At 10:00 A.M. yesterday, the President of the Republic, Mr. Elias Al-Hrawi received in Baabda the bloc of deputies of Northern Matn, National Moderation List, including Minister Michel El-Murr. Among the deputies are Chaker Abou Soleiman, Syboh Hovnanyan, Antoine Haddad, Rajy Abou Haydar, Ghassan Al-Achkar and Habib Hakim.
At the end of the meeting, Chaker declared it was the first visit of the bloc to President Al-Hrawi, and that they discussed with him various issues, especially those concerning the Northern Matn. Chaker stated that it would be offensive to deputies and the Lebanese people to form a non-parliamentary government.
Afterwards, President Al-Hrawi met with the head of the Lebanese Maronite monastic order, father John Tabet, then a delegation of the Antonyan monastic order, headed by father John Selim. The latter said the visit was to thank the President, symbol of the national unity, who appreciated the cultural and educational role of their monastic order.
The President of the Republic also met with deputy Ryad Assarraf, then the ex-Prime Minister Saeb Salam and his son Tammam Salam.
In the first day of the Prime Minister's visit to Washington, President Al-Hariri held a meeting with the French ambassador in the United States, Francois Bojon Delytan.
Then, President Al-Hariri met with the Arab ambassadors in Washington. Mr. Walid Al-Moallem, the Syrian ambassador stated that the ambassadors discussed with President Al-Hariri the actual situation in the Middle-East region as well as the reconstruction process in Lebanon.
Today, it is expected that the Prime Minister meets with the American President Mr. Bill Clinton.
The members of the Tripartite Assembly, The ex-President of the Republic, Cheikh Amin Al-Jomayyel, the ex-chief commandant, Mr. Michel Aoun, and the head of the Liberal Party, Mr. Dory Chamoun, held on Wednesday October 16th 1996, a meeting in Paris.
They discussed Lebanese social and political issues, as well as organizing the activities of the Coordination committee in Lebanon, and the undergoing arrangements to announce the foundation of "The National Bloc" on Independence night, November 21st 1996.
They also criticized the following points:
1-The disastrous living situation in the country.
2-The new media policy .
3-The continuing arbitrary measures taken by the government against national leaders, in order to make them leave the country.
Finally, they denounced the serious accident that occurred in Hrajel's Rosary Church, during the Sunday mass, and blamed the government for it.
The Council of Lebanese-American Organizations (CLAO) sent a protest message to the american president, Mr. Bill Clinton, concerning the Lebanese Prime Minister's visit to Washington.
Lebanese-Americans regret that you have decided to receive Mr. Al-Hariri, said the message. They still expect you to fulfill your 1992 elections promises, that is to help Lebanon recover its sovereignty, including the withdrawal of the Syrian Army, and to have a free and democratic parliamentary elections.
The CLAO described the american president promises as useless.
On the occasion of the International Day to eliminate poverty, October 17th of each year, a press conference was held in the Social Services Center, Bourj El-Barajneh, attended by the Minister of Social Affairs, Mr. Estefan Eddwaihy, the general director the Ministry of Social Affairs, Mr. Nehmat Kanaan, the U.N.I.C.E.F representative in Lebanon, Mr Thomas Agfal, the resident coordinator of the U.N. activities in Lebanon and of the U.N.D.P. in Lebanon, Ross Mountain, in addition to many other U.N. agencies and non-governmental organizations representatives and others.
Starting the conference, Eddwaihy delivered a speech, in which he described poverty as an international serious phenomenon, threatening people all over the world.
As for Lebanon, it was the war which increased poverty rates; and now the Ministry of Social Affairs had statistics about families and houses. Some surveys he added, estimated that 30% of Lebanese people are below total poverty line.
He reaffirmed that eliminating poverty require gathering all official and private efforts, as well as planning programs, on basis of scientific researches . Then, Mr. Ross Mountain announced that, according to the resolution of the U.N. General Assembly, October 17th of each year would be celebrated as the International Day to eliminate poverty.
During this day, the U.N. devoted itself to a decade of international efforts, in order to give chances, hope and a better future where starvation, desperation and misery are.
About 1,3 billion persons are below the line of poverty.
He added that in Africa, 170 million humans are suffering malnutrition and the lack of medical care. Luckily, the situation in Lebanon is much better but there are many poor. Rural programs of development are expected however to help decrease poverty rates, especially in Baalback-Al-Hermel region, and in the South.
Today starts the second period of the Lebanese football series; two matches will be held at 3:00 P.M., first Attadamoun-Tyre v/s Assafa (on Saida local stadium) and second Al-Bourj v/s Chabab Assahel (on Assafa Stadium).
Two matches were held yesterday in the autumn international volleyball tournament, during which, Al-Wehdah (Emirates) won over Al-Jahra (Kuwait) (3-0), and the Sporting Club Ghazir over Damascus team (3-1).
Today, two matches will be held:
Al-Jahra v/s Damascus team (at 7:00 P.M.)
and Al-Bouchrieh v/s Ghazir (at 9:00 P.M.).
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