News from Beirut October 26  1996

Chirac: A message of hope for the future.

Before leaving the country, the French president Mr. Jack Chirac held yesterday afternoon a press conference at Bristol Hotel. Chirac said he managed, during his Middle East tour, to narrow down the differences in points of view between the Arab countries and Israel.

Chirac wished the Resolution number 986, concerning trading oil for food and medicines in Iraq, would be applied. Then, he pointed out that there wouldn't be a Lebanese heritage , history and civilization without christians, whom he prompted to be confident about the future of their country. He also called for Lebanese emigrants to invest in their native country.

Chirac met with 150 university students

About 150 Lebanese universities students debated yesterday morning, with president Chirac at the French Cultural Center - Damascus road . Also was present the French ambassador in Beirut, Jean-Pierre Lafond, the head of the Lebanese Universities Asaad Diab, besides deans of the Lebanese and Private Universities .

President Chirac pointed out that the French Republic always supported the Lebanese unity and sovereignty. Lebanon and France share many values: tolerance, freedom of expression, democracy and solidarity.

The french president said he believed the Lebanese  youth would be the pillar for democracy and coexistence. He added that many obstacles were hindering the peace process, but all heads of States he met were convinced of the necessity of establishing just, lasting and comprehensive peace.

About the last elections, Chirac described democracy as a continuous battle and it had a better chance now that bombardment had ceased.

He then made clear that chief commander Michel Aoun could, whenever he wished come back to Lebanon .

Chirac in Annejmeh square, Qaraytem, and yarzeh

After meeting first with 150 Lebanese Universities students, President Chirac went to Annejmeh square,where he was received at the arrival, by President Nabih Berreh.

In the main hall of the building, Chirac shook hands with the vice-president of the parliament, Mr. Elie El-ferzli and the members of the parliament body. A closed meeting which lasted 40 minutes, was held afterwards between the two presidents. President Chirac then went to the entrusted Prime Minister, Mr. Rafiq Al-Hariri  mansion, at Qoraytem. Another closed meeting, which lasted 1 hour and a half, was held between both officials, followed by a banquet on the French president honour.

Mr. Jack Chirac also visited the Ministry of National Defense, at Yarzeh, where he checked the peace statue, designed by French artist Arman Fernandez.

From Yarzeh, President Chirac returned, along with President Al-Hariri, to Baabda, and left at 15:30 where, before leaving to cairo, he met with the three Presidents, Ministers Bweiz, Dalloul and Jaber, besides many general directors and other officials.

Decharrette in Bkerkeh

The French Secretary of State, Mr Herve Decharrette visited yesterday Bkerkeh and met with the Maronite Patriarch, Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir. Decharrette handed on a written message to the Patriarch, who thanked president Chirac for his great interest in  helping Lebanon. Then a meeting, which lasted 1 hour and a quarter, was held between Sfeir and the French Minister, but the latter didn't disclose the message contents.

Minister Decharrette also visited Bustros Palace, where he had talks with his Lebanese peer, Mr. Farez Bweiz. After the meeting, both Ministers held a press conference. Bweiz started by saying he discussed with Mr. Decharrette the results of president Chirac's visit to Israel, Syria and Jordan, as well as the cease-fire group achievements and the Advisory Group for Lebanon's reconstruction, which will hold its first session in Washington, on December 16th 1996.

Minister Decharrette pointed, on the other hand, that the French relations with Lebanon are very tight, and that Paris is following up on  the peace process, in order to help the people in the region recover peace and sovereignty.


Lebanon Football Series

Within the fourth period matches of the Lebanese football championship, a match was held yesterday, at Tripoli local stadium, between Arryada Waladab and Assalam Zgharta (2-1).

Goals were scored by Omar Fawaz (47th minutes) and Yahya Eddine Eddagli (78th minutes) for Arryada Waladab, and by Elie Najjar (69th minutes) for Assalam Zgharta.

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