Politics - Mikati/ Abadi discussions
 

Sat 15/10/2011 14:03

NNA - 15/10/2011 - PM Najib Mikati, reviewed bilateral relations with visiting Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Gadhanfar Rokn Abadi Saturday at the Grand Serail. No disclosure as to discussions' outcome was available.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea's "Status Quo"
 

Sat 15/10/2011 13:42

NNA - 15/10/2011 Lebanese Forces' Commander Sameer Geagea, perceived a newly-emerging status-quo brought about by the rift between Riyadh and Tehran. America's teaming up with the Saudis over alleged assassination attempt on the ambassador's life in Washington is bound to aggravate the situation here in Lebanon, Geagea exclaimed to the Riyadh daily newspaper today.

The LF Chief described party relations with Bkirki as excellent albeit, he found himself differing with the patriarch over politics; politics were completely something else he retorted.

On prospects for government withholding of funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon {STL}, he warned against likely negative fall-out at the regional-international levels. This would entail total isolation of the Makati government let alone likely cleavages developing within, Geagea said.

He professed that any post-Assad administration would at least look with disfavor at those Lebanese who tied their fortunes to the defunct Assad regime.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved








 

Politics - Sleiman: No more famine!
 

Sat 15/10/2011 13:39


NNA - 15/10/2011 On the eve of World Food Day, President Michel Sleiman said Saturday it is no longer acceptable for some countries to suffer famine while others enjoy a wide range of food sources.

World Food Day was proclaimed in 1979 by the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). The aim of the Day is to heighten public awareness of the world food problem and strengthen solidarity in the struggle against hunger, malnutrition and poverty.

"Rich and capable countries must care for poor and needy ones whose people suffer from malnutrition due to poverty," said the President. He also recommended funding and putting into effect the plans made by FAO in that respect for the sake of humanity at large.

In other Baabda Palace news, a Sudanese delegation from the Republic of Sudan visited Sleiman. Heading the delegation was Assistant to Sudanese President, Ali Nafeh, in the presence of ambassador of Sudan, Idriss Sleiman Mustapha. Talks focused on bilateral relations.

A Kick-boxing delegation also met with Sleiman and conveyed recent achievements of the Lebanese team in international competitions. The President cheered the team on, and wished them the best of luck in future contests.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved














 


 


Politics - Mufti convenes with Hoss
 

Sat 15/10/2011 13:08

NNA - 15/10/2011 Saturday was a busy day for Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabbany who paid a visit to former PM Salim Hoss, with talks reportedly touching on general situation domestically and in the region.

The Sheikh also met at Dar Fatwa with Deputy House Speaker Samir Mouqbel.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Frangieh to Youth Delegation: Asad here to stay
 

Sat 15/10/2011 12:58

NNA - 15/10/2011 Head of the Marada Party MP Sleiman Frangieh spoke about what he termed as" a major conspiracy concocted from outside against the Baathist regime of Syria." Frangieh's utterance came before a group of visiting Syrian youths currently on a courtesy visit to thank Lebanese leaders deemed supportive of Asad's regime.

Frangieh told them that Asad enjoyed total prowess, love of his people and integrity of the military. All 3 sides of the same triangle of potency, love and cohesion of his military were bound to thwart evil intentions harbored by looming Asad adversaries, as he described them.

The Zghorta leader reassured them that Asad's Syria is far stronger today than it used to be six months ago and that the regime is here to stay forever.

G.G.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - Da'ouq Itinerant Visitors Today
 

Sat 15/10/2011 12:24
N.A.- Oct.15, 2011 - Special European Union ambassadress Angelina Ekhorst currently on a visit to Lebanon, has been at the ministry of Information for a meeting with Information minister Waleed Da'ouq early today. Discussions reportedly focused on an array of domestic and regional developments with no further word as per meeting's outcome.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Khoury: Hezbollah cannot stop STL funding
 

Sat 15/10/2011 11:32

NNA - 15/10/2011 Minister of the Environment Nazim Khoury stressed Saturday that Hezbollah has no right to object to funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), a thing which will have ramifications on all Lebanese, during an interview with Free Lebanon.

The STL probing the 2005 assassination of PM Rafik Hariri along with other political attacks named 4 members of Hezbollah as culprits in the crime. Hezbollah Secretary General Nasrallah denied these claims and pronounced the offenders as saints among men, vowing to protect them.

"Not financing the STL will not stop it," Khoury said, adding that Hezbollah needed as many allies as possible to face a potentially devastating verdict against it. "The Party should be open to all Lebanese factions."


R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel departs to Cairo
 

Sat 15/10/2011 10:50

NNA - 15/10/2011 Head of Kataeb Party Amine Gemayel left Beirut Saturday heading to Egypt.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Mikati denies meeting Bellemare
 

Sat 15/10/2011 10:15

NNA - 15/10/2011 Prime Minister Najeeb Mikati denied rumored encounter with Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) prosecutor Daniel Bellemare, a statement by the PM's Media Office said Saturday.

Today's issue of Hayat Newspaper relayed that according to STL sources Mikati met with Bellemare during United Nations meeting last September, whereby the prosecutor urged the PM to fund the STL. This news, according to Mikati was completely false.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved




 

 

Politics - Sleiman, McAleese work on bilateral ties
 

Fri 14/10/2011 22:02

NNA - 14/10/2011 President Michel Sleiman held Friday an official dinner banquet in honor of President of Ireland Mary McAleese, during which both lauded strong relations between the two states and mapped out ways of enhancing them.

McAleese arrived to Beirut Friday on an official visit, and held a meeting with Sleiman at Baabda palace prior to the banquet which brought together a host of political figures, on top of which was PM Najib Mikati.

The active participation of the Irish contingent within the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) topped Sleiman's speech, particularly with the effort the Republic of Ireland made into cleansing Lebanon from remnants of Israeli aggression on Lebanon in July war of 2006, which left behind deadly cluster bombs.

Sleiman also addressed recent Arab movement towards reform and democracy, "We hope this happens without violence, extremism or sectarianism which contradicts nationalistic ideology." The President praised Ireland's supportive position in the UN towards Palestine's right for membership in the international organization.

McAleese highlighted the significance that played into the presence of the Irish contingent in Lebanon, "It is proof of our faith that UNIFIL still plays a pivotal role for Lebanon and the neighboring region at the time being."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Protests in Jounieh demand social reform
 

Fri 14/10/2011 20:27
NNA - 14/10/2011 People of Keserwan protested Friday against social injustice and marched to the Serail in Jounieh in answer to the call of former MP Farid Khazen.

Keserwan, like many other Lebanese regions, suffered from lack of sufficient water and electricity, topped with recent increase in prices of gas, food and school tuitions.

"We pay our taxes and get nothing but negligence in return," said Khazen who warned that these protests would continue and escalate until justice was achieved. "We will go on strike and block roads by all means available."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Lambrinidis at Grand Serail: region needs hope
 

Fri 14/10/2011 20:10

NNA - 14/10/2011 Greek Foreign Minister said that the region requires hope, which Greece and Europe could provide, following his Friday meeting with PM Najib Mikati at the Grand Serail.

Stavros Lambrinidis arrived in Beirut on a one-day visit to enhance political and economic ties, as a part of a regional tour. He headed a delegation of lawmakers and Greek diplomats during talks with Lebanese officials.

"As a European Foreign Minister I have a duty to bring Europe to the region, not as a concurring power, but a force of equal partnership and common interests," said Lambrinidis, "The region does not need new police or any sort of dominance, it needs hope. Greece and Europe can bring forth new hope to the region."

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Greek FM leaves Beirut
 

Fri 14/10/2011 19:59

NNA - 14/10/2011 Greek Foreign Minister Satvros Lambrinidis left Beirut Friday evening heading to Greece after a one-day official visit to the country.

The Minister was on a regional visit, during which he met with Jordanian, Egyptian and Lebanese officials.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fayyad: to treat social matters outside logic of division
 

Fri 14/10/2011 19:10

NNA - 14/10/2011 - Deputy Ali Fayyad said livelihood affairs must be approached outside the logic of political division.

During an honorary ceremony for students of the Charitable "Imdad" Association, Deputy Ali Fayyad, from the Loyalty to Resistance Bloc, regretted on Friday the chaotic way that pending social matters, related to wages increase issue and others, are being treated. He thereby called for an organized management of such affairs by casting off the effect of political differences upon them.

A.M>

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (Update) Irish President starts official visit to Beirut
 

Fri 14/10/2011 18:01

NNA - 14/10/2011 Irish President Mary McAleese arrived in Beirut on Friday, on a three-day official visit to Lebanon to hold talks with President of the Republic Michel Sleiman, House Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
McAleese will inspect her Country's Contingent operating within UNIFIL in south Lebanon and will meet with Irish community members in Lebanon.
Arriving at International Rafic Hariri Airport on board a private plane, McAleese was greeted by Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour, Irish Ambassador to Lebanon Izold Maylan, Lebanon's Ambassador to Ireland Inaam Oseiran and senior officials and Embassy staff.
McAleese is scheduled to arrive at Baabda Palace at 7.00p.m. this evening, where she will be greeted by President of the Republic General Michel Sleiman, followed by a bilateral meeting attended by Senator Martin Allis, McAleese' husband.
On the other hand, National Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn is currently holding a meeting at one of Baabda Palace's bureaus with his Irish counterpart.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - S. Gemayel sees decentralization, impartiality mandatory to develop political system
 

Fri 14/10/2011 17:42

NNA - 14/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Sami Gemayel said decentralization and [political] neutrality were the mainstays to develop Lebanon's political system, as calling to tie what he termed as "crystal clear" inter-Lebanese relations.

Speaking during a discussion panel with Pharmacists Department at the Lebanese Kataeb Party, Metn Deputy said building the country must stem from the recognition of plurality and differences, agreement over a sole definition of sovereignty and independence, and development of the political system through extended decentralization and Lebanon's [political] impartiality.

Expounding the aforementioned, which the Deputy deemed as the three paramount principles to build Lebanon, Gemayel said admitting differences was essential for the Lebanese have been oscillating to and fro incessant crises for 75 years now.

Gemayel, who underscored that his party sought to reach a comprehensive solution for all the Lebanese to establish real and righteous partnership, considered that sovereignty cannot be envisaged as long as some parties are still able to move majority from one side to another by the force of arms.

Dwelling on extended decentralization, he highlighted the importance of a local council to be periodically elected every four years and endowed with the competence to build schools and hospitals and rehabilitate roads.

Gemayel did not fail to shed light on the situation of Christians in Lebanon. "The situation of Christians in Lebanon is different from that in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, or any other country where uprisings are running," he said. Accordingly, the Deputy indicated that both rebels and the international community must bear the responsibility of protecting Christians in these countries.

He had earlier gone down in the annals of history to explain the process of Christians' "elimination" from power.
"As trying to take over power, each Lebanese team invented its own concept of national cohesion, ever since the so called political Marotinism (...) the result was the elimination of Christians from power," he corroborated.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

 


Politics - S. Gemayel sees decentralization, impartiality mandatory to develop political system
 

Fri 14/10/2011 17:42

NNA - 14/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Sami Gemayel said decentralization and [political] neutrality were the mainstays to develop Lebanon's political system, as calling to tie what he termed as "crystal clear" inter-Lebanese relations.

Speaking during a discussion panel with Pharmacists Department at the Lebanese Kataeb Party, Metn Deputy said building the country must stem from the recognition of plurality and differences, agreement over a sole definition of sovereignty and independence, and development of the political system through extended decentralization and Lebanon's [political] impartiality.

Expounding the aforementioned, which the Deputy deemed as the three paramount principles to build Lebanon, Gemayel said admitting differences was essential for the Lebanese have been oscillating to and fro incessant crises for 75 years now.

Gemayel, who underscored that his party sought to reach a comprehensive solution for all the Lebanese to establish real and righteous partnership, considered that sovereignty cannot be envisaged as long as some parties are still able to move majority from one side to another by the force of arms.

Dwelling on extended decentralization, he highlighted the importance of a local council to be periodically elected every four years and endowed with the competence to build schools and hospitals and rehabilitate roads.

Gemayel did not fail to shed light on the situation of Christians in Lebanon. "The situation of Christians in Lebanon is different from that in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, or any other country where uprisings are running," he said. Accordingly, the Deputy indicated that both rebels and the international community must bear the responsibility of protecting Christians in these countries.

He had earlier gone down in the annals of history to explain the process of Christians' "elimination" from power.
"As trying to take over power, each Lebanese team invented its own concept of national cohesion, ever since the so called political Marotinism (...) the result was the elimination of Christians from power," he corroborated.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

Politics - Aridi: resisting poverty like fighting occupation
 

Fri 14/10/2011 17:37

NNA - 14/10/2011 - Public Works and Transportation Minister, Ghazi Aridi, said Friday resisting poverty and deprivation in Lebanon is on the level of fighting occupation.

During his touring in South of Lebanon on Friday, accompanied with Deputies Ali Bazzi and Hassan Fadlallah, Aridi saluted House Speaker Nabih Berri for his contributions in the development of southern regions and his efforts exerted on the side of President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, for the purpose of boosting development in these regions.

Aridi highlighted dialogue among Lebanese politicians as the sole means of solving local problems, and this dialogue should not only rest upon developmental and social items, according to Aridi, but must address the core of pending political issues causing divisions in the country.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved






 

Politics - Siniora, Lambrinidis tackle regional developments
 

Fri 14/10/2011 17:34

NNA - 14/10/2011 Future Bloc Head Fouad Siniora met on Friday at his Sadet Tower office with Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis where they tackled the current situation in Lebanon and the region, in addition to bilateral relations.
Lambrinidis, accompanied by a Greek parliamentary delegation, arrived in Beirut on Friday to hold talks with Lebanese officials on economic and political developments and means of bolstering bilateral relations.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - Irish President in Beirut
 

Fri 14/10/2011 17:21


NNA - 14/10/2011 Irish President Mary McAleese arrived in Beirut on Friday, on a three-day official visit to Lebanon to hold talks with President of the Republic Michel Sleiman, House Speaker Nabih Berri and Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
McAleese will inspect her Country's Contingent operating within UNIFIL in south Lebanon and will meet with Irish community members in Lebanon.
Arriving at International Rafic Hariri Airport on board a private plane, McAleese was greeted by Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour, Irish Ambassador to Lebanon Izold Maylan and senior Embassy staff.
---------------L.Y
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - De Freij chides government with reforms setback
 

Fri 14/10/2011 16:04 NNA - 14/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Nabil De Freij said the government was responsible for the deterioration of the living and economic situation in the country, following his meeting with Lebanese Forces leader, Samir Geagea, in Meerab Friday.

He said the "ruling team," in reference to the incumbent government, halted the reform process and economic vision put forth in Paris Conferences I, II, and III, which the international community approved.

As to the Syrian violations of the Lebanese borders, Lebanon First bloc member reminded of the fraternity and coordination treaty between Lebanon and Syria, concluded under the terms of President Elias Herwai and PM Rafik Hariri, which states that any of the two armies is entitled to cross borders upon mutual consent. "Therefore, we want to know whether the Syrian government had asked its Lebanese counterpart for access permission," he said.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Offshore oil exploration tops talks between Berri, Lambrinidis
 

Fri 14/10/2011 15:33

NNA - 14/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Friday raised the issue of offshore oil exploration between Lebanon and Cyprus with Greek Foreign Minister, Stavros Lambrinidis.

Lambridinis had been to Ain-el-Tineh today with the accompanying delegation for a meeting with Berri over bilateral ties.

The Speaker later discussed the current general situation on the local scene with State Minister Ali Qanso.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Offshore oil exploration tops talks between Berri, Lambrinidis
 

Fri 14/10/2011 15:33

NNA - 14/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Friday raised the issue of offshore oil exploration between Lebanon and Cyprus with Greek Foreign Minister, Stavros Lambrinidis.

Lambridinis had been to Ain-el-Tineh today with the accompanying delegation for a meeting with Berri over bilateral ties.

The Speaker later discussed the current general situation on the local scene with State Minister Ali Qanso.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nasrollah, Jumblatt agree on boosting cooperation
 

Fri 14/10/2011 14:46

NNA - 14/10/2011 Hezbollah Secretary General and PSP head agreed Friday on raising cooperation level between both parties to face upcoming threats.

Deputy Walid Jumblatt, accompanied with Minister Ghazi Aridi, engaged with Sayyed Hassan Nasrollah in talks concerning the deal Israel and Hamas have made for the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas for five years.

Also, both men took up Syrian situation and Special Tribunal for Lebanon developments, a statement issued by Hezbollah said.



L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rifi, Siefker-Eberle tackle security situation
 

Fri 14/10/2011 14:28

NNA - 14/10/2011- Director General of the Internal Security Forces, Major General Ashraf Rifi, tackled on Friday with German Ambassador to Lebanon, Brigitta Siefker-Eberle, the security situation in the country.

The ambassador's visit to Rifi's office at the ISF caserne headquarters aimed at discussing cooperation and coordination between both countries.
P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Layoun tackles bilateral ties with Belgian Ambassador
 

Fri 14/10/2011 14:10

NNA - 14/10/2011 - Culture Minister Gaby Layoun discussed Friday with the Belgian Ambassador to Lebanon Colette Taquet means to reactivate bilateral ties and cooperation mechanisms between the Embassy and the Culture Ministry.

Later on, Minister Layoun received the Austrian Ambassador to Lebanon Eva Maria Ziegler who came on a protocol visit.

Layoun had returned to Lebanon yesterday night back from Oman where he participated in the inauguration of the Royal opera house under the patronage of Sultan Qaboos Ben Saiid and a number of Arab and foreign dignitaries.

Minister Layoun had held a number of meetings with Omani officials touching on ways to boost cooperation at both cultural and traditional levels.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman hails Greece support
 

Fri 14/10/2011 13:51

NNA - 14/10/2011 Lebanese President hailed Friday Greek's support to Lebanon especially during 2006 July war and Nahr-El-Bared battles, and hoped to reinforce Lebanese-Greek ties in all fields.

During his meeting with Greek Ambassador Stavros Lambrinidis, Sleiman reiterated Lebanon's support to the Palestinian right to return and to giving Palestine full UN membership.

The Minister, in turn, conveyed Greece's willingness to invest in Lebanon and reinforce bilateral cooperation.

Sleiman had also met at Baabda palace with Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil, Deputy Ali Fayyad, former Deputy Antoine Haddad, and Lebanese Army Intelligence Department head Brigadier General Edmond Fadel.
The latter briefed Sleiman on the army adopted steps to handle Lebanese regions' clashes and to solve borders' crossings issue.

The Saudi Ambassador Ali Awwad Osseiri also visited Baabda today and discussed with the President countries' bilateral cooperation and recent developments.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Lambrinidis arrives in Beirut
 

Fri 14/10/2011 12:59

NNA - 14/10/2011 Greek Foreign Minister Stavros Lambrinidis arrived Friday in Beirut accompanied with 4 Greek diplomatic Deputies.

The Minister is scheduled to meet with Lebanese seniors so as to tackle economic and political up-to-dates as well as bilateral ties reinforcement.

Upon his arrival to the Airport, Lambrinidis was received by the Greek Ambassador to Lebanon Panos Kalogeropoulos.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hashem counsels March 14 to regard ties with Syria
 

Fri 14/10/2011 11:58

NNA - 14/10/2011 MP Kassem Hashem counseled Friday March 14 camp to be aware of Lebanese Syrian relations and deemed it impossible to have escalating speeches alter what these countries share of brotherly ties.

Following his meeting with former Premier Salim Hoss at Aisha Bakkar, Hashem criticized March 14 members' policies and foreign-dependent positions as well as their hostile approach of Lebanese developments.

"Targeting Syria is not in favor of the people's sought reform," Liberation and Development bloc member added.

Hashem also said Lebanon's interest lies in ceding losing bets "Marchians" have always relied on and quit searching for personal interests on the account of ties with brotherly countries, especially Syria.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abi Nasr: Cabinet took hasty decision on salaries
 

Fri 14/10/2011 10:44

NNA - 14/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Namatallah Abi Nasr said the cabinet adopted a hasty and spontaneous decision on the issue of salary increase and left itself at the mercy of the street in anticipation of the General Labor Confederation strike.

Speaking to Voice of Lebanon, the MP argued that the salary raise which was approved by the cabinet has caused turbulences in the street as prices of basic commodities rose insanely.

He called on the authorities to apply serious control and supervision of the prices and to reconsider this issue, advising the government to reach an understanding with labor unions and international organizations to address the issue of high cost of living.

"The issue of funding the international tribunal may not pass in the Cabinet or parliament but this funding may pass in a different way. MP Michel Aoun's position on the tribunal is clear and he is against the funding because it's unconstitutional," Abi Nasr said.

Responding to a question, the MP said addressing economic issues such as the high cost of living should be handled by the parliament and not in the streets so that people will not be victim of politicized matters.

Abi Nasr noticed that there is no sincere intention to reinstate the Lebanese citizenships to Lebanese expatriates and people with Lebanese descent.

"There is no decision to allow Lebanese Diaspora to vote at the Lebanese embassies and consulates."

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qahwaji pursues visit to the US
 

Thu 13/10/2011 21:28

NNA - 13/10/2011 Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji met with US Army Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, where they discussed bilateral relations and means of developing US aids program to the Lebanese Army.
General Qahwaji is currently on a visit to the US.
General Dempsey hailed the role of Lebanese military institution, expressing US readiness to boost Lebanese Army's capabilities in the fields of armament, training and logistics.
Earlier, General Qahwaji held a meeting with Commander of the US Central Command James Mattis and affiliated Special Forces pillars, where he got briefings on the various tasks undertaken by these forces and means of benefiting from their skills to the interest of Lebanese Army Special Forces.
On the other hand, Qahwaji met respectively with US Vice Secretary William Berns, Defense Secretary Assistant for Diplomatic Affairs Michele Flournoy, Senator John McCain, Senator Howard Berman, Deputy Darrel Issa and a number of US Congressmen. Emphasis was made during the meetings on the importance of historic relation between US and Lebanese Armies and peoples, and Army efforts in preserving Lebanon's stability and the Middle East in general.
----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati chairs social affairs meeting
 

Thu 13/10/2011 18:33

NNA - 13/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati chaired a meeting on Thursday at the Grand Serail for the ministerial committee tasked with following up social affairs, devoted to discussing national program for limiting poverty.
The meeting centered on guidelines and composition elements of the said program, in addition to social services.
On the other hand, Mikati met with Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour where they boarded relevant ministerial affairs.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel receives deputies
 

Thu 13/10/2011 18:31

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister Merwan Charbel received on Thursday at his office Deputies Nabil Nicholas, Michel Helou, Atef Majdalani, Serj Tersarkissian and Seboh Qalbakian, with talks featuring high on the elections law.

Afterwards, Charbel received a delegation of the Municipal Laborers Syndicates Union, headed by Reda Fadel. Both engaged in talks relevant to demands for ameliorating the condition of municipalities' employees and laborers.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Karami says no STL funding, Siniora says funding is must
 

Thu 13/10/2011 17:42

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Former Prime Minister Omar Karami said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon would not be financed, while former Premier Fouad Siniora said STL funding was a must.

Karami received on Thursday at his residence in Beirut head of the Future Parliamentary Bloc, Fouad Siniora, who, interviewed after the visit, said that that financing the STL, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri, became a must for Lebanon, as it came in the context of international laws that prioritize all domestic laws.

Karami, for his part, said the STL funding would neither be passed in the ministerial council nor in the parliament, wondering how Prime Minister Najib Mikati would be able to keep his vows in this concern.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ghosn reveals project law to gear up army on track
 

Thu 13/10/2011 17:42

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Minister of National Defense, Fayez Ghosn, on Thursday revealed a project law to gear up the Lebanese army was underway, during a meeting with a delegation of Jamaa Islamiyyah.

The delegation visited Ghosn at his office in the Ministry for a meeting over the role of the army in all the Lebanese regions.

The Minister later received the ambassador of the Human Rights' International Organization, Haytham Bou Saeed. Talks reportedly touched on the current situation in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

Afterwards, Member of Parliament Ziad Qadiri visited Ghosn today and tackled with him the economic situation.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Wehbe sees stability mere solution to price hike
 

Thu 13/10/2011 17:11

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Amine Wehbe said the real cure to the jamming high cost of living lies within political and security stability, following his meeting with Lebanese Forces leader, Samir Geagea, in Meerab Thursday.

He underlined that the state cannot be left on the brink of bankruptcy and that Lebanon cannot be rendered the country of what he termed "missed opportunities."

On a different note, the Future parliamentary bloc member explained "when we object to Syrian violations of the Lebanese sovereignty, we do not shrug off Israeli breaches."

In response to a question, Wehbe said "before we talk about funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, we, as Lebanese, must opt for justice, for it scuppers the series of assassinations."

In another development, Wehbe condemned the killing attempt of the Saudi ambassador in Washington.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved












 


 

Politics - (UPDATE) Sleiman sees current stage critical, requiring dialogue
 

Thu 13/10/2011 16:47

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, rekindled calls for calm and rational dialogue amid the current stage, which he termed as critical.

He warned of likely looming dangers, hence underscored the obligation to work to protect internal stability through mutual "sacrifices" and to put national welfare above any other consideration.

The President on Thursday met with Member of Parliament, Qassam Hashem, over the general situation.

Sleiman had met earlier today with the US ambassador, Maura Connelly, over bilateral ties in various fields.

Former Minister, Youssef Saade, had also been to Baabda palace for a meeting with Sleiman over most recent developments and the electoral law.

The President later received Jaafarite Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Qabalan.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved













 

Politics - Qortbawi, Gafo meet
 

Thu 13/10/2011 16:45

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Minister of Justice, Shakib Qortbawi, and Spanish ambassador, Juan Carlos Gafo, met today at the former's office over the current political situation and joint projects between Lebanon and Spain, a statement by the Spanish embassy in Beirut said on Thursday.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


 

Politics - Saheli: Hizbullah supports GLC's demands
 

Thu 13/10/2011 16:37

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Deputy Talal Saheli said Hizbullah supports the General Labor Confederation's demands pertaining to livelihood matters.

During a political meeting on Thursday at Imam Mahdi Mosque in Ghobeiri, MP Talal Saheli, from the Liberation and Development Bloc, affirmed Hizbullah's support for the livelihood demands of GLC, all the syndicates and the Lebanese citizens.

Saheli added the Mikati-led cabinet must not be overloaded with the bad consequences of the public debt which were the result of former economic policies.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - (CORRECTED) Saheli: Hizbullah supports GLC's demands
 

Thu 13/10/2011 16:37

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Deputy Talal Saheli said Hizbullah supports the General Labor Confederation's demands pertaining to livelihood matters.

During a political meeting on Thursday at Imam Mahdi Mosque in Ghobeiri, MP Talal Saheli, from the Liberation and Development Bloc, affirmed Hizbullah's support for the livelihood demands of GLC, all the syndicates and the Lebanese citizens.

Saheli added the Mikati-led cabinet must not be overloaded with the bad consequences of the public debt which was the result of former economic policies.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Terro reviews displaced persons' return file with visitors
 

Thu 13/10/2011 15:35

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Displaced Persons Minister Aladdine Terro reviewed the displaced persons' return issue with his visitors.

He received in the course of the day Deputy Abbas Hashem, from the Bloc of Reform and Change, and discussed with him domestic affairs related to the return of displaced people to the Chouf region.

Terro also held a work meeting in this concern with the head of the Central Fund for the Displaced, Fady Aramouni.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

Politics - Qabbani receives Younan, others
 

Thu 13/10/2011 14:47

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Mufti of Lebanon, Sheikh Muhammad Rachid Qabbani, received on Thursday at Dar Fatwa Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mar Ignatius Youssof III Younan, accompanied with a delegation. Younan underscored Lebanon's confessional diversity that made a distinctive feature of the country.

Separately, the Mufti received former Minister Bahij Tebbara and discussed with him the general situation.

The Arab Movement Party head, Shaker Bourjawi, also visited the Mufti and reviewed with him overall developments at the local and regional scenes as well as livelihood matters.

Among Dar Fatwa's visitors: Beirut Army Intelligence Department chief, Brigadier Georges Khamis.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved






 

Politics - Sleiman sees current stage critical, requiring dialogue
 

Thu 13/10/2011 14:34

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, rekindled calls for calm and rational dialogue amid the current stage, which he termed as critical.

He warned of likely looming dangers, hence underscored the obligation to work to protect internal stability through mutual "sacrifices" and to put national welfare above any other consideration.

The President on Thursday met with Member of Parliament, Qassam Hashem, over the general situation.

Former Minister, Youssef Saade, had also been to Baabda palace for a meeting with Sleiman over most recent developments and the electoral law.

The President later received Jaafarite Mufti Sheikh Ahmed Qabalan.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved











 

Politics - Mansour tackles joint affairs with South Korean Ambassador
 

Thu 13/10/2011 14:21

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour tackled Thursday affairs of common interest with the South Korean Ambassador to Lebanon Choe Su-Hon, resident in Damascus.

Mansour later met with the head of the International Cultural University Ahmad Naser who confirmed the date of the university's 4th international conference to be held on November 19 and 20 under the patronage of the Foreign Minister.

Naser called in this regard on Lebanese expatriates all over the globe to vote for Jeita grotto.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved





 

Politics - Rahi pursues U.S. visit, ups call for Lebanese citizenship
 

Thu 13/10/2011 13:57

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Bourtos Rahi relayed the Lebanese citizens' amplified calls on Lebanese living abroad to give their children the Lebanese citizenship.

More than 700 people representing the Lebanese and Arab community of Huston City - U.S. attended on Wednesday a dinner banquet held by the Lebanese diocese of Texas - Huston in honor of Rahi who is currently on a visit to the U.S.

Pressing Lebanese expatriates to register their marriages and children in Lebanese official records, to finally attain the Lebanese citizenship, Rahi highly appreciated dauntless efforts by the Maronite Foundation Worldwide encouraging Lebanese people to petition for their families.

"This is the best gift you could give to your children," Rahi told Lebanese parents.

He explained the causes of Lebanese churches' concern with this regard by saying that it's a great pride to carry the Lebanese citizenship. "Whoever carries the citizenship of his motherland will never end up an orphan."

Rahi asserted that the act of having Lebanese expatriates give their children the Lebanese citizenship would most definitely play an essential role in preserving Lebanese and Arab culture and heritage. "Not to mention you will be preserving our number in the Middle East," Rahi added. He also explained that this would also promote Lebanese-Christian coexistence and balance in Lebanon.

Rahi, moreover, stressed that Lebanon could only rise by new faces, mentalities, and aspirations. "You cannot keep feeling sorry for Lebanon standing at a distance, at the time that you could do something about it," Rahi said.

"Here we stand before a great task. We should work hand in hand to rise with our state which carries within a big message to the world," he added.

On a different level, Rahi met at his Huston residence with head of the "World Maronite League" Mr. Sami khoury, who handed him a memo requesting Lebanon's full respect for international resolutions. The memo also stressed on the Lebanese expatriate's right to vote from their place of residence.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved






















 

Politics - Habib: Cabinet avoids funding
 

Thu 13/10/2011 12:00

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Deputy Khodr Habib said that the cabinet evaded tribunal funding issue when it failed to mention it on its agenda.

The MP pointed out to information that Hizbullah notified the cabinet of its refusal to tribunal funding, expecting that the regional interest would compel Hizbullah to accept funding because Lebanon cannot endure sanctions under these circumstances.

Habib expected on Thursday to "Voice of Lebanon" that STL funding issue would topple the cabinet, hoping that "logic language would prevail over Hizbullah's weapons language ".

On the other hand, the MP supported the refusal of the private sector to wages increase which would lead to a real catastrophe.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved





 

 


Politics - Wage increase satisfies all parties: Nahhas
 

Thu 13/10/2011 11:57

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Minister Nicholas Nahhas affirmed on Thursday that the decision approved yesterday by the Lebanese cabinet to increase public sector minimum wage by 200 thousand Lebanese pounds, guarantees 100% satisfaction to all the Lebanese.

Following yesterday's session, the Lebanese cabinet emerged with a pledge to speedily put into practice its decision to raise wages and increase benefits in spite of stern opposition from a huge segment representing the Lebanese private sector.

"The decision mutually made by Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the General Labor Confederation Head Ghassan Ghosn is cohesive and comes at the right time," Nahhas told the Voice of Lebanon radio station.

The Trade and Economy Minister also disparaged attempts at dubbing Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas's project "a plan". "It is rather more a launch to resolve free health services to all Lebanese citizens, in a deeper and more comprehensive manner."

The Cabinet approved on Wednesday a decision to increase the minimum wage to LL700,000 from the current LL500,000 and raise by LL200,00 the wages of those earning less than LL1 million and by LL300,000 those who earn between LL1 million and LL1.8 million.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Wage increase satisfies all parties: Nahhas
 

Thu 13/10/2011 11:54

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Minister Nicholas Nahhas affirmed on Thursday that the decision approved yesterday by the Lebanese cabinet to increase public sector minimum wage by 200 thousand Lebanese pounds, guarantees 100% satisfaction to all the Lebanese.

Following yesterday's session, the Lebanese cabinet emerged with a pledge to speedily put into practice its decision to raise wages and increase benefits in spite of stern opposition from a huge segment representing the Lebanese private sector.

"The decision mutually made by Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the General Labor Confederation Head Ghassan Ghosn is cohesive and comes at the right time," Nahhas told the Voice of Lebanon radio station.

The Trade and Economy Minister also disparaged attempts at dubbing Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas's project "a plan". "It is rather more a launch to resolve free health services to all Lebanese citizens, in a deeper and more comprehensive manner."
The Cabinet approved on Wednesday a decision to increase the minimum wage to LL700,000 from the current LL500,000 and raise by LL200,00 the wages of those earning less than LL1 million and by LL300,000 those who earn between LL1 million and LL1.8 million.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ogassapian: Mikati procrastinating on STL issue
 

Thu 13/10/2011 11:53

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Jean Ogassapian on Thursday accused Prime Minister Najib Mikati of buying time on the controversial issue of paying Lebanon's cut in the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Speaking to "AL Sharq Radio", the MP said: "Mikati has inundated the international community with promises to fund the tribunal but until this moment no practical step was taken by the government. All indications show that Mikati is procrastinating and gaining time until the term of the tribunal expires in January 2015," the MP argued.

He stressed that "Hizbullah's cabinet" will not renew the tribunal and if this happens, then Mikati will be part of the scheme to topple the government and with it all the pledges made to fund the STL.

"Mikati, MP Michel Aoun and Hibullah are merely exchanging roles in an attempt to torpedo the STL and try to break Lebanon's ties with it. This will lead to an open confrontation with the international community and take the country to more divisions and conflicts," Ogassapian said.

He was surprised by Aoun's position from the tribunal, reminding the latter that he supported the tribunal's funding in the last two cabinets.

Ogassapian rejected the notions spread by some factions that March 14 is trying to equate the Israeli violations with the Syrian violations in Lebanon.

"Israel is an enemy and Lebanon is officially doing its part in this context. But this does not justify the Syrian army actions in Lebanon," the MP said, criticizing the government for turning a blind eye on the Syrian incursions into Lebanon.

He repeated his accusation that Hizbullah is the only party in the government that has the free political will to preserve or topple the government.

The MP also touched on the ongoing debate over the salary increase.

"The Lebanese arena is witnessing unprecedented chaos over the issue of salary increases amid a wide Cabinet division on this matter. The contradictions within the government are widening due to the different agendas," the MP said.

Ogassapian expressed fear that the new salary package endorsed by the Cabinet may lead to higher inflation and alarming rise in the prices of basic commodities in the future.

The MP believes that the Cabinet will eventually reconsider the salary increase because it cannot proceed with this measure if the General Labor Confederation and teachers associations are not fully in favor of this step.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
































 

Politics - Zahra: Hizbullah's refusal to fund tribunal will topple cabinet
 

Thu 13/10/2011 09:22

NNA - 13/10/2011 - Deputy Antoine Zahra said that Hizbullah's insistence on not funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) will topple the cabinet as soon as possible.

Zahra added that Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the centralists in the cabinet would not agree to remain in a government which takes this kind of decisions.

The MP's remarks came in an interview with "Voice of Freedom" Newspaper where he stressed his attachment to the STL, since it achieves justice in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the crimes which followed it.

"All the martyrs who fell in Lebanon are considered martyrs of the Lebanese resistance, since they where assassinated for the sake of Lebanon's dignity and freedom", the MP added.

Commenting on the electoral law, Zahra said "depending the proportional law and the Orthodox gathering suggestion are subject for discussion", stressing the expatriates right in voting in the coming elections since it is a "sacred constitutional right".

Concerning the clarifications of Patriarch Beshara Rai's positions from Paris, Zahra said "the Patriarch's clarification made matters calm when he said his words were taken out of context".

The MP stressed that they would never attack the patriarchate or the patriarch and would not accept anyone to do so.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Syrian encroachment worries Gemayel
 

Wed 12/10/2011 21:39

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Kataeb Party Leader Amine Gemayel expressed on Wednesday his worry over the increasingly repeated Syrian trespassing into Lebanese territories.

Syrian Army Units trespassed on Wednesday evening earthen barricades placed in Anjar Valley - Lebanon. The Lebanese Army coordination bureau said it was currently looking into the matter, with hopes of a speedy solution.

"They are beginning to take a worrying twist at the national, security, and sovereignty levels," Gemayel said in an interview with the Voice of Lebanon radio station.

At the time that the Lebanese people remain sort of oblivious about the facts behind Syria's escalating encroachment into Lebanese territories, Gemayel capitalized on the people's right for information about what was really going on.
"This entails full transparency [by the state] because it is our full right to know what's happening on Lebanese territories."

He also said that it was the full responsibility and duty of Lebanese politicians to take a unanimous position from the matter. "This incident has got nothing to do with internal politics, but it's directly related to the state's security, sovereignty, and destiny."
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gafo celebrates Spain's National Day, says people enjoy right to peace
 

Wed 12/10/2011 21:15

NNA - 12/10/2011 - The Spanish Ambassador to Lebanon said on Wednesday that the Arab world enjoys the full right to live in peace and liberty, citing the example of Palestine.

Spanish Ambassador Juan Carlos Gafo celebrated the National Day of Spain today, October 12, inviting many foreign ambassadors, expatriates and Lebanese politicians. Everyone enjoyed the gathering which included a special buffet serving Spanish food.

"Upheavals being witnessed in the region are a challenge, not to mention a historical chance for a better living," Gafo said in an address to his guests. "All existing regimes have got to realize that there is no way they could limit democracy," he added.

Gafo seized this occasion to assure the Lebanese that they could depend on their friendship with Spain." General [Alberto] Asarata's heading of UNIFIL in South Lebanon is an outright proof to that," he said.

He also called upon the Lebanese to further serve their country's best interest."Your future is between your hands, and Lebanon needs you."
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hezbollah lauds Hamas prisoner swap agreement with Israel
 

Wed 12/10/2011 19:25

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Hezbollah lauded on Wednesday the much-anticipated Hamas-Israel swap of Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier, saying it comes to frustrate all beliefs that the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli crisis could be resolved via negations.

Israel and Hamas announced an agreement on Tuesday to exchange more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for an Israeli soldier held captive in Gaza for five years, a deal brokered amidst the simmering situation in the Middle East region.

Hezbollah, a supporter to Hamas, extolled what it described as a major victory meted out on Palestine, at the hands of its resistance. "We sanguinely look forward to see the Palestinian resistance liberate, with its dauntless endeavors, the rest of the [Palestinian] prisoners."

Hezbollah's statement also called on Arab countries to join ranks, supporting resistance movements. "It is the sole route towards retrieving rights, liberating prisoners and land."

Both sides had approved the deal following a three-hour debate, after which both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal announced the agreement in televised comments.

Mr Mashaal said 1,000 men and 27 women prisoners would be released, the first 450 over the next week and the rest within two months. He said they would include 315 prisoners serving life sentences.

R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman signs officers' promotion decree
 

Wed 12/10/2011 18:06

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, signed today a decree on officers' promotion after the endorsement by the Parliament of the related project law, National News Agency correspondent said on Wednesday.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Cabinet meets in session at Baabda
 

Wed 12/10/2011 17:49

NNA - 12/11/2011 The Cabinet is currently meeting in a regular session at Baabda Palace to continue discussion of pending items on its agenda in addition to other stringent issues. The Cabinet session is presided over by President of the Republic General Michel Sleiman and attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
The Cabinet met on Tuesday in an extraordinary session at the Grand Serail, chaired by Premier Mikati, to address workers' demands and General Labor Confederation (GLC) strike. GLC suspended its scheduled strike for Wednesday after Cabinet approved yesterday night on increasing minimum wage.
Today's Cabinet session was preceded by a closed meeting between President Sleiman and Premier Mikati where they tackled the current developments.
Speaking to media representatives prior to Cabinet session, Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan said "discussions shall continue over wages and socio-economic issue among economic bodies, GLC and the government... in a bid to reach a final solution".
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahhal after meeting Geagea: government is obliged to abide by international resolutions
 

Wed 12/10/2011 17:04

NNA - 12/10/2011 Deputy Riad Rahhal stressed the Lebanese government's obligation to abide by United Nations resolutions, notably Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).
STL is a UN-backed court probing the assassination of Statesman Rafik Hariri and related crimes. Prime Minister Najib Mikati pledged before the United Nations Lebanese government's implementation of international resolutions.
Rahhal, "Future" Bloc member, was speaking after his visit to Lebanese Forces Head Samir Geagea at his Maarab residence on Wednesday.
Rahhal expressed his opinion that Premier Mikati has two options either to convince ministers of funding STL or to present his resignation.
In reply to a question, Rahhal considered recent Syrian violations of Lebanese territories as tantamount to a warning to the international community, that the Syrians are capable of "invading Lebanon at any time they deem adequate".
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved





 

Politics - Electoral project law inspired by Taef Accord, says Charbel
 

Wed 12/10/2011 16:49

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Interior Minister, Marwan Charbel, on Wednesday said the new electoral project law was inspired by Taef Accord and the content of the ministerial policy statement.

Speaking before his itinerant visitors at the Ministry, he underlined that it was for both the cabinet and the Parliament to approve it [the project].

He called those who claim knowledge about the national accord treaty to review its provisions and texts before giving lessons to others.

"Taef Accord expressly stated that elections must be conducted on the basis of provinces," he added.

He said that the new project complied with the norms of the Lebanese national life, which can be buttressed through proportionality.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved










 

Politics - Saleh says Amal in favor of workers, teachers
 

Wed 12/10/2011 16:26

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Abdul Majid Saleh said Amal Movement sides with the demands of workers and teachers, in a religious ceremony in the South Wednesday.

He called for a constructive and serious dialogue to approach the economic and living crisis.

"The government, which we consider national par excellence, must arrange its priorities and restore citizens confidence in their state," he said.

The Development and Liberation bloc member did not fail to caution against divisive schemes aimed to disintegrate the region.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved









 

Politics - Qabbani: divergence in Lebanon is political

 

Wed 12/10/2011 16:07

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Mufti of Lebanon, Sheikh Muhammad Rachid Qabbani, on Wednesday highlighted the distinctive features of Lebanon, forgiveness and coexistence, calling for boosting these features among Lebanese Muslims and Christians. The Mufti explained the local divergence is not at all confessional but political and must be abated.

The Mufti received in the course of the day the Norwegian Ambassador, Sfein Asse, who discussed with him the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Separately, the Mufti received the Egyptian Ambassador, Muhammad Toufic, on an acquaintance visit. Toufic said any confessional strife in Egypt is a red line.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved






 

Politics - Sleiman, Mikati meet in Baabda
 

Wed 12/10/2011 16:06

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, are currently meeting in Baabda palace prior to a cabinet afternoon session.

The pair is engaging in most recent developments.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved




 

Politics - Egypt's incidents bid to contort Arab Spring - March14
 

Wed 12/10/2011 15:55

NNA - 12/10/2011 - March 14 forces on Wednesday recounted recent incidents in Egypt as aimed to contort the Arab Spring and sap internal unity.

Fierce clashes erupted between Copts and the military in Egypt at the backdrop of an attack on a Coptic Church Sunday, leaving at least 20 persons killed and over 150 injured.

March 14, who convened today in a periodic meeting apparently devoted to slam violence in Egypt and the deterioration of the security situation in Lebanon, hailed the initiative by Egyptian Copts to rectify the off-putting track of matters in their country.

Turning to Lebanon, March 14 forces lashed out at what they termed "the regression" of the local security situation, starting with the repetitive violations and barefaced breach by the Syrian army of the Lebanese sovereignty.

Syrian tanks crossed last week the Lebanese-Syrian border into the Bekaa town of Arsal and fired at a deserted factory after suspecting the presence of armed individuals inside it. But the incident was absent from ministerial discussions during the cabinet session, held in Baabda palace the next day with 159 items on its agenda.

Denouncing such silence over this incident, March 14 General Secretariat called for an urgent meeting for the defense parliamentary commission, raising this violation issue before Arab and international instances, and confirming that borders are controlled by the Lebanese army alone.

On a different note, former Deputy Ali Alloush, speaking in the name of the bloc, said there were many flaws in yesterday's cabinet deal over wages adjustment.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati-led government yesterday approved to increase by LL200,000 the minimum wage and wages below one million LBP, and by LL300,000 those between LL 1 and 1.8 million.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati chairs meeting on salaries and degrees scale
 

Wed 12/10/2011 15:50

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati headed on Wednesday at the Grand Serail a meeting for the ministerial committee tasked with studying the degrees and salaries scale for Lebanese University teachers.

PM Mikati started his activities early today at Grand Serail by chairing a meeting for the ministerial commission devoted to discuss the degrees and salaries scale for Lebanese University teachers. The commission included Finance Minister, Muhammad Safadi; State Minister for Administrative Affairs, Muhammad Fneish; and Education and Higher Learning Minister, Hassan Diab. A delegation of LU Teachers League, headed by Charbel Kfoury, participated in the meeting.

Kfoury said they discussed adjusting the degrees and salaries scale but reached no solution in this concern. Rather, he added, they agreed on continuing further discussion sessions to reach results.

As for Mikati's visitors for today, he received at the Grand Serail the U.S. Ambassador, Maura Connelly, and discussed with her bilateral ties.

Separately, a delegation of Tashnag Party, including Industry Minister Vreij Sabonjian and others, visited the Grand Serail and reviewed with the Premier the general situation.

Mikati also received the Constitutional Council head, Issam Sleiman, and engaged with him in talks relevant to the council's works.

Among Grand Serail's visitors: Deputy Robert Fadel and former Deputy Jihad Samad.

A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


















 

Politics - Sleiman engages with most recent developments
 

Wed 12/10/2011 15:26

NNA - 12/10/2011 Lebanese President took up Wednesday the country's most recent up-to-dates with his visitors at Baabda palace.

At first, Sleiman met with Deputy Premier Samir Mokbel and discussed with him ongoing developments.

Later on, the President convened with Social Affiars Minister Wael Bou Faour who briefed him on the current relation between the Ministry and associations concerned with elderly and disabled.

Sleiman also received the British Ambassador Tom Fletcher who presented him with the British Premier's congratulatory letter to Lebanon for chairing the UN Security Council and for achieving several military and economic accomplishments.

Fletcher stressed following the meeting the importance of respecting international resolutions especially Palestine-related ones.

Deputy Amar Houry also visited Baabda today and tackled with Sleiman several general affairs.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 















 

Politics - Wednesday MPs gathering chaired by Berri tackle wages' increase
 

Wed 12/10/2011 14:57

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Wednesday Deputies gathering focused today on the wages and salaries increase issue and the other measures adopted to answer workers' demands.

Berri who chairs the Wednesday gathering said the wages, transportation and education allowances increase came along with an agreement for setting a yearly price index from now on; identifying based on that the living cost and the wages' required increase.

He also noted that it has been agreed on forming a social-economic council immediately.

Berri tackled as well latest developments at the local scene as well as the parliamentary commission's work.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved









 

Politics - Lebanese parliamentary delegation affirms from Belgium commitment to 1701
 

Wed 12/10/2011 14:30

NNA - 12/10/2011 - The Lebanese parliamentary delegation pursuing its visit to Belgium reiterated on Wednesday Lebanon's commitment to the resolution 1701.

The delegation comprised of Deputies Mohammad Kabbani, Ali Bazzi, and Hagop Pakradonian met with the Belgian House Speaker during a dinner banquet organized by the Lebanese businessman Raymond Makari.

The Lebanese MPs condemned the constant Israeli violations to the country's sovereignty, highlighting the importance of supporting the UNIFIL.

They also shed light on the necessity of strengthening ties between Lebanon and the European Union at more than one level.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri: Salaries' issue solved
 

Wed 12/10/2011 13:19

NNA - 12/10/2011 House Speaker Nabih Berri affirmed on Wednesday as he arrived to the Parliament that the salaries issue has been solved.

"What you have read in newspapers is true and everything is going well," he said.



L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 







 

Politics - Daouk: Funding STL is of Lebanon's interest
 

Wed 12/10/2011 13:00

NNA - 12/10/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk said Wednesday that refraining from funding STL shall fetch pressures on Lebanese economy and overall situation.

In his talk with Okaz newspaper, Daouk said it was discerned, following heavy contacts the Lebanese President and Premier had made concerning STL's dossier, that the tribunal shall carry out its works whether with or without funding.
By so, he deemed it preferable to have Lebanon abide by the funding decision.

"We cannot be selective in executing UN resolutions thus, we have to either abide by them all or refuse them all," he said.

Asked about the possibility of having the government refuse, by unanimity of vote, this matter, Daouk hoped calm dialogue would be adopted herein and all viewpoints be tackled so as to adopt adequate decisions without referring to voting process.

In his response to allegations about Hezbollah owning the government, Daouk said this government does not belong to Hezbollah for it embraces all parties and has always been working on such basis.

"The opposition is entitled to practice its democratic role," he said.

Pertaining to the Syrian unrest's repercussions on Lebanon, the Minister said that agreements signed between both countries stipulate that Lebanon shall not interfere in Syria's affairs and vice versa.
"We, as government, do hope that President Assad's reforms would come into effect as we also hope Syrians would achieve what they want," he said.



L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


























 

Politics - Daouk tackles developments with new Belgian Ambassador
 

Wed 12/10/2011 11:51

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Information Minister, Walid Daouk, tackled on Wednesday latest developments and bilateral ties with the newly appointed Belgian Ambassador to Lebanon, Colette Taquet, who came on a protocol visit.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Terro: Wages increase decision is unfair
 

Wed 12/10/2011 11:47

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Minister of Displaced Alaaeddine Terro said that the wages increase decision was unfair to all social categories which the increase included.

Terro pointed out on Wednesday to "Sharq Radio" that "salaries and social services should be discussed later".

Terro said that the decision was taken quickly to avoid the strike.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved




 

Politics - Rahi from Houston: Keen on Lebanese diversity
 

Wed 12/10/2011 11:31

NNA - 12/10/2011 During his pastoral tour in the U.S. Maronite Patriarch Marbeshara Boutros Al-Rahi arrived Wednesday to Houston-Texas whereby he was received by Najad Issam Fares who held a lunch banquet at his residence in Texas in honor of the Patriarch.

Rahi said in his word delivered on the occasion that the historical and cordial ties between Fares family and the Patriarchal siege are not new especially in a country like Lebanon, where diversity of religious cultural groups prevails.

"We are keen on our pluralism for it is what characterizes Lebanon," he said.

Addressing the international community, above all the U.S., Rahi hoped Christians would no longer be regarded as a minority in the Mideast or valued by what they have of oil and other economic qualities.
"We want to be observed through the message and value we bear in the Mideast," he said.


Later on, Rahi headed to the church of Our Lady of the Cedars of Lebanon in Houston, and met with the Lebanese expatriates there.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Christians' fate must not be coupled with regimes' destiny, says Marouni
 

Wed 12/10/2011 11:26

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Parliament member Elie Marouni said Christians' fate must not be tied to regime's destiny, in a word delivered from Zgharta on Wednesday.

The former Minister paid a visit to the head of Independence Movement Michel Mouawad at his residence in Zgharta with whom he tackled latest developments at both regional and local scenes, as well as Christians' situation amid the Arab unrest.

The meeting was an occasion for the two men to reiterate and reconfirm national and Christian constants and tackle a panel of the country's problems and affairs.

Inter-Christian unity topped talks between conferees who uttered concern over the threats targeting the region's Christians, particularly in Egypt.

"We must keep constant coordination and unity between Christians as Lebanon will not be spared from the Arab world's unrest, neither from its repercussions," the Deputy warned.

Mouawad, for his part, reminded of the sacrifices made by both Kataeb party and his Movement so as to protect Lebanon's sovereignty and independence.

He also highlighted the importance of such meetings in boosting coordination between allies who have ahead a huge battle which requires total unity.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Khreis: South is still under Israeli danger
 

Wed 12/10/2011 11:25

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Deputy Ali Khreis stressed that the south is still subject to Israeli danger.

The MP added that Israel always seeks to make the situation of the south unstable, praising the resistance and the loyalty of all the residents of the south, Lebanese and the Arab world who confronted Israel and defended Lebanon's sovereignty and dignity.

Khreis stressed in an inauguration ceremony of the artesian well in Burj Rahhal Village the necessity of continuous development to all the Lebanese regions, particularly the south which suffered a lot.

On the other hand, the MP called on Egypt to return to the days of President Jammal Abel Naser who stood beside Palestinians in confronting Israel, criticizing "those who plan to inflame strife between Muslims and Christians in Egypt".

Finally, Khreis called on the cabinet to find a solution for social, human and economic files.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sehnaoui and Asarta return to Beirut, Hmade heads to Paris
 

Wed 12/10/2011 10:56

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Deputy Marwan Hmade headed on Wednesday morning to Paris.

UNIFIL commander working in south Lebanon General Alberto Asarta returned to Beirut.

Also, Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui returned to Beirut.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Gemayel discusses situation with Frem
 

Wed 12/10/2011 10:49

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Head of Syriac League Habib Frem visited Kataeb head Amine Gemayel at the party's headquarters in Seifi and discussed the situation in Lebanon and the region.

Frem called on all parties in Lebanon to be cautious and aware of what is happening in the region.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - De Freij: We are heading to difficult stage due to wages increase
 

Wed 12/10/2011 10:27

NNA - 12/10/2011 - Deputy Nabil De Freij said that wages increase was not the solution and would lead to a difficult stage due to the debate over this issue.

"The current cabinet does not have a clear financial and economic vision for the country, which creates disagreement inside the parties of this cabinet; particularly that Minister Charbel Nahhas has an opposite economic vision", the MP added.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Berri take up recent developments
 

Wed 12/10/2011 10:26

NNA - 12/10/2011 Lebanese President Michel Sleiman is currently meeting with House Speaker Nabih Berri at Baabda palace with talks featuring high on most recent developments.

L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Ogassapian voices concern over salaries' raise
 

Wed 12/10/2011 10:11

NNA - 12/10/2011 MP Jean Ogassapian said Wednesday that raise on salaries was brought out without a study.

In his talk with Voice of Lebanon-Freedom and Dignity- radio station, Ogassapian expressed concern over an inflation that, as he presumed, might result of this increase.

Pertaining to the Budget issue, Ogassapian said Future movement shall place its notes on the Budget and discuss them in the Parliament.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Salhab: Economic dossier broken down
 

Wed 12/10/2011 09:59

NNA - 12/10/2011 MP Salim Salhab said Wednesday that the economic dossier uncovered two different policies whereby two logics were exposed between two different categories inside the government.

In his talk with Voice of Lebanon radio station, Salhab said the economic solution the government adopted regarding salaries' adjustment issue, was more of a haven than a cure.

"Government should have handled this dossier differently for it would have been best to let Labor Minister carry out negotiations," he said.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 






 

Politics - Salhab: Economic dossier broken down
 

Wed 12/10/2011 09:52

NNA - 12/10/2011 MP Salim Salhab said Monday that the economic dossier uncovered two different policies whereby two logics were exposed between two different categories inside the government.

In his talk with Voice of Lebanon radio station, Salhab said the economic solution the government adopted regarding salaries' adjustment issue, was more of a haven than a cure.

"Government should have handled this dossier differently for it would have been best to let Labor Minister carry out negotiations," he said.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Houry condemns Syrian violations
 

Wed 12/10/2011 09:52

NNA - 12/10/2011 - "Future" bloc member MP Ammar Houry condemend on Wednesday the Syrian incursion into the Lebanese territories in Arsal.

The Deputy told "Free Lebanon" radio that dealing with the Syrian breaches as if nothing has happened is unacceptable.

Houry stressed that the "Lebanese territories are not loose", warning of approaching Syrian violations to Israeli ones, since Syria is Lebanon's brotherly state while Israel is the country's enemy.

On the other hand, the MP stressed that the "tribunal is on the right course and no one can stop it".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved







 

Politics - Aoun: sanctions on Lebanon by Security Council are military operation
 

Tue 11/10/2011 21:36

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Deputy General Michel Aoun said on Tuesday any sanctions imposed by the Security Council on Lebanon due to the latter's non-funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is a military action.

The Bloc of Reform and Change, under the chairmanship of Deputy General Michel Aoun, held on Tuesday its periodical meeting in Rabieh. Evoking the issue of STL, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes, Aoun said any sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on Lebanon due to the cabinet's non-financing the STL is deemed as a military operation against Lebanon, an assassination and invasion.

After all, Aoun explained, there isn't any legal formula that justifies Lebanon's commitment to funding. Aoun indicated that there isn't even any agreement between Lebanon and the Security Council related to the STL funding issue. Therefore, any penalties against Lebanon in this concern are an aggression, Aoun wrapped up.

A.M.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved










 

Politics - Future Bloc: we don't sense advanced economic vision by cabinet
 

Tue 11/10/2011 19:43

NNA - 11/10/2011 - The Future Bloc said Tuesday the Mikati-led cabinet gives no more an advanced and clear vision with regards to the local economic condition.

The Future Bloc held on Tuesday its periodical meeting, under the chairmanship of Future Movement head, Fouad Siniora, at the Central House in Beirut.

A statement was released in the wake of the meeting, pointing to the perturbing state of citizens regarding the confusion outlived by the government in terms of the still pending wages increase issue, and the way the government is dealing with the present economic and social situation and with the demands of the General Labor Confederation.

The statement explained that still the Lebanese citizens have not sensed from the Mikati-led cabinet, which was formed more than 100 days ago, any advanced clear viewpoint on the current economic condition, as many contradicting stances exist within the cabinet members in this concern.

Evoking the 2012 budget issue, the statement said the budget draft presented by Finance Minister, Muhammad Safadi, is mostly imbued with electoral considerations that serve some political sides within the government.

The Future Bloc condemned the clashes in Egypt last Sunday between the security forces and Copts that led to casualties, calling for investigations into the terrible incident to catch hold of perpetrators.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved














 

Politics - Geagea: State solely represents people
 

Tue 11/10/2011 19:31

NNA - 11/10/2011 Lebanese Forces Head Samir Geagea urged Hezbollah team to "leave the state alone" since it is the sole one entitled to represent the Lebanese people and preserve their interests.
Geagea was speaking after his meeting on Tuesday with Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon, Mohamed Mustapha Tawfic, who visited him at his Maarab residence.
Geagea regretted the incidents that occurred in Egypt on Sunday, that left at least twenty killed and scores of injured. He paid condolences to the families of fallen martyrs, hoping that such incidents won't recur again in Egypt. Geagea welcomed Egypt's ministerial council decisions, notably with respect to the formation of a fact-finding committee set to determine responsibilities and adopt requisite measures in this regards.
On the other hand, Geagea criticized those who are downplaying the importance of International Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), considering it the sole entity capable of achieving justice and rights, and unveiling the identity of those who stood behind the assassinations.
STL is a UN-backed court probing the assassination of Statesman Rafik Hariri and related crimes.
In reply to a question about talks on 'shakes' inside the present Cabinet and the possibility of Premier Mikati's resignation, Geagea said "this government is already shaken", ruling out any possible resignation.
In other news, a delegation of "Jails, more Humanitarian" Lebanese Association visited Geagea on Tuesday at Maarab residence, inviting him to attend Association ceremony at Biel Center-Beirut, on October 21, whose fund-raising will be going to associations and bodies concerned in ameliorating present jail conditions.
-----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved











 

Politics - Franjieh calls to cast political quandaries away from developmental work
 

Tue 11/10/2011 19:22


NNA - 11/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Sleiman Franjieh on Tuesday called to jettison political quandaries while addressing developmental issues.

Speaking before a delegation of Doniyeh municipalities' union, Zghorta's Deputy said "we must all remain unified and we shall not accept that municipalities unions be broken."
"We are open to the other party and we call them to cooperate, at least on the developmental level, because we must cast political quandaries away from developmental work," he corroborated.

The delegation had been to Bnechai today for a meeting with the Marada Movement leader over the current situation in the region and an array of developmental affairs.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved









 

Politics - Ter Sarkissian sees Charbel's electoral law proposal unfair
 

Tue 11/10/2011 19:03

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Serge Ter Sarkissian on Tuesday said the proposal of the electoral law put forth by Interior Minister Marwan Charbel was unfair.

Speaking in the wake of his meeting with Beirut Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi, the Deputy explained that such proposal was inequitable for it merged regions in a way that stems the specificity of each of them.

On a different note, he urged the Lebanese authorities, namely the army, to curb Syrian incursions in the Lebanese territories.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel: Ministry grants licenses to motorcycle drivers abiding by traffic regulations
 

Tue 11/10/2011 18:38

NNA - 11/10/2011 Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel said the Ministry shall solely grant licenses to motorcycle drivers whose motorcycles are legally registered and which abide by traffic regulations.
Charbel, who was speaking before his interlocutors, said Central Security Council decision to ban motorcycles within Grand Beirut Zone entails only drivers who are trespassing citizens' rights and dignity and using their vehicles for looting and theft purposes.
On the other hand, Minister Charbel met on Tuesday with Spanish Ambassador to Lebanon Khuan Carlos Gavo where they boarded electoral law project and cooperation between the two countries.
Gavo said on emerging that he discussed with the Minister the issue of jails and cooperation between Interior Ministry and Spanish government at the environmental level.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved




 

Politics - Nasrallah reviews developments with politicians
 

Tue 11/10/2011 18:07

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Hezbollah Secretary General, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, and former PM Omar Karami accompanied with Youth and Sports Minister, Faysal Karami, discussed recent political developments at domestic and regional scenes on Tuesday.

Later on, Nasrallah reviewed future projects prepared by the interior ministry, electoral law draft, and general political and security situation in the country with Municipalities and Interior Minister Marwan Charbel.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ghosn from Serail: we proceed with strike tomorrow
 

Tue 11/10/2011 17:45

NNA - 11/10/2011 General Labor Confederation (GLC) Head Ghassan Ghosn stressed that they shall proceed with their strike tomorrow, till their matter is set right.
Ghosn was speaking in the wake of his meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the Grand Serail on Tuesday afternoon.
"We [GLC] crave for a cumulative raise taking note that salaries are cumulative", Ghosn said, disclosing that there was positivity in proposal made to them at the beginning. However, Ghosn declared that a comprehensive package was lacking in this regards.
-------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Mikati chairs two consecutive ministerial meetings
 

Tue 11/10/2011 17:19
NNA - 11/10/2011 National Education and Higher Learning Minister Hassan Diab said they shall follow up Lebanese University (LU) instructors' salaries and degrees scale issue with LU Full-time Instructors League, to find solutions to this subject as quickly as possible.
Diab was speaking in the wake of the meeting by Ministerial Committee tasked with studying LU instructors' salaries and degrees' scale issue, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the Grand Serail.
"There is a stringent need to swiftly resolve University second-term examinations' issue... It is unacceptable to keep students' fate suspended", Diab stressed.
On the other hand, Mikati chaired a meeting for Higher Relief Body, chaired by Premier Mikati, devoted to discussing Body projects and work.
Mikati also met on Tuesday with Kuwaiti Ambassador to Lebanon Abdel Aal Qanaii where they boarded means of bolstering bilateral relations.
Lebanese University President Adnan Sayyid Hussein also visited Premier Mikati at the Serail where they tackled LU relevant affairs specially pending LU instructors' demands.
"We hope the government will seriously follow up this matter", Hussein said, wishing positive outcome materializes soon.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - (UPDATE) Berri's attention shed on workers' demands
 

Tue 11/10/2011 17:15

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Tuesday followed up on workers' pressing demands, as laborers' syndicates and GLC are bracing to stage a large general strike tomorrow.

He met at his residence in Ain-el-Tineh with a delegation of economic bodies headed by former Minister Adnan Qassar.

The meeting reportedly featured high on the current economic and social condition.

Berri later met with a GLC delegation, headed by Ghassan Ghosn, over laborers' claims and wages adjustment.

Ghosn, who said the meeting was positive, declared the upshot of the strike, scheduled for tomorrow Wednesday, would be settled on after the delegation's meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Earlier today, Berri followed up on the general local situation with a delegation of Tashnag Party, headed by Hovik Mekhtarian and comprised of Ministers Vreij Sabounjian and Panos Manjian.

Head of the World Lebanese Cultural Union, Ahmed Nasser, also visited the Speaker today.

The Speaker also received the candidate to Paraguay's presidency.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Majdalani sees sect-based elections danger on Lebanon
 

Tue 11/10/2011 17:02

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Atef Majdalani recounted sect-based elections as a danger encouraging extremism and jeopardizing the country, coexistence, and democracy.

Interviewed on OTV channel Tuesday, the Future bloc member said this proposal was incompliant with Taef Accord.

In another development, the Deputy hoped the Egyptian people would consider their national welfare and interest and return to live as united.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Jumblatt discusses developments with Zasypkin, Connelly
 

Tue 11/10/2011 16:45

NNA - 11/10/2011 - MP Walid Jumblatt met on Tuesday with Russian Ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Zasypkin, over current developments in Lebanon and the region.

Progressive Socialist Party Head also received in Clemenceau U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly. Talks reportedly focused on latest developments.

Furthermore, Jumblatt met with Palestinian factions from Nahr el-Bared camp, in presence of Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abou Faour.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mufti calls to reinforce army to face enemy
 

Tue 11/10/2011 16:37

NA - 11/10/2011 - Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, on Tuesday highlighted the importance to reinforce the army so as to face any likely Israeli aggression.

He made these remarks in the wake of his meeting with National Defense Minister, Fayez Ghosn, with whom he tackled the general local situation and the army's efforts to restore peace, stability, and security in the country.

The Mufti later received a delegation of Palestinian scholars, who presented him with an invitation to attend the International Palestinian Conference on Islamic Waqf. The conference is scheduled to take place in Beirut on forthcoming October 16 and 17, under the auspices of Prime Minister Najib Mikati.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Syrian unrest en route to mitigation, says Roknabadi
 

Tue 11/10/2011 16:24

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Iranian ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi avowed the situation in Syria was en route to mitigation, following his meeting with Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour on Tuesday.

He said intensive meetings between popular delegations on one side and President Bashar Assad and officials on the other were being held.

On a different note, the ambassador reiterated his country's readiness to gear up the Lebanese army, and indicated that this matter was on-the-table between concerned parties.

Besides, the pair reportedly followed up on the 27 agreements inked last year between Lebanon and Iran, as well as on most recent developments in the Middle East region.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Sleiman for provisional solution to living jam now, global plan afterwards
 

Tue 11/10/2011 15:59

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, on Tuesday said he would agree on a provisional solution, albeit incomplete, to the fiddly economic and social jam, whereas a global policy would be deeply ventured into later.

Addressing a delegation of the General Labor Confederation (GLC) at Baabda palace today, the President capitalized the necessity to keep dialogue open among concerned parties so as to draw a temporary vision advantageous to all and to elucidate an all-inclusive social plan afterwards to adjust wages, salaries, and job markets.

He also called to take into account the situation of economic bodies, in a way that preserves their capability to carry on work, for they are a mainstay to Lebanon's national economy.

He did not fail to call to reactivate the Social Economic Council.

Ghassan Ghosn, GLC Head, had previously briefed Sleiman over ongoing contacts, on the eve of a large general strike called forth by laborers syndicates and the GLC tomorrow.

Separately, the President followed up on an array of political, legal, and environmental affairs, with his itinerant visitors at Baabda palace.

He met with the Minister of Environment, Nazem Khoury, over the current situation and the project on eco protection submitted by the Minister to the cabinet.

Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour, also visited the President today.

Sleiman later met with the Secretary General of the Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council, Nasri Khoury.

Besides, the President chaired today a work meeting to tackle a spectrum of legal affairs and dossiers.

He also received the credentials of the newly appointed ambassador of South Korea to Lebanon.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora calls on Egypt to bring trouble makers to justice
 

Tue 11/10/2011 15:31

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Parliament member Fouad Siniora called on Tuesday for unveiling the facts behind the Egyptian latest confrontations, soliciting the Egyptian authority to bring to justice all the trouble makers.

The Future bloc Head's words came during his meeting with the Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon, Mohammad Tewfik, with talks featuring high on latest incidents taking place in Egypt.

"The country's concerned authorities are entitled to adopt strict measures to ban the reoccurrence of such incidents, protect the peaceful protestors and prosecute the criminals," Siniora said, saluting the Copts' national role along the Egyptian history.

"A true democratic, strong, just, free, equitable state which enjoys human rights treats its citizens with equality was it in Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, Syria, Libya, Yemen or any of the other Arab countries," he concluded, assuring that Christians and Muslims should be protected by the law in order to "prevent the transformation of the Arab spring into autumn."
D.K.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi from Ohio: Independent, sovereign Lebanon is where I belong
 

Tue 11/10/2011 15:02

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Maronite Patriarch B�chara Boutros Rahi said an independent, free and sovereign country over which prevails coexistence is where he belongs, during his pastoral tour in USA.

The Patriarch arrived in Cleveland Ohio whereby he was received by Lebanese and Arab Diaspora in the USA, and headed a celebration mass at St. Maron church.

In his sermon, Rahi highlighted the dreadful circumstances which the Arab countries are enduring, starting with the sacrifices of the Lebanese for 36 years long.

The Patriarch underscored "the Lebanese plurality which makes of it a democratic state" during a ceremony organized in his honor in presence of more than 500 persons.

"Lebanon is a country of freedoms, human rights, and dialogue between confessions," he noted, assuring that dictator regimes can never survive.

"Lebanon is my confession," Rahi declared. "It's a priority which crosses all personal, categorical and confessional values," he added in his speech.

Accordingly, Patriarch Rahi called on the Lebanese to regroup courageously around the dialogue table, paving the way for a new national consensus which allows the country's leaderships to assume their full responsibilities in collaboration with the Arab surrounding countries.

"My mission as a Patriarch is not political but sheer national," he reminded, assuring that a wide difference exists between these two criteria, and saluting the former Patriarchs Elias Hoayek, Antoine Arida and Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir to whose slogans he is "the echo".

Separately, Patriarch Rahi met with the International Maronite Foundation's head, Rached Najib, who informed him of said foundation's activities aimed at keeping solid ties between the Lebanese Diaspora and their mother country.

Also, Rahi received a phone call from the Lebanese Kataeb party's Head Amin Gemayel and a delegation of Lebanese Diaspora resident in Michigan, Ohio.

It is worth noting that the Patriarch and the accompanying delegation will be heading to Houston today where they will be warmly received by Najad Issam fares.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abdullah: NNA primary information source
 

Tue 11/10/2011 14:51

NNA - 11/10/2011 NNA Director Laure Sleiman Saab and the Palestinian Ambassador Abdullah Abdullah engaged Tuesday with means of cooperation between the Embassy and the Agency.

As the Ambassador conveyed after the meeting, talks also touched on the possibility of signing a mutual cooperation agreement between the NNA (National News Agency) and the WAFA (Palestine News and Information Agency).

"This ought to prove Lebanese-Palestinian cooperation in all regional and international conferences," the Ambassador said.
He then thanked Sleiman for the Palestinian dossier the agency has prepared concerning the Palestinian bid for a full membership at the UN.
Following their meeting, Abdullah expressed appreciation to the role of NNA in conveying news and information and said that the NNA is their primary news source due to its rapidity.
Also, Abdullah conveyed Sleiman's full preparedness to cooperation and exchange of expertise between both parties.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri's attention shed on workers' demands
 

Tue 11/10/2011 14:38

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Tuesday followed up on workers' pressing demands, as laborers' syndicates and GLC are bracing to stage a large general strike tomorrow.

He met at his residence in Ain-el-Tineh with a delegation of economic bodies headed by former Minister Adnan Qassar.

The meeting reportedly featured high on the current economic and social condition.

Earlier today, Berri followed up on the general local situation with a delegation of Tashnag Party, headed by Hovik Mekhtarian and comprised of Ministers Vreij Sabounjian and Panos Manjian.

Head of the World Lebanese Cultural Union, Ahmed Nasser, also visited the Speaker today.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati: Public administration activation most crucial
 

Tue 11/10/2011 14:2

NNA - 11/10/2011 Premier Mikati said Tuesday that activating Lebanese administration is the most crucial concern at the moment.

Mikati patronized today the "Lebanese Public Administration Development Strategy" workshop organized by the State Ministry for Developmental and Administrative Affairs.

Ministers of Administrative Developmental Affairs (Mohammad Fneish), Information (Walid Daouk), Higher Learning (Hassan Diab), Economy and Trade (Nicolas Nahhas), Environment (Nazem Khoury), Displaced (Alaa Eddine Terro), Youth and Sports (Faysal Karami), and Industry (Freij Sabonjian) attended the workshop along with other concerned officials and diplomatic figures.

During the event, Mikati stressed the need to solve perilous problems the administration encounters thus transforming it from a traditional administration to an electronic one.

"The monitoring bodies' incapability of fulfilling their role in addition to the lack of decision-making support centers, such as accurate statistics and analysis studies, have led to this dreadful situation," he said.

Concluding his word, the Premier expressed gratitude for all concerned people's endeavors and hoped the workshop would give sought upshot.


Fneish, in turn, said he was looking forward to arrive to a vision and clear goals upon which the plan shall be drawn to realize the main target, and that is to develop public administration.



L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouq, Tunisian envoy discuss array of affairs
 

Tue 11/10/2011 14:14

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Minister of Information, Walid Daouq, and Tunisian ambassador, Mohammad Fawzi Ballout, on Tuesday met over most recent developments and bilateral ties.

Ballout, who visited Daouq at his ministerial office today, told journalists after the meeting that talks mainly focused on the situation of media in both countries.

He said that he agreed with the Minister to exchange visits and to carry on communication and coordination.

The diplomat, who avowed the Lebanese-Tunisian ties were "fine," also presented the Minister with an invitation to visit Tunisia, currently on the threshold of a substantial quality leap.

For his part, Daouq said the meeting touched on the proportionality-based electoral system in Tunisia.

"We are closely watching the electoral mechanism and process and we are waiting for the results," he said.

The Minister did not fail to commend the role of Tunisia in the Arab Spring, hoping more reforms would be completed in this Arab country.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mideast Churches deplore Egypt's incidents
 

Tue 11/10/2011 13:59

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Mideast Churches Council on Tuesday deplored violence in Egypt and urged officials to take crucial decisions to restore peace and calm.

Fierce clashes erupted between Christians and the Egyptian military at the backdrop of an attack on a Coptic church Sunday.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel tackles bilateral ties with UAE Ambassador
 

Tue 11/10/2011 13:09

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Lebanese Kataeb party Head, Amin Gemayel, tackled bilateral ties with the Ambassador of UAE to Lebanon, Youssef Ali Al-Oseimi, who visited the former President on Tuesday at his Sayfi office.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nahhas: State can be decisive on raising taxes
 

Tue 11/10/2011 11:18

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas told Voice of Lebanon that the state can be decisive in imposing new taxes in order to raise revenues to cover any decision to increase salaries.

He added that the role of the state is to come up with solutions and not merely act as mediator between two sides.

"The state is not a mediator to patch up differences but instead must have an economic plan to reform the situation to prevent the Lebanese from migrating," the minister said.

The minister stressed that the real problem is not the planned strike on Wednesday to demand higher wages.

"The state is before a challenge: either it takes a decision to rectify the course or leave the situation chaotic."

Nahhas ridiculed the proposal of the private sector to raise the minimum wage by LL80,000 only.

"The LL80,000 raise proposed by the private sector is a rude joke," the minister said, renewing his proposal to raise the salaries by 20 to 30 percent.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Houry: Hariri's contact with March 14 continues
 

Tue 11/10/2011 10:02

NNA - 11/10/2011 - Deputy Ammar Houry told on Tuesday "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity radio that former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's contact with March 14 forces is continuous.

Houry summed up the stage in three headlines, "insistence on tribunal, insistence on state logic and finally the Arab spring is no longer a bet but an option towards freedom and democracy".

The MP pointed out that the support of the Arab spring does not stem from intervening in the internal affairs (of other countries), but "we cannot support the crimes taking place in Syria".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved







 

Politics - Ogassapian: Mikati took no steps on STL funding path
 

Tue 11/10/2011 09:56

NNA - 11/10/2011 MP Jean Ogassapian said Tuesday that Premier Mikati hasn't taken any practical nor legal step on the STL funding path.

In his talk with Free Lebanon radio station, Ogassapian said March 8 forces' calls for handling Tribunal funding issue at the Parliament is "a trap" and voiced rejection herein saying that "Lebanon is bound to funding STL."

Future bloc member hoped the government would adopt diplomatic measures concerning Syrian violations to the Lebanese borders and question Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali about such security breaches.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


Politics - Arslan discusses situation with Bassil
 

Tue 11/10/2011 09:41


NNA - 11/10/2011 - Deputy Talal Arslan met at his residence Energy and Water Minister Jibran Bassil in presence of State Minister Marwan Kheir Eddine.

Discussions focused on local and regional situation, latest developments, particularly Special Tribunal to Lebanon (STL) funding issue.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman meets GLC
 

Tue 11/10/2011 09:32

NNA - 11/10/2011 - President Michel Sleiman is currently meeting at Baabda Presidential Palace with General Labor Confederation chaired by Ghassan Ghosn in the frame work of narrowing views to solve wages issue.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Moussawi frowns on Ki-moon's stance from disputed oil zone
 

Mon 10/10/2011 21:31

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Member of Parliament, Nawwaf Moussawi, slammed on Monday the most recent stance made by the United Nations Secretary General on the disputed oil zone, asserting Lebanon's insistence to opt for oil exploration within the entire economic exclusive zone area.
Patronizing a graduation ceremony in Kana village - South Lebanon - the "Loyalty to the Resistance" Parliamentary bloc MP highly deplored Ban Ki-moon's insistence that both, the Lebanese and Israeli sides, should halt oil exploration activities, in the so called disputed zone.

"This position only comes to prohibit Lebanon from practicing its oil exploration rights in this region, which is also a part of Lebanon's exclusive economic zone," Mossawi said, indicating that Ki-moon's decision would eventually end up doing harm to Lebanon, and not Israel.

Reiterating Amal Movement and Hezbollah's insistence that Lebanon should practice its oil exploration rights, the MP promised that no one would be able to impose a scenario or a status quo as such, on Lebanon.

Moussawi also responded to those he described as biding on U.N.-made solutions in pursuit of their rights. "Experience has proven that the U.N. not only disregarded our victories, but also conspired against us during the 2006 July war, only to impose Israeli's will on us," he said.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Electoral law tops Kataeb discussions
 

Mon 10/10/2011 20:55

NNA - 10/10/2011 - A number of electoral law-related projects topped Kataeb Party's weekly meeting discussions on Monday, a Kataeb statement read.

Emanating from Kataeb's keen concern for a scientific rapprochement, coming out with a new electoral law, the party devoted its weekly meeting, chaired by Party Leader Amine Gemayel, for more discussions on the matter.

The meeting also comes to pave the way for the party's meeting scheduled on October 22, 2011, pending a final decision by Kataeb on the electoral law.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati chairs electricity committee meeting, meets JP Morgan delegation
 

Mon 10/10/2011 19:18

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Amendments to law item 462, devoted for the organization of Lebanon's electricity sector, featured high Monday on a meeting between Prime Minister Najib Mikati and the Electricity Parliamentary Committee.

The meeting displayed an array of the state's essential choices, so as to allow proposed amendments take their legal course, in a way which best fits the electricity sector's reform and organization.

The meeting which witnessed the attendance of Vice Prime Minister Samir Mokbel and Prime Ministers Charbel Nahhas, Mohammad Safadi, Jebran Bassil, Mohammad Fneish, and Chakib Qortbawi, ended on an agreement to meet again on October 31, 2011.

Separately, a delegation representing U.S. Bank, JP Morgan, headed by Mr. Jamie Daymen, visited Prime Minister Mikati.

The delegation is currently in Lebanon to partake in the "Middle East 2011 Conference", for the second year in a row, at Phoenicia Hotel.

R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved












 

Politics - Sleiman, Jabra tackle LAU-related issues
 

Mon 10/10/2011 18:48

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, met on Monday at his Baabda Presidential Palace with Lebanese American University (LAU) President, Joseph Jabra.
Talks reportedly focused on steps to develop the university programs especially those related to medicine and the already accomplished stages to rehabilitate Rizk Hospital, which is today affiliated to LAU.
P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hariri: STL funding issue outside debate
 

Mon 10/10/2011 18:46

NNA - 10/10/2011 Deputy Bahiyya Hariri considered that Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) funding is an issue having its own frames and mechanism, saying it is "a matter outside debate".
Political camps in Lebanon are arguing STL funding, a UN-backed Court probing the 2005 assassination of Statesman Rafic Hariri.
"As long as there exists a pledge by Prime Minister Najib Mikati in STL funding, then let's wait to see it get implemented", Hariri was speaking before a delegation of "Future" Movement Youth Branch in Lebanon, who visited the Deputy at her Majdelyoun residence.
Dwelling on the overall political situation, Hariri described the current stage as "critical", affirming concern for stability and people's safety in the country.
------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Charbel: proportionality best means of representation
 

Mon 10/10/2011 18:44

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister, Marwan Charbel, considered on Monday proportionality in parliamentary elections as the best means of popular representation.

In a press conference at his office, Charbel explained the law draft of parliamentary elections 2013, saying it is the best law since it contributes to a just and right political representation. The law, he added, proposes forming an independent committee, of judicial aspect, whose task is to control parliamentary elections.

Charbel insisted on the necessity of adopting a 30% share for the female gender, on the level of participation in electoral lists. This step, according to Charbel, encourages sharing in political life and practicing constitutional rights in compliance with international agreements that Lebanon abides by.
A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved





 

Politics - Hariri offers Erdogan condolences
 

Mon 10/10/2011 18:37

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri contacted by phone on Monday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and offered him condolences upon the loss of his mother.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Joumblat to Al-Anbaa: No for transforming Egypt's incidents into confessional conflict
 

Mon 10/10/2011 18:03

NNA - 10/10/2011 "National Struggle" Front Head Walid Joumblat stressed the necessity to avoid the transformation of Egypt's riot incidents into confessional conflict.
Riots occurred in Egypt on Sunday between Copts and Army at the backdrop of an attack on a Coptic Church, that left at least 19 killed and 150 injured.
"Despite these painful incidents, we are fully confident in the capacity of Egyptian institutions and military council of extricating out of this conflict, containing the said trouble and preventing its negative development into further complications and aggravation", Joumblat was speaking in his weekly position to Al-Anbaa Newspaper issued by Progressive Socialist Party.
Deputy Joumblat suggested the immediate launching of a swift, comprehensive investigation into the incident, to unveil all details surrounding it.
On the other hand, Joumblat hailed the decision of granting Nobel Peace Prize to Yemeni Activist Tawkkal Kurman, who constituted "an emblem of struggle in the face of oppression and dictatorship... and for the sake of building diverse, free and democratic societies". Seizing the occasion, Joumblat wondered about the real, genuine reasons behind banning the running of Iranian Movie "Red, White and Green" in Lebanon, saying this contradicts with Lebanon's renowned historic path as a place for cultural, media and political liberties.
----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabbani receives Mansour, chairs Wakf meeting
 

Mon 10/10/2011 17:39
NNA - 10/10/2011 - Mufti of Lebanon, Sheikh Muhammad Rachid Qabbani, received on Monday at Dar Fatwa Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour. Talks reportedly featured high on the general situation at the local and regional scenes.

The Mufti also received former Saudi Hajj Minister, Mahmoud Bin Muhammad Safar, and discussed with him Islamic affairs.

Separately, the Mufti chaired today a meeting for the chairmen of Wakf Departments in Lebanon, with talks focusing on the necessity of preserving and enhancing Wakf institutions.
A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

Politics - Hezbollah sees Egypt's incidents part of US divisive scheme
 

Mon 10/10/2011 17:34

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Hezbollah said recent incidents in Egypt were an integral part of a US designed scheme aimed at disintegrating the region on ethnical and religious bases, in a statement on Monday.

An attack on a church in Egypt sparked fierce clashes between Copts and the Egyptian military last night. Incoming news said at least 19 people were dead and 150 wounded.

Hezbollah called therein upon the Egyptians to keep vigil to the perils of what is being concocted against them and to opt for dialogue to resolve quandaries and mitigate crises.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved








 

Politics - Jumblatt keen on Syrian people, state: Abou Faour
 

Mon 10/10/2011 16:56

NNA - 10/10/2011 - MP Walid Jumblatt is keen on Syria, people and state, as well as on the Syrian national unity, Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abu Faour, said on Monday.

Speaking to journalists in the wake of his meeting with House Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday, the Minister said "what Jumblatt had declared was stated earlier by many Syrian officials about reform, democracy, and the necessity to scupper bloodsheds in Syria."

"Any remark made by Walid Jumblatt is due to his keenness on Syria's stability and national unity, and because we are also keen on Lebanon's internal stability," Abu Faour explained.

He revealed that the relation between Jumblatt and Syria was "good."

The Minister had been to Ain-el-Tineh today for a meeting with Speaker Berri over most recent developments.

Talks reportedly featured high on an array of heated issues, on top of which the stringent claims of full-time teachers at the Lebanese University and workers' syndicates.

The Minister did not give a clear answer on whether the meeting with Berri touched on the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri. Rather, Abu Faour said any matter to be laid on-the-table must be approached from the national agreement perspective, so as to preserve unity among the Lebanese and eschew any possibility to drag the country into confrontations on the international level.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (UPDATE) Laborers claims top Berri's agenda
 

Mon 10/10/2011 16:52

NNA - 10/10/2011 - The much-heated laborers' claims featured high on House Speaker Nabih Berri's Monday meetings in Ain-el-Tineh.

Within this frame, Berri met with former Prime Minister, Omar Karame, and his son, Minister of Youth and Sports in Najib Mikati's 30-member cabinet.

The Speaker later met with Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abu Faour.

General Security Cheif, Brigadier Abbas Ibrahim, had also been to Ain-el-Tineh today for a meeting with Berri, in presence of Ahmed Baalbaki.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


















 

Politics - Rahi arrives in Cleveland
 

Mon 10/10/2011 16:39

NNA - 10/10/2011 Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutors Rahi arrived in the City of Cleveland, Ohio State, within the framework of his pastoral visit to the US.
Rahi is scheduled to chair a mass service at Cleveland's St. Charbel Church at 6.00p.m. (Cleveland Time).
On the other hand, Lebanese community in Cleveland will host a dinner banquet in honor of Rahi at "Renaissance" Hotel, to be attended by a great number of Lebanese expatriates and representatives of Lebanese parties in Cleveland. Rahi will deliver a word on the occasion, and will head on Tuesday to Houston.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - Mikati: to launch projects saving salary issue from erosion
 

Mon 10/10/2011 16:31

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati said on Monday the government is ready to launch projects saving the salary increase issue from erosion.

During chairing a meeting on Monday at Grand Serail for the ministerial committee tasked with handling social affairs, PM Mikati pointed out "The real concern about social affairs doesn't only mean increasing employees' wages and social and health services, or raising the minimum rate of wage, but launching projects and programs that save the salary increase issue from eroding or becoming fruitless. These programs and projects aim to enhance the national sense of belonging and adhere citizens to their roots."

It is to note that the meeting was attended by Public Health Minister, Ali Hasan Khalil; Finance Minister, Muhammad Safadi; State Minister for Administrative Development, Muhammad Fneish; Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abu Faour; Education and Higher Learning Minister Hassan Diab; and Construction and Development Board head, Engineer Nabil Jisr.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved








 

Politics - (CORRECTED) Sleiman: solution to wages increase must be
via dialogue
 

Mon 10/10/2011 16:10

NNA - 10/10/2011 - President of Lebanon, Michel Sleiman, listened on Monday from economic bodies to their viewpoints on the difficulties facing them, believing that the solution to the issue pertaining to wages increase would be through serious dialogue that serves the interest of all people.

A delegation of economic bodies, headed by the former Minister Adnan Qassar, visited on Monday President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman, at Baabda Presidential Palace. The delegation presented to Sleiman its viewpoints on the hard conditions currently facing the economic bodies.

The President believed that the solution, presented by the General Labor Confederation, to the employees' wages increase would be through a serious dialogue aiming for the formulation of comprehensive political and social clauses that give way for economic and social reforms serving the interest of all people.

Separately, Sleiman received Interior and Municipalities Minister, Merwan Charbel, who notified the host of the local security situation and sidelines of the election law project he [Charbel] recently referred to the ministerial council for discussion.

Future Bloc member, Khodr Habib, met with the President over the local political developments.

Among Baabda's visitors: former Minister Sleiman Traboulsi and former Deputy Faysal Daoud.

On a different note, the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and his wife, the First Lebanese Lady, Wafaa Sleiman, watched yesterday evening at Sofil Cinema hall the "Now Where Should We Go" film for the director and actor, Nadine Labaki.

A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


















 

Politics - Parliamentary delegation to Brussels at Berri's behest
 

Mon 10/10/2011 15:14

NNA - 10/10/2011 - A parliamentary delegation on Monday headed to Brussels, Belgium, at the behest of House Speaker, Nabih Berri, to meet with the EU Parliament's Commission for the Levant on forthcoming October 11 and 12.

Talks are scheduled to tackle the Lebanese-EU ties' headway, amid current developments in Lebanon, namely pertaining to the governmental work, electoral law, public budget, and human rights.

The delegation is headed by MP Mohammad Qabbani and comprised of MPs Ali Bazzi and Hagop Pakradounian.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - Kabalan: Egypt's confrontations sheer blind discord that must be nipped in bud
 

Mon 10/10/2011 15:03

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Vice head of the Islamic Shiite Supreme Council, Sheikh Abdel Amir Kabalan, described the confrontations in Egypt as sheer blind discord that must be nipped in the bud.

Sheikh Kabalan called Monday on the religious figures to act seriously so as to calm the situation and put terms to all violations against the Egyptian people and their national unity.

"Officials must deploy all efforts needed for Egypt to remain a country of partnership, conviviality and coexistence between different sects and religions," he said.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 





 

Politics - Tribunal appoints new President
 

Mon 10/10/2011 14:38

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Judge Sir David Baragwanath has been unanimously elected President of the Tribunal and Presiding Judge of the Appeals Chamber, after being proposed by Vice-President Riachy and Judge Cassese.

The appointment of the new President by the Appeals Chamber follows the resignation yesterday, on health grounds, of Judge Antonio Cassese as President. Judge Cassese will continue to serve as a Judge of the Tribunal's Appeals Chamber.

"It is a privilege to succeed the highly respected jurist Antonio Cassese", said Judge Baragwanath. "We are indeed fortunate that that his wisdom and experience will continue to inform our work."
Judge Baragwanath brings nearly fifty years of legal experience to the Presidency. He has practised both as defence and as prosecution counsel. He has extensive experience in New Zealand as a High Court and Court of Appeal judge. He was also President of the New Zealand Law Commission.

"Public confidence in the Tribunal requires that we adhere strictly to the rule of law", said Judge Baragwanath. "The people of Lebanon are entitled to receive from our Tribunal the highest standards of justice delivered without fear or favour, affection or ill-will."

"Essential among its elements is the presumption of innocence, expressed in the twin rules that the onus of proof lies on the prosecution; and that proof of every element charged must be beyond reasonable doubt. I want to assure all Lebanese people that we see ourselves as your judges."

Judge Cassese said that the decision to step down as President was difficult for him personally but it was the correct choice for the Tribunal.

"For two and a half years I have endeavoured to steer the STL through difficult waters efficiently and fairly", said Judge Cassese.

"Since it is now more difficult for me to engage in the administrative work and external responsibilities required of the President, I do not feel able to provide the leadership that the Tribunal requires and deserves. However, I will stay on as a Judge of the Appeals Chamber and work hard on judicial matters."

The President of the Tribunal has a wide range of tasks, including oversight of the effective functioning of the Tribunal and the good administration of justice, as well as representing the STL in relations with States, the United Nations and other entities.

"I am confident that the new President, an outstanding Judge of high repute, will wisely guide the STL now that judicial proceedings have commenced and the Tribunal's Chambers are becoming fully operational", said Judge Cassese. "Judge Baragwanath will undoubtedly ensure the most efficient, prompt and fair conduct of the Tribunal's work."
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 










 

 


Politics - Sleiman: solution to wages increase must be via dialogue
 

Mon 10/10/2011 14:52

NNA - 10/10/2011 - President of Lebanon, Michel Sleiman, listened on Monday from economic bodies to their viewpoints on the difficulties facing them, believing that the solution to the issue pertaining to wages increase would be through serious dialogue that serves the interest of all people.

A delegation of economic bodies, headed by the former Minister Adnan Qassar, visited on Monday President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman, at Baabda Presidential Palace. The delegation presented to Sleiman its viewpoints on the hard conditions currently facing the economic bodies.

The President believed that the solution, presented by the General Labor Confederation, to the employees' wages increase would be through a serious dialogue aiming for formulating comprehensive political and social clauses that give way for economic and social reforms serving the interest of all people.

Separately, Sleiman received Interior and Municipalities Minister, Merwan Charbel, who notified the host of the local security situation and sidelines of the election law project he [Charbel] referred to the ministerial council for discussion.

Future Bloc member, Khodr Habib, met with the President over the local political developments.

Among Baabda's visitors: former Minister Sleiman Traboulsi and former Deputy Faysal Daoud.

On a different note, the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and his wife, the First Lebanese Lady, Wafaa Sleiman, watched yesterday evening at Sofil Cinema hall the "Now Where Should We Go" film for the director and actor, Nadine Labaki.

A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


















 

Politics - Laborers claims top Berri's agenda
 

Mon 10/10/2011 14:32

NNA - 10/10/2011 - The much-heated laborers' claims featured high on House Speaker Nabih Berri's Monday meetings in Ain-el-Tineh.

Within this frame, Berri met with former Prime Minister, Omar Karame, and his son, Minister of Youth and Sports in Najib Mikati's 30-member cabinet.

The Speaker later met with Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abu Faour.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


Politics - Sami Gemayel: Violence against Egypt's Copts inacceptable
 

Mon 10/10/2011 13:51

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Parliament member Sami Gemayel said on Monday that the violence against Copts in Egypt is illogical and inacceptable, in his statement delivered from the parliament.

Gemayel defended Christians saying they were just seeking religious and individual freedom, calling for practicing their rituals without being subject to political and religious aggression.

The Kataeb Central Committee Coordinator called on the Egyptian government to ban all violence against Copts and to conduct dialogue with this community which constitutes 10% of the Egyptian society.

He also deemed necessary on Arab countries to preserve partnership between minorities and majorities, ensuring at the same time their right political representation.

Separately, Gemayel submitted two law propositions aiming at amending the labor law in order to give the right of syndical organization to the public sectors' employees.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


Politics - Saleh calls for solving economic crisis
 

Mon 10/10/2011 12:10
NNA - 10/10/2011 Deputy Abdul Majid Saleh urged Monday the government to solve the economic crisis burdening citizens.
"Without social security, political stability is unachievable," he said.

In his word delivered during a funeral at Ramiya town, Saleh supported Tobacco laborers' demands who work with low salaries all year long and, in that respect, solicited Finance Ministry to raise Tobacco prices.

At another level, Saleh lauded Maronite Patriarch Rahi's stances and stressed the need to reinforce internal unison.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

 


Politics - Gemayel expresses grief for sectarian clashes in Egypt
 

Mon 10/10/2011 12:01

NNA - 10/10/2011 - The President of the Phalange Party Amin Gemayel expressed his deep sadness over yesterday's clashes between Egyptian Christian Copts and army in Cairo which caused the death of 24 people.

Speaking LBC TV, Gemayel described yesterday's events in Cairo as painful; indicating that Egypt is in the forefront of countries advocating freedom and for this reason it should set an example for other Arab regimes.

He called on the rulers in Egypt to restore law and order and offer a new trend in the country, stressing that raising the slogans of freedom and unity are not sufficient if they were not matched with giving each party its right.

"It is not enough to raise the motto of modernization if this was not accompanied with more measures to achieve stability."

Gemayel said he expects from Egypt, which is a pioneer in reforms, to pave the way for a new modern Arab system based on justice and equality and absorb all segments of the society.

"The real problem in the Arab revolutions is that their real identity is not clear yet," Gemayel said, reminding of similar sectarian incidents in Iraq.

"If we don't establish a system to absorb all segments of the society in all Arab countries then we will be paving the way for new benightedness and 100 years of wars."

Responding to a question, Gemayel responded that the Christian anxiety in Syria is far less than other Arab countries.

"What gives guarantees to the Christians is the existence of just and fair system where everybody is equal.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 


 


Politics - Houry: March 8 bids to topple STL funding
 

Mon 10/10/2011 11:48

NNA - 10/10/2011 MP Ammar Houry said Monday that the other party bids to topple STL funding issue.

In his talk with Al-Sharek radio station, Houry said March 8 forces attempt to handle the issue at the Parliament so as to contest the Tribunal's legitimacy.

Future bloc member also said that the government's reason of being is bringing down the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
"The government has top either handle its responsibility toward international community, or have Lebanon be susceptible to dangers while facing international community," he said.

Pertaining to the situation in Syria, Houry said the country's regime has been flopping in its own stances ever since revolution began.
"Syrian regime faces huge problem for it has lost credibility," Houry said.

The MP also said Syria has arrived to a dead end since it can no longer translate its "reformist headlines" and has become incapable of entering reform path.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 












 

Politics - Farid Khazen: Funding decision to be taken in cabinet
 

Mon 10/10/2011 10:43

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Deputy Farid Khazen told on Monday "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity radio that the cabinet should seriously discuss and take the appropriate decision concerning tribunal funding issue.

The MP added that Deputy Michel Aoun's position from tribunal is principle and not new.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - STL compliant to constitution, says Jeser
 

Mon 10/10/2011 10:19

NNA - 10/10/2011 MP Samir Jeser said Monday that the STL problem lies not in funding but in the Tribunal's constitutional aspect.

In his talk with Voice of Lebanon radio station, Jeser deemed Special Tribunal for Lebanon as compliant to the constitution and said the government embraces two different viewpoints in that respect.

"We shall wait and see whose decision will be effective," he said.

Also, Jeser considered PSP head Walid Jumblatt to be with STL funding.
"Jumblatt is aware of the repercussions on Lebanon when facing the international community," he added.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Araji: We depend on Sleiman and Mikati's pledge on funding
 

Mon 10/10/2011 09:42

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Deputy Assem Araji told on Monday "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity radio that President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati are committed to tribunal funding, adding that they (March 14) depends on Sleiman and Mikati's pledge concerning tribunal funding.

"Future" bloc member pointed out that "PM Mikati was presiding over the Security Council session when he expressed his commitment to tribunal funding".

Araji reminded that an agreement was made in 2006 at the parliament regarding STL and its funding.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Tomeh says tribunal funding may topple cabinet
 

Mon 10/10/2011 09:41

NNA - 10/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Nidal Tomeh suggested in a statement that the cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Mikati may fall due to the sharp division over the international tribunal and the labor unions demands for higher wages.

In a statement issued on Monday, the MP said the cabinet may find itself in a deep predicament if Mikati failed to persuade the ministers to vote in favor of tribunal funding.

"If Hizbullah has no interest in toppling the government, then Mikati will find a way to fulfill his pledge to pay Lebanon's share in the tribunal. But if the Prime Minister fails to achieve this task, the government will find itself in direct confrontation with the people," Tomeh argued.

He advised Hizbullah to defend itself in the tribunal as this may "turn the formulas upside down."

"We hope that all the facts (presented by Hizbullah) will prove Israel's involvement in the assassination of for Prime Minister Rafik Hariri," the MP said.

He also blasted some political quarters that criticizes the absence of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri from Lebanon.

Tomeh stressed that Hariri is present through his wide political movement in Lebanon even if he was not part of the authority.

The MP added that he has full confidence in the Lebanese army but urged its command to coordinate with the Syrian army to prevent the repetition of the last Syrian incursion into Lebanon.

He also renewed calls on the Lebanese army to provide shelter to the Syrian refugees who fled their country.

Tomeh also appealed to all Lebanese to close ranks in the face of the daily Israeli violations of Lebanese territories.

He expressed solidarity with social demands of the labor unions but at the same time cautioned that these demands may have negative implications on the government's budget deficit and various economic sectors.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Jumblatt salutes the PSP "old generation" while highlighting the need for a "fresh look"

 

Sun 9/10/2011 21:26

NNA - 9/10/2011 - "Progressive Socialist Party" Choueifat Branch organized Sunday an oath-swearing ceremony for its new members, under the patronage of MP Walid Jumblatt. A number of prominent political dignitaries attended the event.In his word before the new sworn-in members, Jumblatt implored them to focus on the Party�s principles and ideas instead of following a certain party leader person, which is a wrong approach, he noted. He added that the political party remains the main part, while the person passes through said party.
Jumblatt disclosed that a general assembly shall be held towards the end of the current month, during which cLear political words shall be uttered regarding the past, the present and the future pertaining to the Party; in addition to organization issues. He indicated, herein, that there shall be a shift to a new order within the Party.

He expressed appreciation to old generation members within the Party, who contributed to protecting it by all means. However, he pointed to the need for a fresh new look through the new generation of PSP members enjoying diversity and liberty from the "personified mottos", and who are capable of practicing dialogue and openness towards all political parties, trends and affiliations, with no discrimination whatsoever. He considered that the minute bias and limited intellectual horizons are practiced, then that signals the end of the open human principle which the late Kamal Jumblatt believed in. Hence, Jumblatt highlighted openness, diversity and dialogue with both the near and far, as being the most important in politics, and for the well-being and correct path of the party, the intellect and that of humanity, as a whole.

Jumblatt seized the occasion to congratulate the Arab world, particularly women in the Arab world for the Nobel Prize won by three Arab women, namely the "Tawakul Kerman Nobel Prize".

R.Sh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Al-Sahili calls for a new amnesty law and for opening a new page

 

Sun 9/10/2011 20:32

NNA - 9/10/2011 - Member of the Baalbek-Hermel Parliamentary Bloc, MP Nuwar Al-Sahili, voiced objection to the manner of dealing with the Baalbek-Hermel area in the adopted "security approach," as he referred to it. Al-Sahili stated that with all due respect to the Security Forces and Army Commander, the abovementioned area cannot be left abandoned to its fate whilst being accused of providing refuge for outlaws. Hence, he considered it utterly the responsibility of the Lebanese State to ensure security and order in the Baalbek-Hermel region.

Al-Sahili also touched on the "general amnesty" issue, questioning herein why it seems a "taboo"to raise such a matter, whereas in the most advanced and civilized countries, it is only normal for general amnesty decrees to be issued in accordance with society�s forgiveness. He went on to explain that calls for amnesty are not actually intended for pardoning the criminal. He added that at the House of Parliament, strict punishment measures can be adopted with regards to any accused who receives amnesty. He continued to indicate that all are equal before the law, and that there is no shame in issuing such a general amnesty decree; especially that the number of those unfairly accused in Baalbek-Hermel exceeds 70%, he noted. Accordingly, he called for opening a new page in this regards and issuing a general amnesty decree, after which any perpetrator shall be subjected to double punishment and bear the consequences of his act.

On another level, Al-Sahili called on the government to sit with economic bodies, with the laborers and instructors, as well as with the taxi drivers� union, in a bid to reach a common denominator amongst them, so as to deal with the economic crisis and increasing cost of living in the country. However, he also implored citizens not to hold the current government solely responsible for all flaws in the economy.

On the other hand, and touching on the situation in Syria, Al-Sahili addressed all those betting on the fall of the Syrian regime, stressing that their bets shall turn out futile since said regime shall witness no downfall, he exclaimed!

Al-Sahili�s words came during a ceremony organized Sunday in the town of Ramasa, West Baalbek.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman meets with Meqati at Baabda Palace

 

Sun 9/10/2011 18:52

NNA - 9/10/2011 - President of the Republic, General Michel Suleiman, met Sunday evening with Prime Minister, Najib Meqati, who briefed him on the general ambience of meetings with the economic bodies.

Meqati also briefed the President on the outcome of his meetings with House Speaker, Nabih Berry, in addition to the discussion items on the agenda of upcoming Tuesday�s cabinet session.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ibrahim relays Sleiman�s condolences to Mufti of Syria

 

Sun 9/10/2011 18:47

NNA - 9/10/2011 - National News Agency reporter Joumana Khoury indicated that General Security Director General, Abbas Ibrahim, visited Syria Sunday, whereby he relayed President of the Republic, General Michel Sleiman�s condolences to Mufti of the Syrian Republic, Ahmad Badreddine Hassoun, in the wake of his son�s assassination last week. Ibrahim considered that whoever targets innocent people in Syria and Lebanon is a mutual enemy.

Mufti Hassoun, in turn, expressed appreciation towards President Sleiman�s condolences. He hoped that his son�s martyrdom would put an end to bloodshed in Syria. He added that the people in Syria are paying the price for their attachment to human rights and engulfing of the resistance.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hajj Hasan: pro-Arab aspirations/ anti-American!
 

Sun 9/10/2011 16:55

NNA - 09/10/2011 Minister of Agriculture, Husein Hajj Hasan, expressed conditional support for Arab libertarian aspirations albeit, they must remain devoid of American backing.

The Minister's utterance came during a Hizbullah graduation ceremony of high school pupils in Nabatiyyeh/South Lebanon where he sarcastically exclaimed as to how "America could suddenly turn into a Mecca of liberty and a sanctuary for notions of people's libertarianism and self-determination!"

He reiterated party upholding of such high principles saying they constituted an integral part of the party's ideological structure. Hajj Hasan accused whom he termed pro-American Lebanese of tying their fortune with the U.S. Pharaonic power of the age.

He concluded that the Jewish state collapsed on its 63rd anniversary as had been once said by Hizbullah Chief Hasan Nasrallah and former Party Chief, Sayyed Abbas.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - Alain Aoun defends Rahi and pay-raise
 

Sun 9/10/2011 15:25

NNA - 09/10/2011 - Deputy of the House, Alain Aoun, disclosed what he termed as a "workshop of pay-raise picking up" thanks to Trend efforts.

Acting at the behest of former Army General, Michel Aoun, at the banquet annual function organized by the Free Patriotic Movement at Bzebdin, Alain Aoun perceived major threatening regional changes in a multi-confessional Lebanese Mountain. He called them existential threats and as such, the deputy listed the Maronite Patriarch worries as very realistic and not just mere mirage.

He disputed criticism leveled against his party from certain Sunni quarters to the effect that Aounists were sowing seeds of strife between Christians and Muslims saying the Movement was upholding tolerance.

The Deputy criticized certain obscurantist abuse within the Sunni camp. Alain Aoun also drew parallels between 9/11 and the targeting of Lebanese Army personal by fundamentalist extremists in Dennieh saying they were of the same ideological strain and that Patriarch Rahi was right in harboring such worries.

At the developmental level, Aoun reiterated party willingness to cooperate with local municipal councils and that cabinet ministers would seek to develop outlying regions of Lebanon as top priority.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aridi asserting PSP autonomy
 

Sun 9/10/2011 15:08

NNA - 09/10/2011 - Public Works and Transportation Minister, Ghazi Aridi, stressed Jumblatt's autonomy vis-�-vis March 8 and other political forces. Aridi who jointly inaugurated Ghaboun secondary school in conjunction with Education Minister, Hassan Diab, urged politicians on both sides of the Lebanese divide to give up their political bidding.

He added that they must gather enough courage for the appointment of right candidates to the right administrative posts of official institutions. Commenting on WikiLeaks disclosures, he pessimistically regarded them as bidding a negative prospect for political life and future of the Lebanese political system. He commented that WikiLeaks disclosures could not straighten things out in Lebanon.

Aridi illustrated Jumblatt's position in that he refuses to be under anybody's elbow and equally rejects being pocketed by any group. He asserted Jumblatt's autonomy when he said that Druze had always been an integral part of Lebanese history and that they were keen to preserve their status within the confessional balance of forces.

Speaking at the behest of Education Minister Diab, his senior aide Ghassan Chakroun disclosed a comprehensive workshop intended for the development of educational curricula and that it was picking up in accelerated momentum.

Former cabinet member, Akram Shehayeb and senior PSP official, cautioned against political manipulation of the Lebanese educational system by any political bloc urging that politics be completely kept out of education.

He cited the example of the Lebanese University which must be helped in a meaningful way rather than falling victim to politics by such appointments.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - MP Hashem for pay-raise and against March 14
 

Sun 9/10/2011 13:29

NNA - 09/10/2011 - Deputy of the House, Qassem Hashem, came out in favor of pay-raise for workers during a tour of Arkoub south Lebanon today. MP Hashem told interlocutors that March 14 were direct accomplices to "Syrian saboteurs" as he called them.

He accused the Hariri camp of working with the Americans to topple the regime since 2005 with the aim of carving up the whole region along Sykes-Picot lines. He urged the Mikati government to meet workers' demands and by doing so, the Prime Minister would restore a sense of socio-economic balance in the country.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - MP Mousawi: priority for dialogue
 

Sun 9/10/2011 13:18

NNA - 09/10/2011 - MP Nawaf Mousawi gave priority to national dialogue as a means of overcoming domestic difficulties and ironing out differences between various political factions.

Addressing a group of graduating high school pupils in Deir Qanoun South Lebanon, he envisaged in Lebanese National unity a means for restoring usurped rights in order to avoid Lebanon falling under international mandate as he said.

The MP reiterated that past and forthcoming victories could be wrested through armed Jihad. He cited what he termed his party's victory in 2006 as an illustration about the efficacy of armed Jihad.

Mousawi criticized the Palestinian Authority (PA) without naming it for engaging in what he termed as "futile long-drone talks with the enemy." He promised that his party would wrest control of Americans and Israelis during the course of the present century.

The MP perceived in the present unrest sweeping Europe and the U.S. an indicative of the imminent collapse of world powers. He pledged outright victory for his party against the West all over the region and accused the Europe and the US of fomenting a series of Arab-Arab, Arab-Kurdish civil wars which would engulf also confessional strife. Therefore, Party Resistance must be preserved at all cost.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel demands equal justice for all
 

Sun 9/10/2011 12:34

NNA - 09/10/2011 A large delegation from the town of Saadnayel pleaded Sunday the case of Ziad Homsi to Head of Kataeb Amine Gemayel, with consensus on the need for unbiased judicial treatment towards all Lebanese.

In 2009, Homsi was charged with collaborating with Israel, plotting against Lebanon, and providing Israeli intelligence agencies with classified information concerning military and civil sites to be used as targets for terrorist attacks.

"We will stand together to stop any injustice against the people of Saadnayel," Gemayel promised.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qahwaji goes to Washington
 

Sun 9/10/2011 11:35

NNA - 09/10/2011 Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Qahwaji, left Beirut Sunday morning heading to Washington via Paris.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fneish advocates socio-economic policies to resolve wage dispute
 

Sun 9/10/2011 11:27

NNA - 09/10/2011 State Minister for Administrative Development Mohammad Fneish contended Sunday during a political meeting in South Lebanon that the solution for pending issue of wage augmentation was mapping out a comprehensive socio-economic plan for the country that would avoid economic inflation.

The General Labor Confederation demanded an increase in salaries. This was met by Finance Minister's proposal to up the Value Added Tax to 12% from a current 10%, leading to a deadlock between the two.

"The government has not rejected the principle of rectifying wages," said Fneish, "but has decided to study the increase rate by further discussion and communication." The Minister assured employees of the private sector that they were also involved in said discussions.

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sfeir: Law safeguards Christian presence
 

Sun 9/10/2011 10:34

NNA - 09/10/2011 Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir asserted Sunday to Voice of Lebanon radio station that Christians of the East were protected by God and law.

The former Patriarch's policies varied greatly from present Patriarch Beshara Rahi, who recently announced full support for Bashar Assad against popular uprising in Syria, citing fear for Christian presence in the Orient from Sunni dominance as one of the main reasons behind said hold.

"God protects everyone," said the Cardinal, "but if Christians seek fortification, then others will also seek protection." Sfeir argued that Christians were capable of taking care of themselves. Although he assured that he was not against Rahi, Sfeir maintained that he had his own opinion, which he would voice out within the council of patriarchs.

"I do not think Bkirky will change. Bkirky will remain as Lebanese have always recognized it."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sfeir: We have overcome dark days with the help of God
 

Sat 8/10/2011 23:34

NNA - 8/10/2011 - Marking the issuance of the new book by Joseph Elias entitled, "So that we do not forget the date 20/9/2000 and beyond", which sheds light on intervals and accomplishments in the life of Cardinal Nasrallah Butros Sfeir, a ceremony took place Saturday at Emile Lahoud's Cultural and Conferences' Center in Dbayeh. Attending the event was Cardinal Sfeir and a crowd of prominent dignitaries, who gathered to honor the former Patriarch.
In a word of praise and appreciation, Sfeir hailed the efforts of the book author Elias, for his valued endeavour in investing time to compile long years of events witnessed by Cardinal Sfeir as Patriarch into a published book. Sfeir referred to many dark days witnessed in the past years by all Lebanese people, which have all been overcome with the help and blessing of God, he noted. He also referred to good days he had lived through as Patriarch, for which he thanked the Lord and the Lebanese people, as a whole, for all the appreciation and kindness and admiration they have shown.
Sfeir hoped for better days to come for all Lebanese. He also hoped for the return of Lebanese expatriates to their mother nation and the return of residing Lebanese to each other in spite of their different political affiliations and aspirations.
In a word on behalf of Lebanese Forces Executive Council Head, Samir Geagea, MP Antoine Zahra praised Cardinal Sfeir for his long years of devotion to the Church and God, and to serving the Lebanese nation as a whole and supporting the building of the Lebanese state. Zahra referred to those who attempt to place obstacles in the path of building the state and achieving justice, attempting to bring back the old darkened days. However, he stressed that all their efforts shall turn out futile, for the fight for right shall be victorious in the end.
In turn, Head of the Education and Culture Parliamentary Committee, MP Bahiya Hariri, gave a word of praise for Cardinal Sfeir's lifetime of achievement and service. Hariri considered that the occasion on this day comes to celebrate a national pact that is filled with ambition and hope and great sacrifices; a pact to renew hope in the rising of a Lebanon that is independent, sovereign and free. She prayed that the Lord would bless the young Lebanese men and women and accord them days of abundance and goodness.

Deputy Marwan Hamadeh also gave a word in praise of Cardinal Sfeir and the published book by author Joseph Elias, with excerpts on Sfeir's life as Patriarch. Hamadeh described Sfeir as being a witness to democracy at a time when it had been missing in Lebanon and the surrounding, and a man who had stood against divisions in the country. He described the book as being a "story of a country and history of a nation."
At the end of the ceremony, Sfeir presented a copy of the published book to families of fallen martyrs.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt meets with popular delegations
 

Sat 8/10/2011 20:58

NNA - 8/10/2011 - National Front Head, MP Walid Jumblatt, met Saturday with a number of popular delegations who visited him at his Mokhtara Palace, raising a number of daily living demands. Delegations came from various towns and villages, namely from Khraibeh, Benay, Mazraaet El-Shouf, Baadaran, Mresty, Niha, Daraya, Hasbaya and Deir El-Qamar.
A delegation of contractual instructors from the Lebanese University also visited Mukhtara Palace Saturday, requesting MP Jumblatt's help in their demand for full-time positions at the University. Jumblatt expressed understanding to their case, delegating Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abu Faour, to follow-up on the matter.
A progressive scout's delegation also called on Jumblatt Saturday marking the occasion of the 43rd commemoration of their association's foundation day, whereby they presented him with a shield in appreciation of his support. They updated him on their future plans and their role at the Arab level.
Attending the various meetings at Al-Mukhtara Palace throughout the day was Minister Wael Abu Faour, as well as Deputies Nehme Tohme, Akram Shehayeb and Elie Aoun, in addition to MP Jumblatt's son, Teymour.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayyel: Syrian Incursions Unacceptable
 

Sat 8/10/2011 18:25

N.N.A. Oct. 8, 2011 - Kataeb Party Boss, Ameen Gemayyel, regarded Syrian incursions into Lebanon as absolutely unacceptable.
Interviewed on the official Lebanon T.V. Channel, he referred to the "Irsal" incursion describing it as a flagrant violation of Lebanese sovereignty.
Gemayyel's position emanated from principles based on historic constants of detaching Lebanon off any regional disputes, as he said.
On the Maronite Patriarch's worries over the fate of Levantine Christians, he said that while he shares Al-Rahi's concerns, he differed with him over appropriate means and approaches as to best ensure their well-being and protection.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abdullah at Siniora's for Discussions
 

Sat 8/10/2011 17:08

NNA - 08/10/2011 - Palestinian ambassador to Lebanon Abdullah Abdullah has been at Fouad Siniora's Sadat Tower office for talks with the former PM and head of pro-Hariri Future parliamentarian Bloc.

Discussions reportedly focused on major developments of bilateral concern both on the domestic and regional scenes.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Baabda Palace itinerants today
 

Sat 8/10/2011 16:29

NNA - 08/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, stressed the importance of administrative decentralization while expressing support for a confessionally balanced electoral law. He defended such a law in that it lessens social and political frictions in the country.

Speaking to Baabda Palace staff and a group of economic experts, he disclosed the re-launching of the social economic council as the appropriate forum of dialogue between various economic bodies. He favored giving workers their rights provided that this would not jeopardize the economy.

Among Baabda itinerant visitors today has been Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji. Kahwaji is due in the U.S. with a list of Lebanese Army need for hardware which he is due to take up with his American hosts. The President reportedly urged security briefings from the General about prevailing security conditions in the country.

A group of municipal heads reportedly sounded the President's view over the decentralization law with the President prodding them to finalize the law within a short notice.

Fady Abou Mrad who headed a delegation of leading neurologists, thanked the President for his patronizing of an international conference of neurologists held recently in Beirut.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved












 

Politics - Ain Tineh itinerant visitors and activities today
 

Sat 8/10/2011 16:15

NNA - 08/10/2011 - Having met with House Speaker Nabih Berri at his Ain Tineh residence today, Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, disclosed that differences between the government and workers representatives would be eventually ironed out in a satisfactory fashion to all.

He acknowledged that financial conditions must be taken into account when deciding on wage hikes and that private enterprises must decide over wages with their respective workforce.

He spoke about need to secure the country and maintain its national unity at all costs.

Among itinerant Ain Tineh visitors, were newly-appointed Lebanese University President, Adnan Sayyed Hussein, and leading Fateh member, Sultan Aboul Aynayn, with no immediate disclosure as per meeting's outcome.

Speaker Berri also cabled condolences to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayip Erdogan at the passing away of his mother.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved











 

Politics - Kenaan urges cabinet to review FBC recommendations
 

Sat 8/10/2011 14:43
NNA - 08/10/2011 MP Ibrahim Kenaan demanded Saturday the cabinet review prepositions made by Finance and Budget Committee (FBC) before passing new budget.

The Committee Head could not fathom how Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi agreed to prepositions of upping Value Added Tax to 12% from current 10%, a suggestion which forced General Labor Confederation (GLC) to halt attending all Price Index Committee meetings until further notice.

"It is as though the Finance Ministry is haunted by Foad Siniora," Kenaan said, alluding to the ministry's constant resistance to change and reform. He asserted that gridlock reached by GLC was the result of years of futile financial policy.

The MP advised economic bodies to assume responsibility towards people, who were the corner stone of these bodies. "Sacrifices should not only fall upon the shoulders of citizens."

Simultaneously, Kenaan called upon GLC to resume calm dialogue to reach a solution to minimum wage challenge.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Raad: nothing stops us from communicating with God!
 

Sat 8/10/2011 14:35

NNA - 08/10/2011 - Head of the Hizbullah Parliamentarian Bloc, MP Mohammad Raad, reiterated party's continued communicating with God over political issues and agendas of concern. He perceived in the Egyptian and Tunisian Arab Spring an end to outside manipulation of our people as he said.

MP Raad's utterance came during a graduation ceremony of handcraft and artisanal courses in Touffah region jointly organized by Touffah Municipal Council and Al-Jihad Construction and Development Foundation.

While confining the Arab Spring to Egypt and Tunisia, the MP expressed deep concern over the path undertaken by both peoples. He warned against attempts by world powers to contain and reorient them in a way conducive to Western interests.

Raad accused certain local and regional forces without naming them of playing the game of the West and that his party remains in the forefront of resisting such attempts at containment. The MP reiterated party full knowledge of Israeli point of weakness and that international conspirators know that for sure.

He predicted that the Euro zone and the United States dominos will fall next because the strength of world powers was limited while the powers of God were aligned on his party's side. He concluded that all media demagogy could not confuse Party Resistance and that supporters and adversaries alike are prone to make this distinction.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati, Qassar: Increase in wages not the solution

 

Sat 8/10/2011 14:06 \

NNA - 08/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati met Saturday with a delegation of economic bodies headed by former Minister Adnan Qassar and agreed that the solution to current gridlock with General Labor Confederation (GLC) is to form a broad social policy and not an increase in wages, NNA correspondent reported.

The GLC announced on Thursday the deferral of its involvement in price index committee meetings aimed at finding a solution to labor union demands for a boost in wages, due to proposed tax increase from 10% to 12% by Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi.

"No one is against increasing wages," said the Prime Minister, "on the condition that it does not affect productivity in Lebanon or lead to inflation." Such results may risk the already shaky status of Lebanese treasury.

Qassar could not have agreed more with Mikati; however, he insisted that ongoing cooperation for the higher good of the country continued with the GLC. Based on such cooperation, Qassar and Mikati invited GLC to a candid and vivid dialogue that would result in a comprehensive and long-lasting social strategy.

It is noteworthy that said meeting took place in presence of Economy and Trade Minister Nicholas Nahas.

In unrelated news, State Minister Ali Qanssou also met with Mikati at the Grand Serail.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sami Gemayel on Bkerki, dialogue and Syrian revolution
 

Sat 8/10/2011 13:35

NNA - 08/10/2011 - Senior Kataeb Party Coordinator, MP Sami Gemayel, denied news reports of Kataeb Party partaking in the Lady of Mountain gathering. Gemayel's confirmation came during an interview with a local newspaper in which he preferred not to respond to head of Bkerki's recent utterances.

The MP argued that it would be inappropriate for his party to respond every utterance by the Patriarch whenever an occasion for differences between Christian leaders presents itself. He acknowledged that Bkerki preserves the right to think at is wishes and that his party likewise made its stand clear.

He downplayed differences between secular and religious leaders saying that real confrontation lies ahead during the upcoming electoral campaign and this would be the time for real reckoning.

Gemayel favored diplomacy to military action which is the preserve of other parties arguing that diplomacy could protect Lebanon against threats at certain times. He did not rule out Kataeb's going back to the round table of national dialogue and that the party may find itself ready to meet with political adversaries half way.

On Kataeb Party position vis-�-vis the electoral law, Gemayel did not commit to the proportional electoral device saying the Kataeb would prove to be highly flexible in opting for any electoral law deemed necessary for sound Christian representation.

He urged Syrian oppositionists whom he termed "custodians of the revolution" to come up with a blue-print for the best regime envisaged by them.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved













 

Politics - (update) Berri, Mikati discuss Lebanese issues
 

Sat 8/10/2011 13:08

NNA - 08/10/2011 House Speaker Nabih Berri convened Saturday with Premier Najib Mikati at the Speaker's residence in Beirut, with talks focusing on domestic hot issues as well as outcome of Berri's visit to Iran and Armenia.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

Politics - Berri, Mikati convene in Ayn Teeneh
 

Sat 8/10/2011 12:56

NNA - 08/10/2011 House Speaker Nabih Berri is currently holding a private meeting with Prime Minister Najib Mikati at his Ayn Teeneh residence, with no detailed reports as to the specifics of their discussions.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

Politics - Roken Abadi: visa's granted to Iranians upon arrival
 

Sat 8/10/2011 12:55

NNA - 08/10/2011 - Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghadanfar Roken Abadi, stated that newly-arrived Iranians in Lebanon won't be in need of entry visas and that according to reciprocity Lebanese going in the other direction won't be in need of entry visas to Iran provided their stay won't exceed 15 days.

Ambassador Roken Abadi's disclosure came during a graduation ceremony at Abbas Mousawi's Institute in Baalbek. Invited were a number of March 8 MPs, religious dignitaries and local party representatives. The Ambassador said bilateral decisions to simplify the travel of Lebanese and Iranians were taken by Interior and Foreign Ministries in both countries such that they would be able to tour both countries within 15 days.

The Ambassador spoke highly about the Russian veto at the UN and that Moscow effectively checked American arrogance in this. He added that the Syrian people remains solidly behind Asad regime and that Western powers were in fact punishing the regime's backing of Hizbullah by imposing the boycott and other aggressive measures.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - Layyoun about Mikati's personal stance
 

Sat 8/10/2011 12:34

NNA - 08/10/2011 - Minister of Culture, Gaby Layyoun, regarded Prime Minister Najib Mikati's willingness to pay STL dues out of his own pocket a personal stance rather than a collective cabinet position.

Interviewed on voice of Lebanon radio station, Layyoun stressed adamant rejection of the Aounist Trend not to subsidize the Court. He based the rejection on the argument that the Tribunal was perfectly illegitimate. He criticized the Lebanese position at the UN Security Council saying Lebanon should have had vetoed the International Resolution against Syria rather than abstaining to vote.

With respect to appointments to key-administrative positions, the Minister said these were the prerogatives of all three presidents: Sleiman, Berri and Mikati. He favored an electoral law based on the principal of proportionality.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - Ahmad Hariri critical of government silence
 

Sat 8/10/2011 11:57

NNA - 08/10/2011 - Secretary General of the "Moustaqbal" Future Party, Ahmad Hariri, criticized Lebanon's voting in favor of Syria at the UN Security Council saying the Lebanese position contradicted high interests of the martyred Syrian people.

Hariri, and in a press conference, lashed out at the Lebanese government's silence over what he termed "repeated Syrian violations of Lebanese territories." He envisaged in the Lebanese government attitude a further example of manipulation by Hizbullah and Syria.

He advised the government to pay its dues to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) since in his words, this reflected Lebanon's interest. Hariri argued that funding the STL would spare Lebanon show-down with the International Community. He concluded that the situation does not tolerate bravados or heroics.

Hariri pledged to take care of 200 Syrian pupils displaced into Lebanon as a result of the ongoing unrest in Syria.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khreiss, Moussawi: expatriates' domestic investment vital for economy
 

Sat 8/10/2011 10:37

NNA - 08/10/2011 MPs Ali Khreiss and Nawaf Moussawi concurred Saturday over crucial role expatriates' money plays in local economy, particularly investment money, during the one week memorial of expatriate Kamal Hassan Dakhl Allah in Qana, south Lebanon.

Repeated assaults on Lebanese community in foreign countries, most notably within the African continent, raised red flags, particularly with the complete absence of any action from the Lebanese state. "There should be an expatriates' ministry that looks after their affairs abroad," suggested Khreiss, who asserted the important role expatriates played in freeing their motherland from Israeli tyranny. On that note, Khreiss called upon various Lebanese factions to come together over a dialogue table to agree on the country's future, opting for resistance in the face of Israel.

Domestic political feuds seemed to find their way into expatriates worldwide, a thing which worried MP Moussawi who hoped to spare Lebanese communities these severe political conflicts. In agreement with Khreiss, Moussawi called upon Lebanese government to follow a preemptive policy for protecting Lebanese expatriates via planning and preparing before catastrophe struck.

Economically, Moussawi underscored the need to have legislations and decrees that aimed at protecting expatriates' investments in their motherland, contending that this type of money offered more leeway for Lebanese projects than Arab or international funds, which mostly depended on politics.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

Politics (corrected) - Geagea: Our future rooted in our will
 

Fri 7/10/2011 20:34

NNA - 07/10/2011 Lebanese Forces (LF) Leader Samir Geagea addressed Friday graduates of the party in a ceremony held in Meraab assuring them that the future of Lebanon will no longer be held hostage in the hands of others but rather depend on Lebanese determination.

The commencement was attended by Deputies Antoine Zahra and Chant Gengenian, alongside a host of LF affiliates and supporters in Geagea's town of residence in Keserwan.

Leader of the party expressed concern over security violations on the northern border yesterday as Syrian troops entered Lebanese territory on Thursday and shot dead a Syrian national living in a remote area of the eastern Bekaa region. "We were once subjected to military breaches from an enemy lurking on the southern border," said Geagea, "these days supposed brethren on our northern and eastern borders are infringing upon us," all this while the government was left incapacitated and paralyzed.

The Arab Spring which stemmed out of Tunisia and swept over numerous countries, most recent of which was Syria, also took center stage in Geagea's speech, "What the Arab region is experiencing currently foretells a prosperous future for the people of the area, including the Lebanese." The veteran politician asserted that freedom, democracy and human dignity were now within reach.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

Politics - Geagea: Our future rooted in our will
 

Fri 7/10/2011 19:25

NNA - 07/10/2011 Lebanese Forces (LF) Leader Samir Geagea addressed Tuesday graduates of the party in a ceremony held in Meraab assuring them that the future of Lebanon will no longer be held hostage in the hands of others but rather depend on Lebanese determination.

The commencement was attended by Deputies Antoine Zahra and Chant Gengenian, alongside a host of LF affiliates and supporters in Geagea's town of residence in Keserwan.

Leader of the party expressed concern over security violations on the northern border yesterday as Syrian troops entered Lebanese territory on Thursday and shot dead a Syrian national living in a remote area of the eastern Bekaa region. "We were once subjected to military breaches from an enemy lurking on the southern border," said Geagea, "these days supposed brethren on our northern and eastern borders are infringing upon us," all this while the government was left incapacitated and paralyzed.

The Arab Spring which stemmed out of Tunisia and swept over numerous countries, most recent of which was Syria, also took center stage in Geagea's speech, "What the Arab region is experiencing currently foretells a prosperous future for the people of the area, including the Lebanese." The veteran politician asserted that freedom, democracy and human dignity were now within reach.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved











 


Politics - Jumblatt, Egyptian Ambassador tackle developments
 

Fri 7/10/2011 19:15

NNA - 07/10/2011 - Most recent domestic and regional political developments featured high Friday on talks between "National Struggle Front" leader Walid Jumblatt and the Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Tawfik.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Harb ups pressure on cabinet to summon Syrian Ambassador
 

Fri 7/10/2011 19:00

NNA - 07/10/2011 - Recalling the most recent Syrian military trespassing into the Lebanese borderline of Arsal locality on Tuesday, MP Boutros Harb stepped up calls on the Lebanese government to summon the Syrian Ambassador and inform him about the Lebanese government's fervent objection to such contravention.

Harb, on Friday, promised to hold the Lebanese government fully accountable in the event of inertia, and promised to torpedo the cabinet and recount it as a "complicit" if it fails to carry out its duties.

"Nothing deterred the Syrian regime from trespassing into the Lebanese border one more time, and, killing a Lebanese citizen in Arsal," Harb said in a statement.

"This is a premeditated and deliberate violation, not to mention a blatant disrespect to the intentionally acknowledged Lebanese-Syrian borders."

Harb also objected to the Lebanese Foreign Affairs Minister's disregard of a previous call by many Lebanese politicians to summon the Syrian Ambassador, in the wake of both Arsal events.

"He never did," Harb said, expressing wonder at the highly pitched rhetoric used by some Lebanese politicians in defense of the Syrian side of the story.

Albeit, Harb responded to objecting voices over attempts at placing Syrian violations parallel to Israeli violations.

"Our position from the Israeli enemy is nonnegotiable. But, this doesn't excuse attempts at justifying [Syrian] attempts at striking Lebanese sovereignty."
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora, UAE Ambassador talk developments
 

Fri 7/10/2011 17:55

NNA - 07/10/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc leader, Former Prime Minister Fouad Sinora, tackled on Friday latest local and regional developments with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Ambassador to Lebanon, Yusuf Asimi.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ghosn briefs Mikati on GLC demands
 

Fri 7/10/2011 17:34

NNA - 07/10/2011 - A General Labor Confederation (GLC) delegation displayed on Friday the confederation's requests and proposals before Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

The GLC issued a statement calling on various public and private sector employees to be more involved in preparations for the Oct. 12 GLC-led strike. The statement also rejects delays in discussing labor demands, and urges the Cabinet to quickly issue the minimum wage increase decrees.

Agreements between Mikati and the GLC delegation, headed by GLC head Ghassan Ghosn, had been set on concluding abovementioned discussions following the Price Index Committee's final discussions and reports on the matter, taking into account the economic committee's opinion with this regard.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Faisal Karami: Tripoli craves for fair appointments
 

Fri 7/10/2011 17:22

NNA - 7/10/2011 Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Omar Karami considered that the government has succeeded in presenting assurances to the Lebanese about its determination to work and make achievements.
Minister Faisal stressed that the northern city of Tripoli craves for fair appointments and the launching of serious socio-economic development cycle with all accessible means.
Karami was speaking during a lunch banquet held in his honor by Environment Scouts Association Head Mohamed Nuhad Al-Zaylaa at "Shatee Restaurant" in Mina, Tripoli.
Karami considered that the most significant achievement by the current government lies in disallowing Lebanon to be dragged into confessional or sectarian tense climates.
"Youth and Sports Ministry is in the process of preparing an essential doucument outlining youth policies in Lebanon", Karami dislcosed, stressing the vital role played by the youth in the Country.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel supports funding STL
 

Fri 7/10/2011 17:21
NNA - 07/10/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister, Merwan Charbel, said on Friday he sides with funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and that the problems occurring on the Lebanese Syrian borders will be discussed at the ministerial council.

In an interview on LBCI TV, Interior and Municiplaities Minister, Merwan Charbel, said issues pertaining to problems recently occurring on the Lebanese Syrian borders would be referred to the ministerial council session for discussion.

He added to say that he, as head of the Technical Commission for Lebanese Syrian Borders Demaracation, will also refer this issue to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in order to reach solutions in this concern, that satisfy the Lebanese and Syrian peoples alike.

The Minister announced that he supports financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri in 2005, affirming that sanctions would be imposed on Lebanon, in case the STL is not financed.

As for Charbel's visitors today at his ministerial office, the Minister received head of the International Red Cross Commission, York Montani, who, interviewed after the visit, said that he engaged with the host in talks relevant to the activities performed by IRCC as concerning the local prisons issue and the condition of Lebanese deprived from their freedom.

Montani added to say that he reviewed with the host the ongoing collaboration between the ministry and IRCC.

Separately, Charbel received the Indian Ambassador to Lebanon, Rafy Thabar, and reviewed with him bilateral ties.

Afterwards, Charbel received UN Deputy Special Representative to Lebanon, Robert Watkins. Talks reportedly featured high on the parliamentary elections law and the condition of the Lebanese Syrian borders.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel supports funding STL
 

Fri 7/10/2011 17:21
NNA - 07/10/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister, Merwan Charbel, said on Friday he sides with funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and that the problems occurring on the Lebanese Syrian borders will be discussed at the ministerial council.

In an interview on LBCI TV, Interior and Municiplaities Minister, Merwan Charbel, said issues pertaining to problems recently occurring on the Lebanese Syrian borders would be referred to the ministerial council session for discussion.

He added to say that he, as head of the Technical Commission for Lebanese Syrian Borders Demaracation, will also refer this issue to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in order to reach solutions in this concern, that satisfy the Lebanese and Syrian peoples alike.

The Minister announced that he supports financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri in 2005, affirming that sanctions would be imposed on Lebanon, in case the STL is not financed.

As for Charbel's visitors today at his ministerial office, the Minister received head of the International Red Cross Commission, York Montani, who, interviewed after the visit, said that he engaged with the host in talks relevant to the activities performed by IRCC as concerning the local prisons issue and the condition of Lebanese deprived from their freedom.

Montani added to say that he reviewed with the host the ongoing collaboration between the ministry and IRCC.

Separately, Charbel received the Indian Ambassador to Lebanon, Rafy Thabar, and reviewed with him bilateral ties.

Afterwards, Charbel received UN Deputy Special Representative to Lebanon, Robert Watkins. Talks reportedly featured high on the parliamentary elections law and the condition of the Lebanese Syrian borders.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel supports funding STL
 

Fri 7/10/2011 17:14

NNA - 07/10/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister, Merwan Charbel, said on Friday he sides with funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and that the problems occurring on the Lebanese Syrian borders will be discussed at the ministerial council.

In an interview on LBCI TV, Interior and Municiplaities Minister, Merwan Charbel, said issues pertaining to problems recently occurring on the Lebanese Syrian borders would be referred to the ministerial council session for discussion.

He added to say that he, as head of the Technical Commission for Lebanese Syrian Borders Demaracation, will also refer this issue to Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, in order to reach solutions in this concern, that satisfy the Lebanese and Syrian peoples alike.

The Minister announced that he supports financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri in 2005, affirming that sanctions would be imposed on Lebanon, in case the STL is not financed.

As for Charbel's visitors today at his ministerial office, the Minister received head of the International Red Cross Commission, York Montani, who, interviewed after the visit, said that he engaged with the host in talks relevant to the activities performed by IRCC as concerning the local prisons issue and the condition of Lebanese deprived from their freedom.

Montani added to say that he reviewed with the host the ongoing collaboration between the ministry and IRCC.

Separately, Charbel received the Indian Ambassador to Lebanon, Rafy Thabar, and reviewed with him bilateral ties.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk: To unleash media from traditional limits
 

Fri 7/10/2011 17:12

NNA - 07/10/2011 - It is high time Arab media is set free from its traditional boundaries, Information Minister Walid Daouk said on Friday, to later extol ongoing media cooperation between Lebanon and Kuwait.

Interviewed by the Kuwaiti News Agency "KUNA", the Information Minister affirmed the importance of beefing up Lebanese-Kuwaiti media relations. He commended within this framework existing cooperation agreements between KUNA and the National News Agency NNA.

"The Lebanese take pride with their Kuwaiti brethrens, and Lebanese residing in Kuwait feel as if they are living in their own country," the Minister said.

Touching on the affluent Kuwaiti investments in Lebanon, Minister Daouk said they played a major role in boosting Lebanese national economy.

"Kuwaiti tourists helped develop Lebanese summer attractions," Daouk said, specifically naming Lebanese mountains.

As for Arab spring developments which have taken thus far somewhat a big share of media attention worldwide, Minister Daouk expressed hope if only Arab media would devote its efforts to Arab interest only. He said media should consider surpassing its traditional limits and be given more freedom, tackling different matters.

"Media in Lebanon and Kuwait is similar thanks to the broad freedom margin between both countries," the Minister added, deeming both countries an example, for other nations to follow.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Syrian Ambassador: situation in Syria normal
 

Fri 7/10/2011 16:59
NNA - 07/10/2011 - The Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, described on Friday the situation in Syria as normal, explaining that the whole matter was a summer cloud that passed Syria by.

Ali's word came amidst his visiting the Syriac Orthodox Bishopric of Atshana, wherein he met with Patriarch Zakka I Iwass.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Army, UNIFIL thrash out means of beefing up dialogue
 

Fri 7/10/2011 16:20

NNA - 07/10/2011 - Strategic dialogue and means of upgrading cooperation ties between the Lebanese Army and UNIFIL reportedly focused Friday on talks between Brigadier General Abdul Rahman Shheitly and a visiting UNIFIL delegation.

The meeting took place at the Lebanese Army's Headquarters in Yarzeh, between the Lebanese Government's UNIFIL Coordinator, Brigadier Shheitly, and, a UNIFIL delegation headed by Force Commander Assistant General, Brigadier Santi Bonfanti.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Khoury: majority of quarries and crushers illegal
 

Fri 7/10/2011 15:30

NNA - 7/11/2011 - Environment Minister Nazem Al-Khoury said Friday that the majority of the quarries and rock crushers in Lebanon are illegal.

The Minister who chaired a meeting for the quarries and rock crushers' national council explained that the plan set by the Ministry includes new standards for dealing with the illegal quarries' file, for they have caused a series of problems in many regions of Lebanon.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


Politics - STL Media Advisory: Appeals Chamber rules on matter of El Sayed
 

Fri 7/10/2011 15:13

NNA - 7/10/2011 - The Appeals Chamber ruled today that statements of certain witnesses must be provided by the Prosecutor to Mr Jamil El Sayed swiftly. The decision confirms in part an earlier ruling by the Pre Trial Judge ordering that the documents be disclosed.

With regards to the statements of other witnesses, the Appeals Chamber returned the matter to the Pre Trial Judge for further consideration. The Prosecutor must now work with the Tribunal's Victims and Witnesses Unit to ensure that the disclosure of such statements will not present risks to any persons nor impede the Ayyash et al proceedings.

This appeal was in the context of Mr El Sayed's ongoing efforts to obtain documents in the STL Prosecutor's possession, which are necessary for him to pursue his claims before national courts against those allegedly responsible for his previous detention in Lebanon.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Oseiran puts higher interest above all
 

Fri 7/10/2011 15:05

NNA - 7/10/2011 - Deputy Ali Oseiran said on Friday that everybody is required to make concessions for the sake of Lebanon's higher interest and for preserving the state.

"The country is going through an exceptional and unusual stage," said Oseiran who believes Lebanon's conditions' should be rendered special concern.

"The Lebanese people are suffering from the misadministration of the livelihood and vital affairs what increases the burden weighing on their shoulders," he regretted.

Oseiran also contacted by phone the Electricit� Du Liban Director Kamal Hayek with talks touching on the power issue in Hannawiyeh and Zahrani.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 









 

Politics - Fletcher: UK always stands beside Lebanon
 

Fri 7/10/2011 15:00

NNA - 07/10/2011 - The British Ambassador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, said on Friday the United Kingdom will always stay on the side of Lebanon.

During a charitable dinner banquet hosted by the Lebanese British Association under title "Towards a brilliant future", and patronized by the British Ambassador to Beirut, Tom Fletcher, at Phoenicia hotel in Beirut, Fletcher gave a word saying the challenges facing Lebanon are many, and so, the UK will always stand on the side of Lebanon. "Our aim is to look ahead to the future of Lebanon and the Lebanese British Association recognizes that, as it sets about establishing a new generation of British and Lebanese citizens."

A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Qassem : for government to invest capabilities
 

Fri 7/10/2011 14:04

NNA - 7/10/2011- Hizbullah Secretary General Deputy, Sheikh Naim Qassem, said Friday the Lebanese government must invest its capabilities and benefit from the current political stability.

During an honorary ceremony held on Friday by Al-Mostafa Schools, Qassem asked the Mikati-led cabinet to invest its capabilities as it upholds wide representation capacity among the Lebanese public and gains a big respect on the regional and international levels.

Moreover, this government must benefit from the present political stability and fight corruption in public institutions so as to avoid facing problems that already encountered the earlier governments, said Qassem.

A.M/N.AF

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Franjieh, Norwegian Ambassador meet
 

Fri 7/10/2011 13:33

NNA - 7/10/2011 Marada movement leader Sleiman Franjieh received Friday at his residence in Bnashii the Norwegian Ambassador to Lebanon, Sfein Asse.

Both men engaged with talks on most recent domestic and regional up-to-dates as well as bilateral ties' reinforcement.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 


Politics - Karameh follows up educational, developmental affairs
 

Fri 7/10/2011 13:25

NNA - 7/10/2011 - Sports and Youths Minister Faysal Karameh tackled with his visitors' general situation in Tripoli and North, and listened to the complaints and demands of the inhabitants.

In this framework, Karameh met with a delegation of university students from Denniyeh with whom he tackled the educational situation as well as their suffering in their educational attainments.

The delegation also briefed Karameh on the agricultural disaster which has devastated the cultivation in Denniyeh and other villages of the region, calling for paying to the farmers indemnities for the million-dollar damages they suffered.

Also, the Minister received a delegation of Marada Movement with talks featuring on Tripoli and North region's affairs.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khoreis: Resistance is national necessity
 

Fri 7/10/2011 12:44

NNA - 7/10/2011 - Deputy Ali Khoreis said the Resistance was and always will be a national necessity in face of the Israeli schemes constantly targeting Lebanon.

The Liberation and Development bloc member estimated that Israel will never fail to target Lebanon's human and material resources by all means.

The Deputy who delivered Amal movement's word during a memorial service on Friday reconfirmed Lebanon's duty to invest its fuel resources immediately, cutting the way before the Israeli enemy which harbors piracy plans at this level.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

Politics - Qabbany urges Charbel to apprehend vehicle inspection assailants
 

Fri 7/10/2011 11:56

NNA - 7/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Mohammed Qabbany called on Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to apprehend the assailants in the vehicle inspection center in Haddath.

"The minister must first arrest the assailants and then ask the judicial authorities to apply severe penalties on these assailants. He must also refer the file of corruption prevailing in this vehicle inspection center to the control committee in order to apply severe penalties on those who are involved in corruption," Qabbany said.

He added that these penalties should be applied to all key officials and senior staff at this center who were involved in acts of corruption.

"These corrupt officials are responsible for the lives of many people who were killed or maimed in the streets of Lebanon because they sold driving licenses to drivers without even making a test drive," the MP said.

He argued that the chaotic condition coupled with the prevailing corruption in most departments of the vehicle inspection center has encouraged some individuals to assault the staff at the center.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Parliament right place to settle STL issue, says Abboud
 

Fri 7/10/2011 11:41

NNA - 7/10/2011 Tourism Minister said Friday that the Parliament is the right place to settle STL issue.

While Free Patriotic Movement leader Michel Aoun reiterated his disapproval of the matter, Minister Abboud deemed it necessary to have the issue, as a first step, be reinstated by constitutional means.

In his talk with Voice of Lebanon- Voice of Freedom and Dignity- radio station, Minister Fadi Abboud said it is improbable that this matter leads to the collapse of the government.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Daouk meets Malaysian Ambassador
 

Fri 7/10/2011 11:39

NNA - 7/10/2011 - Information Minister Walid Daouk met at his office on Friday before noon Malaysian Ambassador to Lebanon Illango Karuppannan.

Discussions focused on the current situation and ways to develop bilateral ties between both countries.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Kaderi: STL is not funds but justice
 

Fri 7/10/2011 10:46

NNA - 7/10/2011 - Deputy Ziad Kaderi renewed the necessity of Lebanon's commitment to international resolutions, particularly resolution 1757, stressing that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon is not just funds but justice and martyrs cause.

The MP said after meeting with Head of "Lebanese Forces" Samir Geagea on Friday that discussions focused on the latest developments on the Lebanese and regional scenes, criticizing "the repetition of the security incidents on the Lebanese-Syrian borders".

Kaderi said that this incursion was not an innocent act and was directed to the Lebanese internal, March 14, state and citizens as well as a regional and international message.
"This means that if the Syrian regime falls, the remnants of this regime could cross all the red lines and inflame the region", the MP added.

"Future" MP condemned Lebanon's official approach to the incursion issue, wondering why the Lebanese cabinet did not coordinate with the Syrian regime despite their friendship.

Regarding the election law, the MP said "we as Future bloc did not discuss any electoral law proposal but we support any law which assures all the Lebanese sects, particularly Christians, and we support any law that provides national integration and good representation".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Harb foresees infighting within cabinet
 

Fri 7/10/2011 10:36

NNA - Member of Parliament Botrous Harb on Friday did not rule out a confrontation within the government of Prime Minister Najib Mikati over several controversial issues and most notably the funding of the International Tribunal for Lebanon.

Speaking to Voice of Lebanon "Voice of Freedom and Dignity", Harb warned that the pledges made by the President of the Republic and Prime Minister to the United Nations to fund the tribunal is now on the brink because they won't be able translate these promises into deeds and this would eventually pit the ministers against each other.

"The claims that there are no differences within the cabinet over the tribunal are not true. Lebanon has international credibility which it must uphold," the MP said, dismissing the possibility that President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati will allow Lebanon to lose its credibility.

"In the next few days we are going to witness a confrontation with the cabinet. Its fate is linked to its ability to remain coherent and in case Mikati submitted his resignation."

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Majdalani, Fatfat return from Paris
 

Thu 6/10/2011 22:09

NNA - 6/10/2011 Deputies Atef Majdalani and Ahmad Fatfat returned to Beirut on Thursday evening, coming from Paris.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Osseiri leaves to Riyadh
 

Thu 6/10/2011 22:07

NNA - 6/10/2011 Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Osseiri left Beirut on Thursday evening, heading to Riyadh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Moeen Merhbi criticizes Army Command and its intelligence
 

Thu 6/10/2011 22:04

NNA - 6/10/2011 Deputy Moeen Merhbi lambasted in a statement Army Command and Intelligence Directorate, accusing intelligence members of "kidnapping a Lebanese in the area of Qaa as he was transferring an injured Syrian with his family for treatment to a local hospital".
He also narrated an incident that occurred at an Army checkpoint in Shedra-Akkar with one of the injured Syrians, placing these two incidents "at the disposal of Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji.... whom we admire and respect", statement said.
The MP also hoped that "the United Nations, International Red Cross and Human Rights Organizations protect refugees".
----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

Politics - Kheir calls to extricate STL item from procrastination
 

Thu 6/10/2011 21:36

NNA - 6/10/2011 Deputy Kazem Kheir said that Hezbollah is seeking to find an exit to get away from STL funding item, considering that the current government is in a dilemma specially after President Sleiman and Premier Mikati voiced commitment to international resolutions and Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).
Kheir said "This dilemma plunges the Country in a crisis and might put Lebanon in a confrontation with the international community", calling on the government to extricate STL item from procrastination.
On the current situation in Syria, Kheir pointed out that North of Lebanon is still suffering deterioration in the economic situation due to Syrian crisis, urging the government to immediately intervene to resolve this problem.
Kheir, Future parliamentary bloc member, also hoped that immigrants' balloting right will be endorsed in the new electoral law, in protection of Lebanese citizens' rights whether residing in Lebanon or present abroad.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Sami Gemayel: Syrian infiltration assault on Lebanon
 

Thu 6/10/2011 20:59

NNA - 6/10/2011 Deputy Sami Gemayel considered Syrian infiltration that occurred on Lebanese-Syrian northern borders on Tuesday an assault against Lebanon and a violation of sovereignty, holding the Lebanese government responsible for failing to issue an official denouncement stance in this regards.
Gemayel, Kataeb Party Central Committee Coordinator, met on Thursday with European Union Ambassador Angelina Ekhorest, at Saifi House, where they tackled developments on the Lebanese and international arena, and means of cooperation between Kataeb and EU.
Ekhorest said on emerging that they discussed proposed files on the local, regional and international scenes, saying cooperation between Kataeb and EU is continuous.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

Politics - Charbel denounces corruption within public administration
 

Thu 6/10/2011 19:47

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Marwan Charbel, denounced corruption within the public administration, during a tour he effectuated Thursday in Internal Security Forces and General Security directorates, where he met with Major Generals Ashraf Rifi and Abbas Ibrahim.

"Bribery is considered robbery, and so are gifts; employees have no right whatsoever to take advantage of their posts to realize personal benefits at the account of public interest," said Charbel.

Besides, he shed light on the important role of the General Security in tourism and economy. "This directorate is Lebanon's cultural and civilized forefront, considering its relations with foreign tourists," he said.

The Minister did not fail to caution employees against "leverages."


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Rahi in his St Louis sermon: let us strive to live in communion and love
 

Thu 6/10/2011 19:21

NNA - 6/10/2011 Meetings of iaspora Maronite bishops across the American continent opened up on Thursday in the US State of Missouri, chaired by Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi to discuss an array of pastoral issues. Bishops' meetings taking place in the City of Saint Louis will last till upcoming Friday, to be crowned by a ceremonial mass service under the chairmanship of Patriarch Rahi and attended by Bishops, priests and Perish sons.
On Wednesday noon, Rahi chaired a mass service at "Saint Louis" Church, attended by a number of Perish sons and bishops.
In his delivered sermon, Rahi said "I am happy to be in your midst in St. Louis with my Vicar General Archbishop Paul Sayah and the newly ordained Bishop Hanna Alwan, Patriarchal Auxiliary for canonical affairs. This stop is part of my pastoral visit to the two eparchies of the United States of America. I am grateful to my brother Sayedna Robert for his hospitality and kindness as well as to Bishop Gregory and to their staff for organizing this visit. I am happy to see my brother bishops who have come from Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Argentina as well as the superior generals of the Maronite religious orders who came from Lebanon. I bring to you the greeting of His Eminence Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir and the members of the synod of bishops".

He added "Today's readings speak of the way God wanted his church to carry out the mission. He sent His Only Son to proclaim his message to the world. The epistle speaks about the concept of covenant and how Jesus fulfilled it through his own life, death and resurrection. In the gospel, we recall a high point in Jesus' relationship with his disciples. He wanted them to know his true identity and the purpose of his coming".
He went on to say " He asks his disciples who people say he is. He was trying to find out what the people knew about him. In reply, the disciples give various answers.
People considered Jesus as one of the prophets, the one carrying the message of God to them; they did not think of him as the Son of God. Then, Jesus pointed directly to the Apostles asking them personally: "Who do you say that I am?" He wanted a clear answer from the people who have heard him, seen his miracles, and lived with him. He wanted to find out the depth of their faith and their knowledge about him".
He said " Here Simon Peter answers, "You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God." Peter, inspired by the Father in heaven, acknowledges Jesus' true identity as Son and his role as Messiah, the long-awaited Savior.
In response to Simon's declaration of faith, Jesus would entrust him with the task of leadership of the church that he intends to build: "You are Peter the rock and on this rock I will build my Church." Then, his name is changed from Simon to Peter meaning the rock to signify the new role he will assume, the new life he will have as head of the apostles. Peter becomes the rock, the solid foundation that will support the others; he will become their servant leading by a spirit of love. In fact, one of the titles of the Pope, the successor of Peter, is "Servant of the Servants." Peter and the apostles, and after him the Popes and bishops, are there to strengthen the weak, to gently correct the wrongdoers and to guide courageously the wandering in a spirit of "communion and love". This is the motto I chose for my patriarchal ministry and this is what I have been trying to implement through my pastoral visits. Thus, we pursue the work of Peter and the apostles in fulfilling the Covenant between God and his people".
" The image of the handing of the keys signifies that passing on of the authority to Peter and from him to his successors. The Pope, Patriarch, Bishop as disciples of Christ, are shepherds who work diligently to keep the flock together in communion with God and in a spirit of love with the other members, all the faithful who follow the way of the Lord", Patriarch said.
" Now as we open our pastoral visit to the United States of America and our meetings with my brother bishops of the expansion along with the superior generals, we need to ask ourselves: "Who is Christ for us? How do we fulfill his will in our life? How do we lead and what should we do to bring everybody to the flock, and to the green pastures?" Rahi indicated.
" This question is put to each and every one of you as well. Christ wants a personal answer to this vital question. He wants to initiate a unique friendship with every one of us. We need to declare our faith strongly and clearly. We are proud to be Catholics, to be followers of Christ. We are not afraid of sharing our faith with others. Let us pray to have the courage of Peter to proclaim the true faith, to have the love of John who was there at the foot of the cross, and let us strive to live in communion and love", Rahi noted.
Rahi concluded " I ask for your prayers for me and for all the bishops and superior generals as we meet to discuss important topics that will help our Maronite Church to grow stronger. We place our meetings under the protection of the Blessed Mother, Our Lady of Lebanon, Patroness of the Eparchy and our Maronite Saints".
----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Abboud tackles bilateral ties with Indian Ambassador
 

Thu 6/10/2011 17:35

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud tackled Thursday with the Indian Ambassador to Lebanon Rafi Tabar means to boost bilateral ties, particularly at the touristic level.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


Politics - Abi Nasr sees administrative appointments politicized
 

Thu 6/10/2011 17:06

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Neemtallah Abi Nasr lashed out Thursday at the administrative appointments in Lebanon which he termed as "politicized."

He said the delay in Christians-related appointments was down to the absence of any agreement among Christian references.

Interviewed on OTV channel today, the Change and Reform bloc member said wages adjustment was not satisfactory to employees.

Abi Nasr, who did not fail to remind that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon's formation was not compliant with the Constitution, criticized March 14 forces for holding the incumbent government responsible for off-putting accumulations. He said present crises stemmed from the policies adopted by the current opposition.

Touching on the electoral law, the Deputy couched support for proportionality principle. He however cast doubt over the intention of the Foreign Ministry's authorization of expatriates' vote in 2013.

Turning to Syria's unrest, he highlighted the necessity of reforms and democracy, and called to demarcate and protect Lebanese-Syrian borders.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 


 


Politics - Berri from Armenia: Lebanon goes through stage of monetary, security stability
 

Thu 6/10/2011 16:48

NNA - 6/10/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri ended his official visit to Armenia on Thursday by reassuring the Lebanese Diaspora that despite all the internal tensions, Lebanon is currently going through a stage of monetary and security stability, particularly at the level of gold reserve and national currency.

Berri delivered these words during his meeting with the Lebanese Diaspora in Armenia in presence of his Armenian counterpart Hovik Abrahamian, the Lebanese Charg� D'affaires Ziad Atallah and ranking dignitaries.

"The security incidents taking place every now and then are of minor importance as they are always surmounted by the firm will to keep active the dialogue between the country's poles," the House Speaker assured.

Furthermore, Berri confirmed Lebanon's support for the Palestinian cause tantamount the end of the Israeli occupation and violations, as well as the settlements and lands' confiscation.

"Acknowledging the Palestinian statehood is not enough to address this issue," he added.

"Regarding the Arab country's unrest, on top of which the Syrian developments, Lebanon calls for reforming and modernizing the Arab world's system by encouraging citizens and youth, men and women, to participate in their state's development," the Speaker alleged, warning from the schemes aimed at seizing the Arab region's human and natural resources by weakening the regimes' authority and deepening the schism between the people.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Diplomatic meetings highlight Mansour's activities today
 

Thu 6/10/2011 16:27
NNA - 6/10/2011 - Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour on Thursday met with the Austrian ambassador, Eva Maria Ziegler, who requested Lebanon's support for her country before international forums.

Mansour later received the credentials of the newly appointed South Korean ambassador to Lebanon.

A delegation of the European Economic and Social Committee, headed by Jean-Francois Bence, also visited the Minister today.

The Slovak ambassador later handed Mansour a letter from his Slovak counterpart, hereby requesting Lebanon's support for Slovakia's candidacy to the International Justice Court of The Hague.

Furthermore, the Minister respectively met with MP Michel Helo, and Head of the Cultural League's African Continental Council, Najib Zaher.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Abu Faour receives EU delegation, others
 

Thu 6/10/2011 16:03
NNA - 06/10/2011 - Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour received on Thursday at his office a delegation of the European Union, headed by the director of the social and economic commission, Jean Francois Bins, and head of the financial commission, Sandy Bowel.

Discussions focused on challenges facing the Social Affairs Ministry as well as the relation between said ministry and national associations.

Separately, Abu Faour met with the Cypriot Ambassador Homer Mavromitis on an acquaintance visit. The latter invited the Ambassador to participate in the conference on democracy which is to be held on October 13, 14.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 


Politics - Hazim utters optimism over Syrian situation
 

Thu 6/10/2011 15:51

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim seems very optimistic over the situation in Syria, hoping it would soon be rid of this crisis.

The Patriarch of Antioch and the East received Thursday the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali with talks featuring high on issues of concern in the Arab region.

Ali said President Bashar Al-Assad has been introducing major amendments to the Syrian regime for the interest of the country.

Lebanese-Syrian ties were also discussed between the two men who hoped for further rectification of their course.

Regarding the Syrian military apparatuses which infiltrated two days ago into the Lebanese territories, Ali said this issue should not be overestimated by media resources especially that the two countries are communicating at this level.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Jarrah chides government with 'carelessness' for North, Bekaa
 

Thu 6/10/2011 15:50

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Jamal Jarrah on Thursday blamed the government for what he termed as "carelessness" for north and Bekaa regions, at the backdrop of the cabinet's quiescence over Arsal incident.

Syrian tanks crossed Tuesday the Lebanese-Syrian border into the Bekaa town of Arsal and fired at a deserted factory after suspecting the presence of armed individuals inside it.

But the incident was absent from yesterday's ministerial discussions during the cabinet session, held in Baabda palace with 159 items on its agenda.

According to Jarrah, many incoming news speak of fire shooting from the Syrian side towards citizens and locals of Akkar and Wadi Khaled.

He renewed calls to summon the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon, stressing the obligation to speed up the borders demarcation process with Syria.

The Future parliamentary bloc member made these remarks during an interview on Future News channel today.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 


 

 


Politics - Mikati receives Daouk, others
 

Thu 6/10/2011 15:38

NNA - 06/10/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati received on Thursday at the Grand Serail Information Minister, Walid Daouk, accompanied with a delegation from the National Council for Media headed by the chairperson of said council, Abdul Hadi Mahfouz.

Mikati stressed during his meeting with the delegation that the government must cooperate with media institutions, in order to reach a secure media society.

Mikati also received a delegation of Baalbeck-Hermel parliamentary bloc composed of Assem Qanso, Nawar Sahili, Kamel Al-Rifai and others. Interviewed after the visit, Sahili stressed on the necessity of controlling the northern borders of Lebanon so as to prevent saboteurs from crossing into the Syrian territories.

Afterwards, Mikati received a delegation of the Tourism Syndicates Union in Lebanon, headed by Pierre Ashkar, who said that the unrest in the Middle East region and the instability of the political ambience in Lebanon caused the local tourism sector a setback.

Among Mikati's visitors has been head of the Administrative Council of Middle East Airlines, Muhammad Hout, who discussed with the Premier the condition of M.E.A.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 




 


Politics - Habib meets Geagea: we cling to Taef, coexistence
 

Thu 6/10/2011 15:19

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Deputy Khodr Habib confirmed Thursday his clinging to Taef agreement, to equity and to Islamic-Christian coexistence, during his visit to the Lebanese Forces executive body head Samir Geagea.

As per Geagea's press office, Habib uttered his support to the electoral law which stipulates each Mouhafaza's election to its deputies.

The Deputy, who firmly rejected the electoral law based on proportionality, estimated that this does not ban all sorts of viewpoints' exchange between the March 14 forces poles in a bid to find adequate solutions at this level.

As for the Syrian military infiltration into the Lebanese territories at Arsal borders, Habib said they were mere "violations" to the country's sovereignty.

Regarding General Michel Aoun's call upon the Prime Minister and the President to finance the special tribunal with their own money, the Deputy said Hezbollah will eventually "clear the name" of Premier Mikati amongst Sunnites allowing the government to finance the STL one way or another.

Separately, Geagea received parliament members Henri Helo and Antoine Saad who confirmed in the wake of the meeting that the speech delivered by Geagea during the LF martyrs' commemoration mass is the party's futuristic project.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


 

 


Politics - National dialogue re-launch in Sleiman's crosshairs
 

Thu 6/10/2011 15:18

NNA - 6/10/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, on Thursday met with State Minister, Ali Qanso, over the possibility to re-launch national dialogue.

The pair also discussed the current general situation as well as the electoral law draft.

Former Minister Ziad Baroud had also been to Baabda palace today for a meeting with the President over the administrative decentralization issue.

Sleiman later received former Minister Selim Warde, with talks touching on most recent political developments.

Furthermore, Sleiman met with Central Bank Governor, Riad Salameh, over the monetary situation and measures Lebanon's Central Bank is adopting to protect banking and financial stability.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


 


Politics - Erslan against funding STL unless a change in its structure
 

Thu 6/10/2011 14:42

NNA - 06/10/2011 - Lebanese Democratic Party head, Talal Erslan, toured on Thursday in the villages of Upper Metn, wherein he held a series of meetings with dignitaries in the region.

Evoking the issue of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri, Erslan said that Lebanese have all agreed on unveiling the truth behind the murders in condition that this truth is based on justice and law - the truth that helps boost our national unity.

Erslan said the Lebanese Democratic Party is against financing STL unless a change in its structure will happen and a different investigation course is adopted.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - (updated) Jumblatt holds talks with Canadian and Romanian ambassadors
 

Thu 6/10/2011 14:41

NNA - 6/10/2011 - President of the Socialist Progressive Party MP Walid Jumblatt received on Thursday Canada's ambassador to Lebanon Childs-Adams and Romania's ambassador Daniel Tanase and discussed with them current developments.

He also sent cable of condolences to Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faysal on the death of his sister.

Jumblatt also received former U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Robet Murphey and the current UAE Ambassador Youssef Ossaimi.


O.H-L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 


Politics - Daouk receives Argentine Ambassador

Thu 6/10/2011 14:28

NNA - 6/10/2011 Minister of Information Walid Daouk received Thursday at his ministerial office the Argentinean Ambassador to Lebanon Jose Gutierrez Maxwell.

Both men engaged in talks on ways to develop the countries' bilateral ties.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Jumblatt holds talks with Canadian and Romanian ambassadors
 

Thu 6/10/2011 12:20

NNA - 6/10/2011 - President of the Socialist Progressive Party MP Walid Jumblatt received on Thursday Canada's ambassador to Lebanon Childs-Adams and Romania's ambassador Daniel Tanase and discussed with them current developments.

He also sent cable of condolences to Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al Faysal on the death of his sister.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Ghanem: No one can stop tribunal's work
 

Thu 6/10/2011 11:56

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Robert Ghanem told "Al Sharq Radio" on Thursday that the government would be making a fatal mistake if it failed to meet its international commitments and obligations towards the tribunal.

"Lebanon will pay a heavy price (if it ignored the tribunal). Lebanon has up till this date met all its international obligations and commitments," the MP said.

He stressed that the tribunal exist and no one can stop its work, irrespective if the funds for the tribunal were made available by the cabinet.

The MP reminded of pledges made by the President of the Republic and Prime Minister at the United Nations General Assembly to provide funds for the tribunal.

Ghanem also cautioned against any haste decision to raise the minimum wage haphazardly as this would add more financial burden on the Lebanese treasury.

The MP also expressed fear that raising salaries may also cause prices of basic commodities to shoot up.

Ghanem called for the demarcation of the joint Lebanese-Syrian border to put an end to any future incidents between both countries.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Houry criticizes government for ignoring Syrian incursion into Lebanon
 

Thu 6/10/2011 11:34

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc member deputy Ammar Houry told Voice of Lebanon on Thursday that ignoring the Syrian incursion into the town of Erssal proves that this cabinet is "Syrian."

"What we saw in Erssal last night shows that this cabinet is Syrian. This also proves that the cabinet is living in another world," Houry said.

He added that "Hizbullah government" has buried its head in the sand when it acted as a neutral country concerning a sovereign matter.

"This cabinet does not consider Erssal and other Lebanese areas as Lebanese territories and it does not even consider the citizens of these areas as its subjects," Houry sarcastically said.

The MP said that the visits by some Lebanese officials and dignitaries to Syria reminds of the time when Damascus used to deal with Lebanon through certain political figures and parties instead with the state.

He also commented on the debate over the funding of the tribunal.

"Hizbullah dictates the policies of this government and for this reason, this party does not waste any time or effort to obstruct the course of the tribunal and stop the path of truth and justice."

He warned that the government has one of two choices: either fulfill its international obligations and provide funds for the tribunal or take Lebanon to an inevitable confrontation with the international community.

"This government is in predicament and what has been built on void is void."

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Qortbawi: Security forces and army fulfilling their duties
 

Thu 6/10/2011 10:55

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Justice Minister Shakeeb Qortbawi told "Voice of Lebanon, Voice of Freedom and Dignity" on Thursday that the Lebanese security forces and army are fully carrying out their duties.

The minister made this remark in response to question on why the cabinet failed to issue a statement condemning the Syrian incursion of the town of Erssal.

"Both the Lebanese security forces and army are carrying out their duties and rest of the talk is political," the minister said.

He assured that the cabinet is about to name a new president for Higher Judicial Council but refused to disclose any name.

He denied knowledge that Lebanon has received an official United Nations request to fund the tribunal.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

Politics - Daouk: Financing tribunal through dialogue
 

Thu 6/10/2011 10:33

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Information Minister Walid Daouk told "Radio Free Lebanon" on Thursday that the issue of Special Tribunal for Lebanon funding can be solved through calm and decent dialogue which would lead to further deliberations for the interest of Lebanon.

"Lebanon has signed several international treaties and has international commitments. These (treaties) maybe in Lebanon's interest and we can't, as the President of the Republic General Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati said, be selective in implementing these agreements and treaties," the minister said.

He stressed that the Lebanese cannot choose what they like and reject what they don't like.

"But what is important is to have a calm dialogue away from the media glare and in my opinion this will lead to results," Daouk explained.

The minister ruled out the possibility that the cabinet will collapse due to the sharp differences over the tribunal.

"I don't think we will reach this stage as long as there is a calm dialogue. We will see where Lebanon's interest lies. At the end of the day, the government is working for the interest of Lebanon. In my personal opinion, it maybe of Lebanon's best interest to comply with international commitments, including funding of the tribunal," Daouk indicated.

Asked why the cabinet failed to adopt a position regarding "the Syrian incursion" into Lebanon and whether the Syrian authorities has asked the Lebanese government to tighten measures along the border, Daouk said: "My information does not point to this and we have not touched this subject during yesterday's cabinet session because this matter is left for the concerned ministers."

He emphasized that Lebanon respects all the treaties signed with Syria, adding each country must respect the sovereignty of the other state.

Daouk also touched on the economic topic and the possible strike by labor unions.

"As for the government, Finance Minister Mohamed Safadi has presented his new draft budget but the cabinet did not have the chance yet to study it carefully. Most of the topics discussed at the cabinet yesterday focused on livelihood issues," he said.

Daouk disclosed that the cabinet has formed a special committee to review the issue of minimum wage increase, adding that there is a quiet and clam deliberations with all concerned parties to explore the actual means of the state.

"We will try to explore the capabilities of the state then see if raising the minimum wage will not affect resources of the treasury. We want to make sure that any salary increment will not cause prices of commodities to shoot up."

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Murabi calls on army to respect its oath
 

Thu 6/10/2011 09:51

NNA - 6/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Mouen al Murabi criticized in a statement on Thursday the behavior of some Lebanese army officers and soldiers who assaulted some Lebanese citizens unjustifiably.

"It seems that the army command and especially its intelligence have turned a blind eye on some of those who forcibly infiltrated the country and at the same time prosecuted some Lebanese citizens who gallantly provided humanitarian assistance to Syrian refugees fleeing their country," the MP said.

Citing an example, the MP accused members of the Lebanese army intelligence of abducting a Lebanese citizen who was transporting a wounded Syrian national with his family to a hospital for treatment in one Hermal's hospital.
"The Lebanese driver was severely battered and then tossed him in an isolated location after damaging his car," Murabi said.

He claimed that the army arrested the wounded Syrian and his family but eventually released them after they were exposed.

The MP stressed that this incident was repeated in other areas of Lebanon and no action was taken to end these practices.

"We were hoping that the Lebanese army units have stood up to the Syrian forces which opened fire on houses of Lebanese citizens along the joint border

He even charged the army intelligence of providing special ID cards for "Lebanese and Syrian thugs" who terrorized Lebanese citizens and Syrian refugees.

"All these facts are at the disposal of the Lebanese army command which we respect and admire. We hope that the army commands respect the oath to defend the homeland and its honor. We also hope that the United Nations, International Red Cross and humanitarian groups wake up from their deep slumber," the MP said.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Deal over STL not constitutional: Aoun
 

Wed 5/10/2011 22:41

NNA - 05/10/2011 - Concord over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) did not track a constitutional path, Reform and Change bloc Head MP Michel Aoun said on Wednesday, refuting the existence of ties between Lebanon and the International Security Council over the STL.

Aoun shares the convictions of March 8 political camp that decisions made over the STL had always been one-sided. March 8 has always accused the former Hariri-led cabinet of imposing the STL over Lebanon, under the 7th chapter.

"Only agreements made between Lebanon and any other team are an obligation to the Lebanese state," the Free Patriotic Movement leader told "Monte Carlo" radio.

He explained that any Lebanese agreement with the Lebanese state ought to be endorsed by the House of Parliament, a process that the STL had not been subject to.

"It is a matter of concept. We don't want to pay simply because it is not right to have us pay for things we are not responsible for," he said as referring to the STL.

As for Prime Minister Najib Mikati's New York affirmation of Lebanon's commitment to international obligations, most importantly funding the STL, Aoun held Mikati directly responsible for his words.

"He made an erroneous commitment," Aoun said about Mikati, promising that he would be held responsible if he funded the STL from the Lebanese treasury's money.

Aoun also said that Mikati was free to express his opinion at the personal level. "But when Mikati decides to shift from talking to implementing, he has to gain the consent of the Lebanese cabinet and parliament" Aoun said.
"He will not have this, because it's against the constitution."

The FPM leader went on to affirm that his bloc did not intend to push Mikati towards resignation, with its position from the STL funding. "He can apologize," he said about Mikati. "Presidents and leaders of the world apologize when they blunder!"

Responding to a question about a discrepancy traced in Aoun's past and present position from the Syrian regime and people, he asserted that "none" wished to see Syria lose its stability, no matter what.

"All are required today to take part in the [Syrian] reform up-rise," he added. "We want to live in peace and stability with Syria. This has been our position since our conflict back in 1989."
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Future deplores government's hush over Syria's violation of Arsal border
 

Wed 5/10/2011 21:32

NNA - 05/10/2011 - Future Movement fervently condemned on Wednesday the Lebanese government's hush over the blatant trespassing of Syrian military vehicles the borderline of Arsal.

Not taking into consideration accords, international norms, as well as security and military agreements, is what irked most the Future Movement, according to a statement issued on the matter.

Moreover, it linked the cabinet's adoption of the Ostrich approach "burying its head in the sand" to the political status quo Lebanon endures.

"The government will be held responsible for any sort inertia," the statement read.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


Politics - Abboud pushes Lebanese to vote 'more than once' for Jeita
 

Wed 5/10/2011 20:33

NNA - 05/10/2011 - In line with Lebanon's sanguine endeavors towards making Jeita Grotto one of the world's seven wonders, Lebanon's Tourism Minister urged the Lebanese on Wednesday to vote in favor of the grotto "more than once."

Only a few caverns in the world approach the magnificent and astonishing wealth of Jeita. Raindrops of more than hundred thousand years have worked this breathtaking magic located at the Mount Lebanon range, near the Dog River (Nahr El-Kalb).

"Today is a historical day, as the Council of Ministers will approve a sum of 250 million Lebanese pounds to be allocated for a media and advertisement campaign for Jeita Grotto," said Minister Fadi Abboud.

Wishing of the Lebanese to use their right to vote more than once for Jeita, Abboud disclosed that a ratio not exceeding 5% of the Lebanese have voted thus far.

"The grotto would most definitely win a place among the world's seven wonders, because no country other than Lebanon enjoys as many friends and expatriates in the world," upbeat Abboud said about the grotto's future.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Salam says stance at U.N. in harmony with previous pronouncement
 

Wed 5/10/2011 19:21
NNA - 05/10/2011 - Lebanon's permanent Ambassador to the United Nations said on Wednesday that Lebanon's decision to abstain from voting in favor of a Western-made draft against Syria goes in harmony with its August 3, 2011 decision to dissociate itself from the same resolution.

Russia and China vetoed yesterday the European-made resolution. However, Lebanon and three other countries abstained from voting.

"Lebanon would like to confirm its commitment to the sovereignty of this Arab and fraternal country," Ambassador Nawwaf Salam said in a statement in the wake of Tuesday's Security Council voting session. He made clear that Lebanon was also concerned about its own unity and stability.

Not only had Salam expressed Lebanon's intention to defend Syria's land, unity, and people, but he also lamented the loss of scores of innocent civilians in neighboring Syria.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Cabinet appoints Adnan Sayyid Hussein LU President
 

Wed 5/10/2011 19:09
NNA - 5/10/2011 The Ministerial Council appointed former Minister Dr Adnan Sayyid Hussein Head of Lebanese University.
It is worth-mentioning that Hussein acted as State Minister in previous government, and has taken part in the development of programs and curriculum of LU Faculty of Law, Political and Administration Sciences since the year 1995.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hazim, Gholam tackle Orthodox affairs
 

Wed 5/10/2011 18:47
NNA - 5/10/2011 Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Antioch Agnatius IV Hazim met with a delegation of "Greek Orthodox Lebanese League" chaired by Nicholas Gholam at the Patriarchal seat in Balamand, to discuss relevant Orthodox affairs.
Gholam said after the meeting that they boarded with the Patriarch the League's contacts with the various Orthodox officials and dignitaries, in the aim of uniting Orthodox position and opinion.
On the impending electoral law, Gholam favored that each sect elects its own deputies, since this ensures true representation, as he said.
-------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Cabinet looks into 159 items on agenda
 

Wed 5/10/2011 18:11

NNA - 5/10/2011 The Cabinet meets in a regular session at Baabda Palace, presided over by President of the Republic General Michel Sleiman, and attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati and ministers. The Cabinet looks into 159 items on its agenda, most significant the appointment of Lebanese University Head.
Cabinet session was preceded by a closed meeting between President Sleiman and Premier Mikati where they boarded the latest developments on the domestic scene.
National Education and Higher Learning Minister Hassan Diab said the Ministry is supportive of Lebanese University contractual instructors' dossier, specially that "the dossier meets all legal academic conditions on one hand, and the University is in need of specializations and full time instructors on the other hand", he said. He disclosed that all pending files related to the University shall be taken up with the new LU President for adequate solutions.
On the other hand, Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel said that he will hold a press conference upcoming week to speak about electoral project law, disclosing that the Ministry is in the process of adopting measures to put a limit to thefts.
--------------L.Y
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora, Hamad tackle general situation
 

Wed 5/10/2011 17:46

NNA - 05/10/2011 - Head of Future Parliamentary bloc, Deputy Fouad Siniora, met with Beirut Municipality Head, Bilal Hamad, over the general situation. The pair also discussed projects the Municipal Council intends to execute in the city.
Hamad visited Siniora at his Sadat Tower office on Wednesday.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel calls for boosting media sector
 

Wed 5/10/2011 17:31

NNA - 5/10/2011 Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel met Wednesday with a delegation of "Audio Media Institutions Gathering" in Lebanon, attended by Public Security Director General Abbas Ibrahim. Talks reportedly touched on demands pertaining to mediamen and media institutions' present conditions.
The delegation presented the Minister with a memorandum related to audio-visual broadcast dues and censorship, subject to law 382/94. Visiting delegation requested that this issue be accorded special care, in light of its significance at the level of Lebanon's pioneering role.
Charbel, for his part, promised to refer this subject to Justice Ministry Advisory Body, lauding the efforts undertaken by Information Minister Walid Daouk in the media sector notably with respect to the development and progress of audio media. Charbel underscored the importance of media institutions' cooperation with the Minister to amend information law, to cope with the tremendous developments witnessed in the communication technology field.
Charbel also called on media institutions to practice auto censorship, especially with respect to programs dealing with our eastern culture. He underlined the necessity of information industry sector's uprising, and urged the transmission of targeted rather than commercial cultural programs, out of concern for ethical and national principles that have always marred the Lebanese society.
It is to note that audio media institutions partaking in the Gathering are namely: Lebanon Television (TL), Lebanese Broadcast Corporation (LBC), al-Manar, al-Jadeed, MTV, Future and OTV.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Karame, Christensen tackle bilateral cooperation
 

Wed 5/10/2011 17:09

NNA - 5/10/2011 - Minister of Youth and Sports, Faysal Karame, on Wednesday met with Danish ambassador, Jan Top Christensen, over Denmark's support for Lebanon and bilateral cooperation.

Talks also featured high on the Danish Embassy's program to finance expertise's exchange projects among youth in Lebanon and Denmark.

The ambassador indicated that a Danish delegation may visit Lebanon soon, with the issue of lowering voting age to 18 on its agenda.

On the other hand, Karame received a delegation of kick-boxing federation.


R.A.H./A.B.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved










 

Politics - Geagea denounces military Syrian cross to Arsal borders
 

Wed 5/10/2011 16:57

NNA - 5/10/2011 - Lebanese Forces executive body Head, Samir Geagea, denounced on Wednesday the Syrian military apparatuses' infiltration into the Lebanese territories at Arsal frontiers despite the fact that the Lebanese Army has never broke its good relations with the Syrian armed forces.

Geagea said even if there were certain turmoil at that frontier, the Syrian Army should've informed the Lebanese military institutions of it, as a sign of respect to Lebanon's sovereignty as well as to the bilateral military ties.

The LF leader considered that the infiltration which took place yesterday is "sheer military operation" which shows Lebanon as "loose land" that allows inexcusable and illegal raids.

"This incident is not the first of its kind, particularly at the Northern Lebanese borders," he reminded.

Accordingly, Geagea solicited the Lebanese government to file a serious complaint through the Lebanese Foreign Ministry or the Syrian Embassy in Lebanon calling for putting terms to such violations and banning their reoccurrence or else the cabinet will be accused of failing to assume its responsibility towards the citizens.

"The Army should adopt preventative measures and build checkpoints in that area which has been open to the Syrian access," he estimated, wondering where are those who raise the Army-Resistance-people slogan and what are their stances regarding these infiltrations.

As for the threats targeting the UN headquarters in Lebanon, particularly the ESCWA, Geagea was very critical especially that he believes "Lebanon is, as usual, the field for regional accounts settling."

Separately, Geagea described the special tribunal as the most important tool for justice, not only for the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country's sake, but also for the Lebanese people as a whole.

Furthermore, the Lebanese Forces head met with the French Ambassador to Lebanon, Denis Pietton, in presence of the LF foreign relations responsible, lawyer Joseph Nehme.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Safadi, Childs-Adams tackle bilateral relations
 

Wed 5/10/2011 16:30

NNA - 05/10/2011 - Finance Minister, Mohammad Safadi, met on Wednesday at his office with Canadian Ambassador, Hilary Childs-Adams, over bilatera relations and technical aid provided by Canada to Lebanon.

Furthermore, the Minister received a delegation of full-time professors at the Lebanese University, who briefed him on their demands regarding the salaries and degrees series.
P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 


Politics - Sleiman, Mikati in pre-cabinet session meeting
 

Wed 5/10/2011 16:25
NNA - 5/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, are currently sitting in one-on-one meeting in Baabda.

The pair is tackling the current general situation and most recent developments, prior to the cabinet session this afternoon.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman receives Mokbel, others
 

Wed 5/10/2011 13:27

NNA - 05/10/2011 - President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman, received on Wednesday at Baabda Presidential Palace Deputy Prime Minister, Samir Moqbel, who notified the President of the ministerial commissions' works, as Mokbel was has been appointed to chair these commissions.
Afterwards, Sleiman received Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan, accompanied with a delegation of the International Organization for Animal Health. The visitors informed the host of the outcome of the conference lately held by said organization in Beirut.

Sports and Youth Minister, Faysal Karami, and Economy and Trade Minister, Nicholas Nahhas, also visited Sleiman and discussed with him the current situation.

Deputy Michel Pheraon had also been to Baabda for meeting with the President and reviewing with him overall developments at the local scene. Both also discussed the election law project.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


Politics - Pharaoun calls on Mikati to fulfill commitments
 

Wed 5/10/2011 12:24

NNA - 5/10/2011 - Deputy Michel Pharaoun called on Wednesday from his residence Prime Minister Najib Mikati to get his act together and fulfill his commitments concerning tribunal funding issue, adding that "the commitment before U.N. Council to fund tribunal is not enough".

The MP also touched on social affairs, including salary increase, reminding to re-activate the Social Economy Council to handle such issues.

Deputy Michel Pharaoun met at his residence in Sin el Fil with U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly and discussed local and regional developments.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved





 

Politics - Mikati receives Germany's ambassador, Qahwaji and Qaraa
 

Wed 5/10/2011 12:19
NNA - Prime Minister Najib Mikati received the Lebanese Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji at the Grand Serail on Wednesday and reviewed military and security situation in the country.

Later, Mikati also received Germany's ambassador to Lebanon Mrs. Birgitta Siefker-Eberle and talks focused on mutual relations.

The Prime Minister also had talks with the secretary general of the Higher Relief Council brigadier Yehya Raad and director general of the Security General general George Qaraa.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ogassapian: Tribunal disruption attempt will fail
 

Wed 5/10/2011 12:18
NNA - 5/10/2011 - Deputy Jean Ogassapian confirmed that all disruption attempts through refraining from tribunal funding and protecting the accused would fail.

The MP added on Wednesday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio that abstaining from tribunal funding would lead to confrontation with the international community, inflame the internal situation and sow discord.

"Why refraining now from tribunal funding after the indictment issuance?" the MP asked, wondering how "Hizbullah" agreed in the previous cabinets to pay Lebanon's dues.

Ogassapian called on Prime Minister Najib Mikati to translate his commitments to tribunal funding into actions because Lebanon is facing danger, particularly on the economy and finance levels.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved





 


Politics - Wehbe criticizes China, Russia veto over UN resolution
 

Wed 5/10/2011 11:56
NNA - 5/10/2011 Deputy Amine Wehbe expressed sorrow Wednesday, in his talk with Al-Sharek radio station, for the veto China and Russia had made over UN resolution condemning Syria.

Wehbe said this decision might have resulted from the absence of a free public opinion which supports freedoms of peoples in both countries.

"This might harm Russia-Arabic and Chinese-Arabic ties," he alleged deeming the Russian-Chinese stance as biased to murderers "in view of what we have witnessed in Libya," he said.

Pertaining to the Syrian tanks' infiltration of Lebanese territories, Wehbe described the Lebanese government as being one-sided in its stances.
"The government has one eye and one ear," he exclaimed.

On the topic of the STL, Wehbe said we are for financing the Tribunal and we hope Lebanese officials would be up to their responsibilities in that respect and that they take into account Lebanon's chairing of the UN security council.

Furthermore, Wehbe hoped the government would answer the General Labor Confederation (GLC) demands regarding limited income families.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (corrected) Rahi says media broke down his stances
 

Wed 5/10/2011 11:54

NNA - 5/10/2011 Maronite Patriarch Mar Beshara Boutros Al-Rahi inaugurated the third day of his pastoral tour in U.S.A. by visiting the state of Missouri in St. Louis City whereby he was received by the first bishop of the Diocese of Saint Maron, Robert Saheen, as well as other bishops.

Rahi visited the St. Louis Cathedral, also known as the New Cathedral which was completed in 1914 in St. Louis, Missouri, as the archdiocesan replacement for the Cathedral of St. Louis, King of France.
This church is known for its large mosaic installation (which is the largest in the world) and burial crypts.

Considering the French architectural aspect of the Church, Rahi extolled France for preserving historical ties between Maronites and St. Louis, the King of France.
At greater length, Rahi said the long Maronites path is what made Lebanon, this independent state per se.

In that respect, Rahi expressed gratitude to the French President as well as to the French people for their warm reception.

Asked about all the commotion that has been going around his stances, Rahi said media broke down his stances, delivered during his visit to France, when his words were very clear.
"What newspapers published was untrue," Rahi said and hoped that Lebanese would be more serious and less shallow for "we cannot live by lies and we ought to preserve our morals," he said.
It is to note that Rahi shall be chairing a preparatory meeting for the U.S.A. bishiops.
Rahi is starts on Wednesday and winds up on Thursday.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun discusses regional situation with Egyptian Ambassador
 

Wed 5/10/2011 11:52
NNA - 5/10/2011 - Head of Change and Reform bloc Deputy Michel Aoun met on Wednesday at his Rabyeh residence with Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohamad Toufic.

Toufic said after the meeting that this was an acquaintance visit, adding that both sides discussed bilateral ties between both countries and regional situation.

"We agreed on the necessity to coordinate and cooperate between Lebanon and Egypt", the Ambassador pointed out.

Commenting on the situation in Egypt Toufic said, "Egypt is passing through a democratic change operation", stressing that they care for the regional policy, particularly stability and look forward to developping ties between Lebanon and Egypt.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Manjian is against strike
 

Wed 5/10/2011 10:12
NNA - 5/10/2011 - Minister of State Panos Manjian hoped that the "cabinet's session on Wednesday to be fruitful", pointing out that he is against strike in principle to obtain demands.

The minister told "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity radio that some political parties in the cabinet are against funding for legal or religious grounds , confirming that "tribunal issue has not been approved yet and meetings will be held to discuss draft budget only".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 



 

Politics - Salhab: Our bloc will vote against tribunal funding
 

Wed 5/10/2011 09:53
NNA - Member of Parliament Salim Salhab told Voice of Lebanon that the Change and Reform Parliamentary bloc will not vote in favor of international tribunal funding.

"It's advisable to create a constitutional mechanism that sets constraints on this issue and then we will vote on the funding," the MP said.

He stressed that the bloc has no intention to adopt any stand that would lead to the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, adding that it is imperative to give an opinion on the mechanism funding within the cabinet even if it was contrary to the views of some people.

"Our position is not aimed at embarrassing the prime minister because we have agreed to deal with the issue of the funding before Mikati came to power. This issue will not disrupt the government," Salhab explained.

He proposed to either vote on this issue or reach a consensus.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved









 

 

Politics - German ambassador urges cabinet fulfill international commitments
 

Tue 4/10/2011 21:50

NNA - 04/10/2011 German embassy celebrated Germany's 20 Unity Day at Phoenicia Hotel Tuesday, whereby Ambassador of Germany Birgitta Siefker-Eberle advised all concerned to cooperate with Lebanese government for better performance nationally and internationally.

"Germany is constantly by the side of all peace loving peoples," said Siefker-Eberle who went on to encourage all concerned parties to work with the Lebanese cabinet so that "free and sovereign Lebanon could commit to its international obligations." The ambassador also noted Germany's main participation in the UNIFIL which aided domestic stability. "[Germany] also trains Lebanese army and offers necessary equipment for offshore and onshore surveillance."

Tag der Deutschen Einheit (Germany's Unity Day) commemorates the unification of Democratic Republic of Germany and Federal Republic of Germany on October 3, 1990. Present during the ceremony was MP Ali Bazzi representing the three Presidents.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Future Bloc: cabinet must fund STL
 

Tue 4/10/2011 21:31

NNA - 04/10/2011 Future Bloc stated after its weekly meeting Tuesday that the Lebanese government's commitment to financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is indisputable.

"This commitment is a responsibility and a duty," said MP Hady Hobeish as he read the Bloc's press release,"the government must fulfill its obligations and international commitments of Lebanon."

The statement indicated that flagrant attempts to obstruct the financing of the STL were sponsored by certain members of the cabinet, who went as far as harboring the four defendants, members of Hezbollah, accused in assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, and preventing their delivery to competent authorities. This amplified the need for cabinet to assume its responsibilities regarding the financing of the tribunal and delivery of the accused to the STL.

On a different topic, Future Bloc advocated a thorough study of any positive wage growth to meet the claims of popular factions, albeit these claims were exaggerated beyond the means of the State Treasury and national economy.

Minister of Telecommunications was at the center of criticism by the Bloc's statement due to unfulfilled promises of decreasing internet tariffs while greatly increasing its speed. "[The Minister] failed due to lack of equipment, which caused Ogero to suffer as a result of adopting vindictive politics."

In regional issues, the block welcomed "the important development achieved by the Syrian revolution, represented by the announcement of the formation of the national council comprising different parts of Syrian opposition." This, according to the statement was an important and natural step following the expiration of the promises of reform and modernization made by President Bashar Assad.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati, Faour relaunch Committee for Social Affairs
 

Tue 4/10/2011 21:01

NNA - 04/10/2011 A meeting between Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Minister of Social Affairs Wael Bou Faour at the Grand Serail Tuesday resulted in the reactivation of Higher Ministerial Committee on Social Affairs which aims at easing needs of the community financially and socially.

"This Committee's mission is to adopt a comprehensive social strategy that provides a framework for all ministries concerned to design sectoral strategies in the context of integration with one another, as well as coordinate government efforts in the provision of social services," Faour explained to the press following the meeting.

The Committee is scheduled to commence its work with a meeting upcoming Monday, in accordance with Mikati's decision, and will include ministers of Finance and Administrative Development, Social Affairs, Interior, Labor, Economy and Trade, Public Health, Education and Higher Learning, and head of Construction and Development Council.

"There should be a strategic and social vision for the government to carry out a series of initiatives and contributions that answer the social needs which we are experiencing," concluded Faour.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun says 2012 Budget project needs further study
 

Tue 4/10/2011 19:52

NNA - 4/10/2011 Change and Reform head Deputy General Michel Aoun affirmed Tuesday following the bloc's weekly gathering at his residence in Rabiyeh that the 2012 Budget project needs further study.

In that respect, Aoun accused Energy Parliamentary Commission head, Deputy Mohammad Kabbani, of hindering projects noting that this permanent hampering of the legislation damages Lebanon.

Concerning administrative appointments, Aoun said the FPM is prepared to give its candidates' names, chosen based on competency and integrity afar from any political affiliation.

"We are against the nomination of any incompetent person," he exclaimed.

At another level, Aoun uttered rejection to any increase on VAT saying that these taxes ought to be imposed on profits and not on consumption.

Pertaining to the STL financing issue, Aoun said not President Sleiman nor Premier Mikati are entitled to finance STL without having a ratified agreement with the UN based on constitutional norms.

"I am not willing to pay sums of money through illegal and non-constitutional ways.
Let he who pledges financing the STL pay for it of his proper fortune," he said.

Pertaining to the Syrian unrest issue, Aoun said attempts to alter the region's regime are doomed to failure.

"We have many times said that Syria and its regime shall not collapse and that reforms ought to be established," he concluded.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Fletcher from Bekfaya: Lebanese to opt for dialogue instead of conflicts
 

Tue 4/10/2011 19:26

NNA - 4/10/2011 British Ambassador Tom Fletcher affirmed Tuesday that Lebanese people shall select dialogue and coexistence instead of conflicts and confessionalism.

Fletcher's words were delivered following his meeting with the Kataeb party head Amine Gemayel at his residence in Bekfaya, with whom he tackled most recent up-to-dates as well as bilateral ties.

The Ambassador also stressed the need to reinforce freedoms and democracies in the Middle-East.

On the Syrian level, Fletcher said every Syrian citizen has the right to choose his own destiny, to enjoy freedom and democracy.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fletcher from Bekfaya: Lebanese to opt for dialogue instead of conflicts
 

Tue 4/10/2011 19:26

NNA - 4/10/2011 British Ambassador Tom Fletcher affirmed Tuesday that Lebanese people shall select dialogue and coexistence instead of conflicts and confessionalism.

Fletcher's words were delivered following his meeting with the Kataeb party head Amine Gemayel at his residence in Bekfaya, with whom he tackled most recent up-to-dates as well as bilateral ties.

The Ambassador also stressed the need to reinforce freedoms and democracies in the Middle-East.

On the Syrian level, Fletcher said every Syrian citizen has the right to choose his own destiny, to enjoy freedom and democracy.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri meets Armenian President, agree to augment relations
 

Tue 4/10/2011 19:09

NNA - 4/10/2011 House Speaker Nabih Berri commenced the second day of his visit to Armenia with a meeting with President Serge Sarkissian and House Speaker Tigrane Sarkissian Tuesday with consensus on boosting economic relations between the two countries.

Deputies Mohammad Raad and Arthur Nazarian were present at the meetings during which President Sarkissian hailed solid connection between Lebanese and Armenians. "We hope that Armenians in Lebanon play an active role in bolstering these ties."

Premier Sarkissian discussed steps to be implemented on legislative and executive authorities to push forward economic investments between Lebanon and Armenia. He also renewed his invitation to Premier Najib Mikati to visit the country.

In his turn, Berri lauded the warm welcome he was met with and insisted that there was no disparity between Lebanese and Armenians.

In an unrelated story, Speaker Berri telephoned Mufti of Syria Sheikh Ahmad Badr Dein Hassoun to offer his condolences on the death of his son.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri meets Armenian President, agree to augment relations
 

Tue 4/10/2011 19:09

NNA - 4/10/2011 House Speaker Nabih Berri commenced the second day of his visit to Armenia with a meeting with President Serge Sarkissian and House Speaker Tigrane Sarkissian Tuesday with consensus on boosting economic relations between the two countries.

Deputies Mohammad Raad and Arthur Nazarian were present at the meetings during which President Sarkissian hailed solid connection between Lebanese and Armenians. "We hope that Armenians in Lebanon play an active role in bolstering these ties."

Premier Sarkissian discussed steps to be implemented on legislative and executive authorities to push forward economic investments between Lebanon and Armenia. He also renewed his invitation to Premier Najib Mikati to visit the country.

In his turn, Berri lauded the warm welcome he was met with and insisted that there was no disparity between Lebanese and Armenians.

In an unrelated story, Speaker Berri telephoned Mufti of Syria Sheikh Ahmad Badr Dein Hassoun to offer his condolences on the death of his son.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved