In Cairo, the premier is expected to hold meetings with a number of Egyptian officials in a bid to discuss issues related to bilateral ties, specifically on the economic level. Discussions will also focus on finalizing an agreement regarding the opening of a free trade market between Lebanon and Egypt.

Lebanon takes part in International Parliamentary Union Forum

Lebanon is currently participating in the Conference of the International Parliamentary Union, which is being held in Moscow. The head of the Immigrants and Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament, Deputy Ali Al-Khalil, who presides over the Lebanese delegation to the conference, today called for the support of Lebanon and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 425. Following a meeting late yesterday of Arab delegations alongside the conference, Al-Khalil stated these delegations have reached a plan of cooperation and coordination between them to support joint Arab issues in a bid to counter Israeli proposals in this conference. Al-Khalil also said he called on the Arab delegations to adopt Lebanon's demand for an unconditional Israeli pullout from South Lebanon and the Western Bekaa.

Irish Parliament delegation arrives in Beirut Wednesday

A delegation from the Irish Parliament is scheduled to arrive in Beirut on Wednesday. The delegation comprises members of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the Irish Parliament. During their two-day visit to Lebanon, the Irish deputies will meet President Elias Al-Hrawi on Thursday and members in the Foreign Affairs committee in the Lebanese Parliament.

Sfeir receives German delegation and holds talks with religious figures

Maronite Patriarch Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir today received a German delegation at the patriarchy's summer headquarters in Al-Deeman. The Maronite Patriarch briefed the delegation on the general situation in the country. He also praised Germany's humanitarian solidarity with Lebanon and its people.

Sfeir later met priests Asaad Bassil and Naamatallah Habib and Judge Antoine Shediak. Earlier today, Sfeir headed a sermon in the patriarchy's main church.

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