Politics - U.S. reviving Middle East project: Nasrallah
 

Mon 24/10/2011 22:51

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Monday the U.S. was trying to bring to life again the New Middle East project via the adoption of disintegration tactics amongst people.

Interviewed on "Manar TV", Nasrallah appeared to display Hezbollah's view point on a number of issues taking place in the region, in line with Arab revolutions and changes.

Nasrallah spoke of two major threats endangering the region. "The first is that of Israel... then comes the U.S. threat to the region, by means of its attempts to revive the new Middle East project, which had been previously met by failure."

Moreover, Nasrallah explained that the U.S. Middle East project basically relied on sectarian and religious disintegration schemes. "This project is a major threat for all alike, not only for the Druze, Alawite, Shiite, and Christian minority."

As for Arab Spring developments, Nasrallah affirmed that all the moves that had been witnessed in those countries of rebellion had been sparked by genuine popular will and were not the outcome of any U.S. project. "Because regimes practiced in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Bhrain, are U.S. made. Whereas the Syrian regime is the only one with no U.S. identity."

He explained further the incentives behind U.S. interference in the Arab world. He said that the U.S. always cares for saving face with Arab countries, albeit, said attempts have only been met by failure thus far, he added.

Fortifying Arab countries from U.S. intervention only happens by awareness from the U.S. designs, as well as massive popular presence in Parliamentary elections, he added.

Furthermore, Nasrallah utterly refused any scenario which insisted that minorities were creating alliances against Islamic Sunnites. "We are in need of an alliance which could stand against Israeli threat factors and regional disintegration," he said, blaming a segment of the Sunnite movements for failing to do so.

In the wake of Mouamar Gadhafi's death, the Hezbollah Secretary General expressed hope that Libya would manage to preserve its national unity and wealth. He also revealed a greater extent of hope pertaining to the truth behind the disappearance of Imam Moussad Sadr.

On the timing that had been picked to come out with the alleged assassination attempt of the Saudi Ambassador to Washington at the hands of Iranian men, Nasrallah said that it was a sheer U.S. reaction against Iran's refusal to open a hot communication line with the U.S. over Iraq and Afghanistan. "The Iranian disapproval infuriated the U.S., so, they fabricated the assassination attempt against the Saudi Ambassador," he said, affirming that the U.S. aims at rattling the region by bringing up this issue.

Albeit, Nsrallah said a U.S. war against Iran was currently farfetched, especially looking at the losses it had incurred in Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention the financial crisis it endures.

Moving to the Bahraini scene, Nasrallah confirmed his party's solidarity with all the Bahraini people in general and not with a specific sect in particular.

Commenting on the prisoner swap which took place between Hamas and Israel, Nasrallah hailed it as a triumphant accomplishment. He lauded steadfastness displayed by the people of Gaza who obliged Israel to opt for the swap operation.

Nasrallah, however, anticipated a near end to the Syrian crisis. He asserted that Hezbollah would have supported the Syrian people if the Syrian regime was pro-U.S. and refused to implement reform. "There exists a keen desire by the Syrian leader to implement reform," Nasrallah said, reminding that Syria has always stood against U.S. plots and helped torpedo its New Middle East projects. He also linked Syria's safety and security to those of Lebanon.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - LU teachers: Talks with Mikati in progress
 

Mon 24/10/2011 20:57

NNA - 24/10/2011 - A delegation of permanent teachers at the Lebanese University, chaired by Charbel Kfoury, met on Monday with Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Minister of Education and Higher Education Hassan Diab over the instructors' most pressing demands.

On emerging, said described the delegations meeting as a step closer to aspired outcome.

"It is the first meeting that we get the chance to pinpoint our demands. We managed to discuss our concerns in details," he added, noting that things were now heading in the right direction.

"We will continue dialogue," said Kfoury, making clear that future meetings will be held with Minister Diab to improve the situation of teachers.

However, he noted that Mikati presented the delegation with a proposal on this issue and that he intended to transfer the file to the House of Parliament for further discussions.

Separately, the Prime Minister followed-up with the General Labor Confederation Head Ghassan Ghosn issues pertaining to the heatedly debated minimum wage increase.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kataeb: Tarshish incident verifies Hezbollah's state building designs
 

Mon 24/10/2011 20:04

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Tarshish incident confirms Hezbollah's determination to continue building a state of its own, a Kataeb statement read following the Party's weekly meeting on Monday.

Kataeb Party's Political Bureau, presided by Party Leader Amine Gemayel met in session today with talks reportedly focused on latest local and regional developments.

"Hezbollah continues to build the foundations of its private state by linking the regions it controls through a telecoms network," Kataeb statement said, deeming Hezbollah's actions a threat to Lebanon's sovereignty and law.

Media reports last Friday night said residents of Tarshish, Baabda, prevented members of Hezbollah from using the infrastructure set up by the Telecoms Ministry to expand its own gridlines, a move that ignited an altercation between the residents of the area and Hezbollah members.

Following up on Arab Spring developments, Kataeb conferees expressed hope Libya's new rule would manage to ensure a state of stability and democracy to the people of Libya. They also hailed the post-uprising high voting turnout at the Tunisian scene.

"All those Arab movements remain at the mercy of the new ruling identity," Kataeb statement read. "For revolutions to make an Arab spring, democracy, civil rights, freedom, justice, and pluralism ought to prevail."

Moreover, Party members lauded efforts by Tourism Minister Elie Marouni, especially for providing people with opportunity to vote for Jeita Grotto free of charge.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Rahi winds up U.S. visit, meets with U.N. General Assembley Head
 

Mon 24/10/2011 19:05

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Upon wrapping up his visit to the U.S., Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Botrous Al-Rahi warned on Monday from transferring the Arab spring scene to an autumn smeared with endless civil wars.

The last of Rahi's meetings in the U.S. was with head of the United Nations General Assembly, Ambassador Nasser Abul Aziz Nasser, who briefed him on the content of the letter he recently submitted to the United Nations.
Nasser who met Rahi at the Lebanese consulate of New York told him the letter underscored the valuable role and Future of Christians in the Middle East region.

After voicing a stern warning against "shifting Arab Spring developments to an Autumn of Civil wars," Rahi hailed the role UNIFIL plays in preserving Lebanon's borderline stability.

R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Gemayel tackle current developments
 

Mon 24/10/2011 18:52

NNA - 24/10/2011 Kataeb Party Head Amine Gemayel visited on Monday President of the Republic General Michel Sleiman at Baabda Palace, where they tackled the current developments.
Gemayel briefed the President on the outcome of his visit to Egypt last week, Gemayel Media Bureau said in a statement.
Gemayel met in Egypt with Arab League Secretary General Nabil Arabi, Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Kamel Amro, Coptic Pope Shnouda III and Azhar Sheikh Ahmad Tayyib.
Talks also touched on the pact project proposed by former President Amine Gemayel before Arab League Secretary General, designed to help in drafting a new system for Arab regimes that achieves democracy, equality and freedom as well as embracing diversity.
Sleiman and Gemayel also dwelt on the issue of holding an Islamic-Christian gathering in Al-Azhar, the matter that Gemayel took up with Al-Azhar in the aim of boosting inter-religions dialogue.
-------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rifi, Pietton discuss security situation
 

Mon 24/10/2011 18:03

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Director General of the Internal Security Forces, Major General Ashraf Rifi, tackled the current security situation in the country with French Ambassador to Lebanon, Denis Pietton. The meeting was held Monday at the casern headquarters' office where both men also discussed means of cooperation and coordination.
P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Joumblat: King Abdullah accurately reads political transformations
 

Mon 24/10/2011 17:52

NNA - 24/10/2011 "National Struggle" Front Head Walid Joumblat said that Saudi King reads accurately political transformations in the Arab region, seeking to introduce wide reforms in the Kingdom to cope with changes.
Deputy Joumblat was speaking in his weekly position to Al-Anbaa Newspaper issued by Progressive Socialist Party.
Joumblat hailed Saudi Arabia's incessant support to Lebanon, saying the Kingdom spared no effort in helping Lebanon maintain its stability and avoid strife, by casting aside wars, fighting and tension.
"The Kingdom always stood at equal distance from all the Lebanese... without discriminating between one or the other under any circumstances", Joumblat said, paying tribute to its role in the rebuilding of Lebanon specially in the wake of Israeli assaults on Lebanon in the years 1993, 1996, and 2006.
Joumblat also brought to attention King Abdullah's emphasis in every occasion on the importance of Arab solidarity and the rebuilding of healthy inter-Arab relations.
On the other hand, Joumblat sent a cable to Saudi King Abdullah Ben Abdel Aziz, offering condolences on the passing away of crown prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz.
Joumblat also sent a cable to Turkish Prime Minister Racep Tayyip Erdogan, paying condolences on the victims of the quake that struck the Turkish Province of Van.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman sees UN must find ways to sidestep conflicts
 

Mon 24/10/2011 17:21


NNA - 24/10/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, said the UN must endeavor to restore peace and find watchful mechanisms to sidestep conflicts on the basis of justice.

Speaking on the occasion of the United Nations World Day, he said it was important for this organization to remain an international reference to settle on transnational disputes, albeit the stringent need for wide reforms within UN committees.

Separately, Sleiman reviewed most recent political developments on the local and regional arenas with Kataeb head, former President Amine Gemayel.

Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Marwan Charbel, had also been to Baabda palace today to inform the President of the outcomes of his visit to France and talks he held with his French counterpart and a number of officials.

Sleiman also met with Senegalese Foreign Minister, Madicke Niang, over bilateral ties and the necessity to renew the-two pronged agreements.

Afterwards, he respectively received Khaked Hdadeh, Head of the Lebanese Communist Party, and a delegation of Arab Pharmacists Union.

In another development, Sleiman cabled Turkey's Abdullah Gul and paid him condolences for the victims of the recent earthquake which jolted Van province yesterday.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


 

 

 


 


Politics - Franjieh offers condolences to Saudi King
 

Mon 24/10/2011 17:04

NNA - 24/10/2011 "Marada" Movement Head Sleiman Franjieh cabled condolences to Saudi King Abdullah Ben Abdel Aziz on the passing away of crown prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati discusses political, foreign affairs with visitors
 

Mon 24/10/2011 16:32

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati received on Monday at the Grand Serail the Senegalese Foreign Affairs Minister Madicke Nianj, with talks featuring high on enhancing bilateral ties.

Nianj said both countries need to endorse important agreements to translate the good relation into action on all levels.

He, accordingly, hoped that Premier Mikati's upcoming visit to Senegal would help in this concern.

Nianj also suggested organizing an economic and cultural week for Senegalese in Lebanon - something that paves the way for both peoples to set trade cooperation.

Afterwards, Mikati received former Defense Minister Elias Murr, who hoped that the Premier would be able to exceed this sensitive, hard stage with success.

Interviewed after the visit, Murr said that Mikati affirmed to him he would proceed with the financing issue pertaining to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes, and would present the issue to the ministerial council for discussion. "With respect to him {Mikati}, he is committed to international resolutions and financing," said Murr.

However, Murr added, if the STL was not financed, bad political and economic repercussions would hit Lebanon and its relation with the international community on the economic and financial levels.

Among Grand Serail's visitors: a delegation of Beirut Marathon Association headed by May Faysal Khalil, who invited him to partake in Marathon competition on November 27, 2011; Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour, accompanied with a senior official in handicapped institutions, Raif Chweiri, who engaged with the host in talks relevant to the demands of such institutions.
A.M. / P.BC>

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji, Pietton tackle military cooperation
 

Mon 24/10/2011 16:07

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, discussed military cooperation between French and Lebanese armies with French Ambassador to Lebanon, Denis Pietton.

The meeting was held Monday in Yarzeh in presence of Military Attache, Colonel Philippe Pietril.

Later, Kahwaji received State Security Chief, Major General George Karaa, with discussions touching on the security situation.
P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - S. Gemayel wonders at unofficial works in Tarshish
 

Mon 24/10/2011 15:59

NNA - 24/10/2011- Deputy Sami Gemayel on Monday asked the government via the House of Parliament presidency whether it was accepted for an unofficial group to excavate in public properties and install an underground network of communications.

The Kataeb bloc member made these remarks at the backdrop of Hezbollah's alleged attempt last week to install a private telecoms network in the Metn town of Tarshish.

"How can the government accept such works? Is there another local power superior to its authority? What is the government's stance towards the warning posed by Hezbollah members against Tarshish municipality if the latter were to stop works?" asked Gemayel.

A.M/N.AF

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Dialogue, reforms on track, says Syrian diplomat
 

Mon 24/10/2011 15:43

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Syrian ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, on Monday avowed President Assad-led reforms and dialogue were on track to foil designed plot against Syria.

The ambassador had been today to Ain-el-Tineh for a meeting with House Speaker, Nabih Berri, over most recent developments and the Lebanese-Syrian fraternal ties.

The pair also hashed out their analysis and evaluation of the current situation on the local and regional levels.

Berri had met earlier today with the Senegalese Foreign Minister, Madicke Niang, over the means to boost cooperation on the parliamentary level.

Minister of Social Affairs, Wael Abu Faour, had also been to Ain-el-Tineh today.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (updated) Sleiman dubs crucial constitutional democracy
 

Mon 24/10/2011 15:14

NNA - 24/10/2011 Lebanese President laid stress Monday upon constitutional justice and democracy being the main pillar for government foundation and the sole guarantee of rights and freedoms.

During his the inauguration of the Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils (UACCC) at the Bristol hotel, held in presence of House Speaker Nabih Berri, Premier Najib Mikati, Environment and Justice Ministers, as well as other officials, Sleiman said it has been deemed necessary that two reform principles be proposed.

The first, was to interpret the constitution before constitutional council according to the National Pact, the President said regarding constitutional amendment as necessary herein.

The second principle was to unfetter the Council from politicization and in that respect, amend the Constitutional Council's way of establishment and election of members, Sleiman explained.

"Elections' law is the basis of reform (...) and needs to be developed," he said pointing out to ongoing surrounding changes so as to prove the necessity to applying political reforms, primarily, constitutional ones.

Also, Sleiman said the constitution conveys people's free will and that constitutional justice has become indispensable especially inside pluralistic societies, owed to Globalization.

The Lebanese Constitutional Council head Issam Sleiman, hailed in his word Lebanon's faithfulness to its commitments and pioneer role in working for Arab causes.

"Constitutional Justice is the essence of justice in general," he said stressing the need to further develop constitutional judiciary in Arab world especially with a prevailing unfair law that does not respect the constitutionally stipulated freedoms and justices.

Also, UACCC head Sultan said constitutions, we are entrusted with, ought to be the heart pumping good and justice to the world.

"Challenges our people encounter are mainly in face of injustice hindering the right to education and enlarging schisms amid peoples," he said and called herein for unison in face of such injustice.

According to the preparatory meeting held in Cairo on the 25 of February 1997, the constitutional councils and courts have been founded by the following Arab states; Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, and Yemen.
Referred to as "the founder members" these states established the concepts of the constitutional law control in the Arab nation.
These members are bound to protecting the rights and public freedom, facilitate the exchange of experiences, enrich the constitutional Knowledge between Arab organizations specialized in constitutional control.



L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (updated) Sleiman dubs crucial constitutional democracy
 

Mon 24/10/2011 15:14

NNA - 24/10/2011 Lebanese President laid stress Monday upon constitutional justice and democracy being the main pillar for government foundation and the sole guarantee of rights and freedoms.

During his the inauguration of the Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils (UACCC) at the Bristol hotel, held in presence of House Speaker Nabih Berri, Premier Najib Mikati, Environment and Justice Ministers, as well as other officials, Sleiman said it has been deemed necessary that two reform principles be proposed.

The first, was to interpret the constitution before constitutional council according to the National Pact, the President said regarding constitutional amendment as necessary herein.

The second principle was to unfetter the Council from politicization and in that respect, amend the Constitutional Council's way of establishment and election of members, Sleiman explained.

"Elections' law is the basis of reform (...) and needs to be developed," he said pointing out to ongoing surrounding changes so as to prove the necessity to applying political reforms, primarily, constitutional ones.

Also, Sleiman said the constitution conveys people's free will and that constitutional justice has become indispensable especially inside pluralistic societies, owed to Globalization.

The Lebanese Constitutional Council head Issam Sleiman, hailed in his word Lebanon's faithfulness to its commitments and pioneer role in working for Arab causes.

"Constitutional Justice is the essence of justice in general," he said stressing the need to further develop constitutional judiciary in Arab world especially with a prevailing unfair law that does not respect the constitutionally stipulated freedoms and justices.

Also, UACCC head Sultan said constitutions, we are entrusted with, ought to be the heart pumping good and justice to the world.

"Challenges our people encounter are mainly in face of injustice hindering the right to education and enlarging schisms amid peoples," he said and called herein for unison in face of such injustice.

According to the preparatory meeting held in Cairo on the 25 of February 1997, the constitutional councils and courts have been founded by the following Arab states; Tunisia, Algeria, Sudan, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Morocco, Mauritania, and Yemen.
Referred to as "the founder members" these states established the concepts of the constitutional law control in the Arab nation.
These members are bound to protecting the rights and public freedom, facilitate the exchange of experiences, enrich the constitutional Knowledge between Arab organizations specialized in constitutional control.



L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserve


Politics - Firm government position from Syrian violations required - Zahle Deputies
 

Mon 24/10/2011 14:47

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Zahle Deputies Bloc on Monday renewed calls upon Mikati-led government to take a stern and decisive position from the recurrent Syrian violations.

Deputies, who sat down today in their periodic meeting, recounted the cabinet stance from Syrian incursions along borders in Bekaa as shameful and highlighting the government's tight link to Syria.

They also called for army deployment in hot zones to defuse citizens' fret and anchor stability and security.

The meeting also touched on Tarshish case and condemned Hezbollah's attempt to extend its military network to the Metn town.

Besides, the cabinet's decision on wages adjustment and salaries increase earned the bloc's denunciation. It considered that such decision, in the way and form it was adopted, would lead to disadvantageous economic repercussions.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (CORRECTION) Zahra: Communities ready to face worse regimes in Middle East
 

Mon 24/10/2011 14:23

NNA - 24/10/2011- Deputy Antoine Zahra said on Monday the Arab Communities across the Middle East would not hesitate to face in the post-revolution period regimes worse than the current ones if they [worse regimes] were to emerge.

Zahra explained the Christian presence in the Middle East turns back to Christ's era with its pioneering role and mission throughout history, and it is not seeking the aid of any political regimes or groups to safeguard it.

"If the Christians were to abandon their pioneer role in developing the society and defending human rights and freedoms, there would be no justification for their presence and it would be better for them to live in some other place than the Middle East," Zahra pointed out.

A.M/N.AF

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansur to NNA: Salihi's visit to Lebanon adjourned not canceled
 

Mon 24/10/2011 14:22

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansur told the NNA Monday that the scheduled visit of his Iranian counterpart Ali Akbar Salihi to Lebanon was not canceled but adjourned for urgent commitments.

Mansur confirmed that the Lebanese delegation comprised of expatriates Director General, Haytham Jomaa and Judge Hassan Al-Shami left Beirut last night, upon his instructions, heading towards Tunisia, to leave later to Libya.

The Minister confirmed that all media materials lately published regarding Imam Al-Sadr are groundless and wrong.

"We must be very careful and clear. The delegation's duty is to find true facts and data and act upon them," he pointed out.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahra: Communities ready to face worse regimes in Middle East
 

Mon 24/10/2011 14:15

NNA - 24/10/2011- Deputy Antoine Zahra said the Arab Communities across the Middle East would not hesitate to face in the post-revolution period regimes worse then the current ones if they [regimes] were to emerge.

Zahra explained the Christian presence in the Middle East region turns back to Christ's era with its historical role and mission throughout the time, and it is not seeking the aid of any political regimes or groups to safeguard it.

"If the Christians were to abandon their pioneer role in developing the society and defending human rights and freedoms, there would then be no justification for their presence and it would be better for them to live in some other place than the Middle East " Zahra pointed out.

A.M/N.AF

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khoreis: Priority for Imam Sadr's vanishing
 

Mon 24/10/2011 13:43

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Deputy Ali Khoreis called Monday on the Libyan ministerial transitional council to render priority to the vanishing of Imam Moussa Al-Sadr's case.

The Liberation and Development bloc member said dealing with this issue with total seriousness builds for better relations between Lebanon and Libya.

Khoreis confirmed the national constants founded by Imam Sadr, calling for abiding by conviviality and national unity concepts so as to face the Israeli aggression.

He accordingly described the army-people-resistance formula as the "crystal triangle that protects the country and preserves its borders and stability."
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Tohmeh condemns public properties' violations
 

Mon 24/10/2011 13:12

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Parliament member Nidal Tohmeh said Monday that violating public properties without any legal justification, and challenging people's will can never be the slogan of those who pretend keenness on preserving Lebanese state.

The Deputy condemned the installation of Hezbollah's private telecommunications network in the Metn town of Tarshish saying it should be treated as a national matter in a bid to avoid further rupture and put things back on the right legal track.

Tohmeh also uttered concern over planning certain conspiracies in the Cabinet's backstage so as to evade Lebanon's commitment to international resolutions.

Separately, Deputy Tohmeh offered condolences to Saudi Arabia on the death of Prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz, praising the positive role he played for Lebanon.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


Politics - Khoury consoles Saudi King
 

Mon 24/10/2011 12:30

NNA - 24/10/2011 Environment Minister cabled Monday the Saudi King Abdullah and the Saudi Ambassador Ali Awwad Osseiri consoling them on the demise of the Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz al-Saud.

At another level, Khoury received MP Amine Wehbe and tackled with him most recent developments and environmental needs.

Also, Khoury convened with Deputy Naamtallah Abi Nasr with whom he tackled the development of the Shnaniir natural reserve.

On the diplomatic level, Minister Nazem Khoury met with Ambassadors of Korea, Tunisia, and Mexico.
Discussions touched on cooperation on the environmental level.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hajj Hassan urges unity among Lebanese
 

Mon 24/10/2011 12:09

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Agriculture Minister Hsein Hajj Hassan stressed during sponsoring a graduation ceremony in Hermel the necessity of unity among Lebanese, confirming that we are in the heart of confrontation between American target of the resistance and Lebanon's future.

"The U.S. is keen on its own and Israel's interests", the minister said.

He added that Lebanon is in the heart of confrontation and not neutral, wondering why those who advocate freedom and sovereignty do not apply these principles on Palestine.

He also asked why UN resolution 194 which calls for the return of Palestinian refugees is not also respected.

Hajj Hassan warned against a scheme to turn the Arab Spring away from Palestine where Israel can sneak into, stressing that "Arab Spring is Palestine Spring".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (updated) Senegalese Foreign Minister meets Mansur
 

Mon 24/10/2011 11:44

NNA - 24/10/2011 - The Senegalese Foreign Affairs Minister Madick� Niang started his official visit to Lebanon on Monday by meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Adnan Mansur with talks featuring high on means to boost bilateral ties.

Niang highlighted the Lebanese Diaspora's role in the Senegal, as it is the second largest Diaspora in the African continent.

He also invited Minister Mansur to visit the Senegal as soon as possible.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (updated) Senegalese Foreign Minister meets Mansur
 

Mon 24/10/2011 11:44

NNA - 24/10/2011 - The Senegalese Foreign Affairs Minister Madick� Niang started his official visit to Lebanon on Monday by meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Adnan Mansur with talks featuring high on means to boost bilateral ties.

Niang highlighted the Lebanese Diaspora's role in the Senegal, as it is the second largest Diaspora in the African continent.

He also invited Minister Mansur to visit the Senegal as soon as possible.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman dubs crucial constitutional democracy
 

Mon 24/10/2011 11:36

NNA - 24/10/2011 Lebanese President laid stress Monday upon constitutional justice and democracy being the main pillar for government foundation and the sole guarantee of rights and freedoms.

During his the inauguration of the Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils (UACCC) at the Bristol hotel, Sleiman said it has been deemed necessary that two reform principles be proposed.

The first, was to interpret the constitution before constitutional council according to the National Pact, the President said regarding constitutional amendment as necessary herein.

The second principle was to unfetter the Council from politicization and in that respect, amend the Constitutional Council's way of establishment and election of members, Sleiman explained.

"Elections' law is the basis of reform (...) and needs to be developed," he said pointing out to ongoing surrounding changes so as to prove the necessity to applying political reforms, primarily, constitutional ones.

Also, Sleiman said the constitution conveys people's free will and that constitutional justice has become indispensable especially inside pluralistic societies, owed to Globalization.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Senegalese Foreign Minister meets Mansur
 

Mon 24/10/2011 11:35

NNA - 24/10/2011 - The Senegalese Foreign Affairs Minister Madick� Niang started his official visit to Lebanon on Monday by meeting with his Lebanese counterpart Adnan Mansur with talks featuring high on means to boost bilateral ties.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Government scored fiasco in different fields mainly security, says Harb
 

Mon 24/10/2011 11:27

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Parliament member Boutros Harb said the government scored total failure in different fields, on top of which the security dossier.

Harb told the Voice of Lebanon - Voice of Freedom and Dignity Monday that tangible evidences on the government's failure are the repetitive security incidents in different regions of Lebanon, similar to what happened lately in Tarshish.

"The security situation is fragile as Interior Minister Marwan Charbel did not rule out the return of political assassinations," he said.

The Deputy noted that the non-stop disputes and contradictory opinions within the government itself regarding several topics on the cabinet's agenda reflect the vulnerability of the governmental formula as well as the Ministers' incapacity to work as one team.

As for the special tribunal issue, Harb said it was ratified by the Security Council under chapter 7, hence it needs no approval whatsoever from the Lebanese government.

"The STL will be the primary knot in face of the cabinet," said Harb in this regard, calling on Ministers to assume their full responsibility towards the Lebanese people.
D.K.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun meets Connelly
 

Mon 24/10/2011 11:17

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Head of Change and Reform bloc Deputy Michel Aoun met on Monday before noon at his Rabye residence with U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly.

Connelly left the meeting without any comments.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nahhas: Cabinet is having important discussions
 

Mon 24/10/2011 10:38

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas told Voice of Lebanon "Voice of Freedom and Dignity" on Monday that the Cabinet is having important discussions on livelihood matters, denying reports that the ministers are engaged in arguments.

"Governments are not eternal or everlasting but come in certain circumstances to meet some needs. The government, as far the Change and Reform is concerned, is a means and not a purpose," Nahhas explained.

He added each bloc in the Cabinet reflect a certain view on specific issues.

Nahhas declined to respond to MP Walid Jumblatt's team which said that the Change and Reform bloc needs reform.

"I don't want to comment on this talk because this is a waste of time. We sometimes see eye to eye with Jumblatt's ministers on certain topics and sometimes we differ," the minister said.

But Nahhas stressed that there are serious discord on assessing social issues.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hbeish: Security incidents jeopardize government's power
 

Mon 24/10/2011 09:59

NNA - 24/10/2011 MP Hadi Hbeish said Monday that the ongoing security events in Lebanon regions endanger the government's power.

Future bloc member also told voice of Lebanon radio that government should not be overlooking, due to political pressure, international official procedures regarding security incidents between Lebanon and Syria.

"Leaving incidents unsolved denotes government's dissolution," he said.

Hbeish also affirmed Lebanon's commitment to funding STL, deeming it crucial in terms Lebanon's UN membership.
"Lebanon is bound to respect UN charters," he said.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abboud: Disagreement inside cabinet is normal
 

Mon 24/10/2011 09:42

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud said that disagreement on point of views inside the cabinet is normal, particularly since we are in a democratic country.

Abboud told on Monday "Voice of Lebanon" radio that the disagreement between Change and Reform bloc and Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) happened couples weeks ago, adding that "the turbulence in the cabinet occurs if someone moves from a place to another which would lead to resignation".

Abboud stressed that Wednesday's cabinet session would be held, adding that the delegation which will accompany President Michel Sleiman to Saudi Kingdom to offer condolences will return before the session, expecting a calm meeting.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Terro: Lebanon must abide by international resolutions
 

Mon 24/10/2011 09:19

NNA - 24/10/2011 - Minister of Displaced Alaa el Din Terro said Lebanon must fully comply with all United Nations Security Council Resolutions whether they were good or bad.

Terro, who made these remarks during a ceremony to honor an educator in Khalyeh town in Kharoub province, admitted that the Lebanese are deeply split over the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

"Those who want the tribunal do not want the weapons while those who are against the tribunal support the weapons," the minister said.

He added that despite this division on this issue, the Lebanese has no choice but to fund the tribunal because it was created by an international decision to uncover the truth behind the assassination for former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the rest of the martyrs in Lebanon.

"This does not mean that we are against a particular sect in Lebanon when we say that we support the funding of the tribunal. In the contrary, we are trying to protect Lebanon and its leaders," Terro stressed.

He added that Lebanon should respect the Security Council resolution on the tribunal just as Lebanon respects resolution 1701.

Terro said he also supports Security Council resolutions 242 and 338 which stipulate the withdrawal of Israeli forces from occupied Palestinian territories until the 1967 borders.

He added that Lebanon must abide by all Security Council resolutions because the country needs the United Nations.

The minister also commented on the hard economic conditions in the country.

He regretted that the private sector refused to comply with the recent Cabinet decision to increase the salaries, noting it seems that the rich do not sympathize with the poor.

Terro argued that the decision to raise the salaries have widened the rift between the labor unions and private sector.

He added that Prime Minister Najib Mikati is trying to narrow differences between the labor unions and the private sector over the controversial issue of higher wages.

"We hope that the decree for higher wages will be released soon and the Ministry of Economy will be capable of monitoring the prices."

Terro hailed the uprisings in the Arab countries and called on Arab rulers to grant there people freedom, democracy and civil rights.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Senegal's Foreign Minister in Beirut
 

Sun 23/10/2011 20:59

NNA - 23/10/2011 - Senegal's Foreign Minister, Madiki Neuing, arrived in Beirut Sunday on a two-day official visit. The Senegalese official will be meeting with President of the Republic, House Speaker and Prime Minister during his stay. He will also hold talks with his Lebanese Counterpart, Adnan Mansour.
Greeting him at Beirut International Airport upon his arrival was Senegal's Ambassador to Lebanon, Ahmad Ambaki, and Senegal's Honorary Consul, Ahmad Mukhader, as well as Ms. Rana Khoury of the Lebanese Foreign Ministry.
In a brief word at the Airport, Neuing said he was glad to be in Beirut on a visit that aims at boosting and deepening bilateral ties between both countries. He pointed to the strong bonds linking between the Lebanese and Senegalese people. He added that his visit aims also at discussing a number of agreements which shall be signed between Lebanon and Senegal within the economic sector.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel: Kataeb members are democrats and are not advocates of disputes but of the State
 

Sun 23/10/2011 18:54

NNA - 23/10/2011 - Lebanese Kataeb Party Central Committee Coordinator, MP Sami Gemayel, stressed Sunday that no one is allowed to violate the law by installing a private communication cable network in Tarshish, or any area in Lebanon. He indicated herein that Hizbollah does not comprehend the presence of a "State" in Lebanon and the existence of people who disapprove of its project which it attempts to enforce on all Lebanese! Gemayel stressed that the dignity, freedom and safety of all Christian areas are basic matters that can never be trespassed against!
MP Gemayel's words came during the annual dinner by the Kataeb Baakbek-Hermel branch.
In turn, MP Elie Marouni also gave a word, in which he referred to the new infiltration incidents witnessed at the Lebanese-Syrian borders. Marouni stressed that sovereignty and dignity cannot be separated; hence, whoever infiltrates through the borderlines, whether a brother or a friend, would actually be in violation of international laws and ought to be punished through a complaint lodged at the United Nations Security Council.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea calls on President over Tarchich affair
 

Sun 23/10/2011 15:16

NNA - 23/10/2011 - Lebanese Forces' Commander, Samir Geagea, has been in contact with President Michel Suleiman over recent Tarshish affair.
Geagea's media office reported President Sleiman informing him that Baabda is following closely the affair in conjunction with Army Commander Jean Kahwaji. The president allayed Geagea's fears by informing him that the situation on the ground was pretty much under control.

It is to note that apprehensive people of Tarshish complained to ministries about alleged Hezbollah wiring of ground cables near their village.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Document by the Lady of the Mountain Gathering
 

Sun 23/10/2011 14:43

NNA - 23/10/2011 - Having met in Adma/North Lebanon, Lady of the Mountain's 8th gathering issued a political document over the role of Oriental Christians in the Arab Spring. Attending were a number of March 14 Deputies and other dignitaries, politicians, party officials and syndicate representatives.

The document begins by underscoring the paramount historical role of the Maronite Church in triggering off what the Gathering termed as the "Lebanese Spring".

Document also brings to attention demands for establishing a civil modern nation-state.

It also emphasized its full rejection of juxtaposing Christians to the Arab Spring by fatefully tying them to the Arab regimes of oppression.

There were calls to put an immediate end to the cycle of violence meted by those regimes against their respective peoples. Inadvertently restoring the historic and traditional role of Christians of the East.

By way of conclusion, Lady of the Mountain Gathering stressed need for Lebanon to draw appropriate lessons from the 15-year civil war by helping the nation-state recover its sovereignty, independence and integrity there were calls for turning the page with the Palestinians an epoch marred by blackness in terms of relations with the Syrian regime.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Yazbek: Nasrullah's Fresh Equation!
 

Sun 23/10/2011 13:34

NNA - 23/10/2011 Special Khamena'i representative to Lebanon cleric Mohammed Yazbek recalled party chief Hassan Nasrullah's threat to Israel and the Americans saying it would impose a new regional equation.

Yazbek's assertion came during a Baalbek funeral ceremony attended by MP Ali Miqdad. According to Yazbek's fresh interpretation of Nasrullah threats, "Tit-for-tat is no more the issue for it merely became something of the past. He concluded that Nasrullah's haunting of the capitals of arrogance involves worries of further more in store.


G.G.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hobeish Lady of Mountain meeting remains under Bkirky's wing
 

Sun 23/10/2011 13:19

NNA - 23/10/2011 MP Hadi Hobeish asserted to Future News TV Sunday that meeting of Lady of the Mountain is to remain under the mantle of Bkirky and the church.

Stances of Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi, supportive of Bashar Assad, ignited controversy in Lebanon. Rumors sprang that Lady of the Mountain gathering was a retaliation to the Patriarch, a thing which the Future Bloc MP denied categorically.

"The meeting will discuss the role of Christians in Beirut Spring." Hobeish explained that said Spring began with the people's uprising against injustice in the aftermath of PM Hariri's assassination in 2005.

Hobeish invited all concerned Christians to join the meeting, "Invitations to the meeting were addressed to independent personalities of all political factions, rather than to political parties." He stressed that the meeting did not take place under the banner of March 14 camp.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khazen: Correlation between Lady of the Mountain meeting and Rahi's stances
 

Sun 23/10/2011 12:21

NNA - 23/10/2011 MP Farid Khazen told Voice of Lebanon radio Sunday that the timing and motivation of Lady of the Mountain Meeting stems from Patriarch Rahi's statements made in Paris in support of Bashar Assad.

Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi, while on an official visit to Paris, claimed that the survival of the Baath regime was imperative for Christian minorities in Syria, because of fears of Sunni extremists reaching power. This was not well received by Lebanese Sunnis and certain Christians.

"Without a doubt Christians have a pivotal role in the Arab world," said the MP, "but the Arab world today is very different from that of 50 years ago."

Khazen contended that the concerns of Christians of the Arab world were not the same as those of Lebanese Christians, hence the importance of Lady of the Mountain meeting Sunday which will result in a series of recommendations.

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Amal Looking for Sadr in Libya
 

Sun 23/10/2011 12:15

NNA - 23/10/2011 An Amal delegation headed by Haytham Jum'a arrived in the Libyan capital Tripoli to verify with leaders there the whereabouts of the vanished Shiite imam Mousa Sadr presumed abducted by the slain dictator back in 1978.

Upon departure, Jum'a told the press that the case of the imam means a lot to him personally, to his movement and to the Lebanese in general and that he intends verifying the issue with the new leadership.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sehnaoui flies to Geneva, Abou Faour returns from Riyadh
 

Sun 23/10/2011 11:51 NNA - 23/10/2011 Telecommunications Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui left Beirut Saturday heading to Geneva.

In other news, Minister of Social Affairs Wael Abou Faour returned to Beirut today after a two-day-visit to Riyadh.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Salehi postpones visit to Lebanon
 

Sun 23/10/2011 11:48

NNA - 23/10/2011 Foreign Minister of Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, postponed his visit to Lebanon for a few days without giving any explanation to reasons behind delay, reported NNA correspondent.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Harb: National Audiovisual Media Council dangerous for civil liberties
 

Sun 23/10/2011 11:44

NNA - 23/10/2011 MP Boutros Harb deemed in a statement Sunday recent stances by National Audiovisual Media Council (NAC) hazardous to freedom of speech, since it infringed on public and personal liberties.

The MP noted, however, the positive position taken by the Council on certain television programs that undermine public morals. Nevertheless, he said the NAC used a covert way of blackmail vis-�-vis the media at the approach of the deadline for renewal of licenses, claiming the application of the law.

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kenaan: We are the alternative to power and regime
 

Sun 23/10/2011 11:21

NNA - 23/10/2011 MP Ibrahim Kenaan announced Saturday that Aoun's Change and Reform Bloc is the substitute for power and government through the reform project that it proposes.

The Bloc's Secretary spoke during the annual dinner of Broumana Branch of the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM), also affiliated with Change and Reform Bloc. He focused on the outcome of the retreat headed by MP Michel Aoun Friday, resulting in numerous recommendations pertaining to the socio-political situation in the country.

"The closed session held at the Convent of Saint Elias represents a serious program of reform for the next step that would stretch from now until 2013. This date will be the first referendum for the people," said the MP.
He described the meeting at the convent as a pioneer experience for a party that has a" bold vision."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea to French delegation: Arab Spring the Arab Renaissance
 

Sun 23/10/2011 10:52

NNA - 23/10/2011 Head of Lebanese Forces (LF) Samir Geagea told a delegation from French Valeurs Actuelles magazine Sunday that the Arab Spring is bound to bring more democracy and freedom to the region, dubbing it a Renaissance.

Mehrab visitors went over a variety of domestic and regional issues, focusing on socio-political concerns.

"The Arab Spring will produce further liberties in the Middle East," said Geagea who also expressed appreciation for the role France has played towards Lebanon, with constant support for the sovereignty and independence of the country.

In other news, Geagea met a delegation from Zahle and Middle Bekaa civil society, in the presence of MP Chant Gengenian.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri calls Saudi Monarch, offers condolences
 

Sun 23/10/2011 10:37

NNA - 23/10/2011 House Speaker Nabih Berri telephoned Sunday Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abd al Aziz, consoling him on the passing of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abd al Aziz.

The Crown Prince passed away Saturday in New York while receiving treatment for an illness.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khreiss draws similarities between Sadr, Rahi
 

Sun 23/10/2011 10:31

NNA - 23/10/2011 MP Ali Khreiss pointed out to similarities between patriotic stances of Imam Moussa Sadr and Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi, during an Amal Movement celebration Sunday in southern village of Bourj Rahal.

Sadr vanished with two of his colleagues while on a visit to Libya's Muammar Gaddafi. His case was never resolved, and his destiny remained unknown.

"The approach of Imam Sadr is the same as that of Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi who calls for coexistence and love," said the member of Liberation and Development Bloc.
He enticed everyone to hold on to their arms, as called for by Sadr. "The leader Imam Moussa Sadr is coming back, God willing, to his battle of Jihad in this country."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati contacts Saudi King for condolences
 

Sat 22/10/2011 21:16


NNA - 22/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati contacted by phone Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abdel Aziz on Saturday evening, offering condolences on the passing away of crown prince Sultan Bin Abdel Aziz.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Chamoun: it is impossible for coexistance between legal and illegal arms
 

Sat 22/10/2011 21:08

NNA - 22/10/2011 National Liberals Party Head Dori Chamoun said it is impossible to have coexistence between "legal arms", whose task is determined by Constitution and Law in preservation of nation's security and stability, and "illegal arms" that render the nation and citizens captives of regional or confessional interests and doctrines.
Deputy Chamoun was speaking in his word delivered during a mass service held by National Liberals Party, marking 21 commemoration of the martyrdom of Dany Chamoun and his family.
The mass service took place at Saint Antonious in Sodeco, presided over by Maronite Perish of Beirut Metropolitan Boulos Mattar, attended by MPs Antoine Zahra and Nadim Gemayyel, in addition to Mrs. Solange Gemayyel, Mrs. Joyce Amine Gemayyel, Bar Association Head Amal Haddad, as well as a number of dignitaries.
"We shall continue to struggle for the sake of a free, independent, sovereign Lebanon... for the sake of justice, equality and human rights... for the sake of a modern diverse civil state", Chamoun said, calling for a united Christian-Islamic coexistence, openness on East and West, genuine reforms and dialogue.
Metropolitan Mattar, for his part, called for rendering Dany Chamoun's martyrdom as an impetus for all the Lebanese to demonstrate further "love" towards Lebanon. "This nation is need of a 'love intifada' by all its sons to help the nation stand once more on its feet and carry out its promising role in the entire region", Mattar said, calling for casting aside disintegration, narrow and individual interests and 'guarded and watchful' feelings.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Moussawi blesses the rise of dawn in Lybia
 

Sat 22/10/2011 20:22

NNA - 22/10/2011 "Loyalty to the Resistance" Bloc member Hussein Moussawi congratulated the Libyans on the rise of dawn that ended the chapter of oppression and darkness, Moussawi said in a statement on Saturday.
Moussawi said he expected from Libyan liberals to work on the release and liberation of the disappeared Al-Imam Moussa Sadr and his two comrades Sheikh Yaacoub and Sayyid Badreddine. Moussawi considered exerting sincere efforts to reach a happy ending to the Sadr case is a truthfully national, ethical and religious duty for every Muslim and free person.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Safadi cables condolences to Saudi King
 

Sat 22/10/2011 19:15

NNA - 22/10/2011 Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi cabled Saudi King Abdallah Bin Abdul Aziz offering condolences on the passing away of crown-prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz.
Safadi listed the merits of the deceased prince, saying "Saudi Arabia and Islamic and Arab worlds have lost with the passing away of Prince Sulatn a great leader" who played a distinguished role in consecrating the Kingdom's stability, the building of its economy and setting its Arab and Islamic role.
Safadi cabled similar condolences to Prince Nayef Ben Abdel Aziz, the late prince's sons and Saudi senior officials.

---------------L.Y
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora offers condolences to Saudi King
 

Sat 22/10/2011 18:27

NNA - 22/10/2011 "Future" Bloc Head Fouad Siniora cabled on Saturday Saudi King Abdallah Bin Abdul Aziz offering condolences on the passing away of crown-prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz.
Siniora listed in his cable listed the merits of the deceased crown-prince and expressed grief at his loss. "The passing away of the late prince is a great loss to Saudi Arabia, prince's family and Arab and Islamic nations", Siniora said, hailing his relentless efforts in consecrating Saudi Kingdom's piers.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Politicians offer condolences to Saudi King
 

Sat 22/10/2011 17:18

NNA - 22/10/2011 - Mufti of the Republic, cleric Mohammad Qabbani, Culture Minister, Gaby Layoun, former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, former cabinet Minister and Head of the Maronite Council, Wadih Khazen, and Deputy of the House Nehme Tohme, separately offered condolences to Saudi King Abdallah Bin Abdul Aziz at the passing away of crown-prince Sultan following a long ailment. Cables of condolence listed the merits of the deceased crown-prince and expressed grief at his loss.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qahwaji, Roknabadi discuss general situation
 

Sat 22/10/2011 16:00

NNA - 22/10/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Qahwaji, met Saturday at Yarzeh with Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghadanfar Roknabadi, over major domestic and regional developments.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Judge Antonio Cassese dies
 

Sat 22/10/2011 15:42

NNA - 22/10/2011 - STL issued Saturday the following statement: "The former President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Judge Antonio Cassese, has died after a long fight with cancer. He passed away peacefully at home in Florence last night."
"Judge Cassese was one of the most distinguished figures in international justice. He was the first President of both the STL and the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. Judge Cassese also had a long career in academia."
"The tragedy of Nino's departure is beyond words", said Judge Sir David Baragwanath, the current President of the Tribunal. "For members of the Tribunal he was the Maestro, whose towering ability as a jurist and a statesman was equaled by the immense personal warmth and humanity which made him our dear friend."
"He was a leader whom it was stimulating and a privilege to serve. He created and was the preeminent figure in modern international criminal law. His family extended across the globe to wherever there was injustice. His vision, intellect, dynamism and courage changed attitudes, institutions and lives", said Judge Baragwanath.
The news of Judge Cassese's death has been met with profound sadness amongst staff at the STL. Nino, as he was known to many in the Tribunal, was much admired as an outstanding leader with generosity of spirit, a brilliant intellect and a mischievous sense of humour.
"With Judge Cassese's death, international justice has lost one of its pioneers. Human rights activists have lost one of their veterans", said Judge Ralph Riachi, the Vice-President of the Tribunal, who was a close friend and colleague of Judge Cassese.
"Our consolation is that he has left to his family, friends, colleagues and students a great patrimony of humanism, science and respect for others. Above all, he taught us that no matter how great your achievements, it is always possible to remain modest."
"Judge Cassese stepped down as President of the Tribunal on 9 October this year due to ill-health, after more than two years as the head of the institution (March 2009-October 2011). He was a serving Appeals Chamber judge when he died.
This was just the latest of many international legal roles. In 2004 the UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, appointed Judge Cassese chairperson of the UN International Commission of Inquiry on Darfur. He was later appointed by the Secretary General as an independent expert to review the judicial efficiency of the Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Throughout his career Judge Cassese worked to curtail extrajudicial killings, as well as to assert individual responsibility for international crimes in domestic and international jurisdictions.
Judge Cassese was professor of international law at the University of Florence from 1975 until 2008. Between 1987 and 1993 he was professor of law at the European University Institute. Judge Cassese was also a visiting fellow at All Souls College, Oxford University (1979-80). He was a member of the Institut de Droit International and former president of the Council of Europe Committee for the Prevention of Torture.
An enthusiastic proponent of self-determination and human rights throughout his whole life, Judge Cassese wrote extensively on all aspects of international law, with a particular focus on international criminal law. He was the recipient of many honorary degrees and awards."

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Houry condemns Tarshish events, fears another May 7
 

Sat 22/10/2011 14:27

NNA - 22/10/2011 MP Aamar Houry denounced Saturday Hezbollah's continuous breaches of government's sovereignty, as Tarshish events threaten to turn into another bloody May 7, he said to Future News TV station.

In May 7, 2008 Hezbollah launched an assault on western part of Beirut on the backdrop of similar events, leaving 11 dead and 30 wounded. Last Friday, the residents of the town of Tarshish in the Zahleh region prevented members of Hezbollah from expanding the party's telecommunications network in the area. Party members attempted to expand the network as a team from the Telecommunications Ministry installed cables to improve internet services. The events escalated as politics could not resolve the issue and Hezbollah pressed on in its plan, with Tarshish municipality sources alleging that the resistance threatened to carry out a second May 7.

"Hezbollah continues to bite at the cabinet and control it," said Houry who ridiculed meek stances of Telecommunications Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui who did not take action against said violation. "He cannot face Hezbollah; and the network will be expanded whether openly or in secret."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Siniora, Russian ambassador agree on STL funding
 

Sat 22/10/2011 14:00

NNA - 22/10/2011 Ambassador of Russia to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin stressed Saturday that his country continues to support the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), he told reporters after meeting head of Future Bloc Foad Siniora in Beirut.

The STL had issued arrest warrants against four Hezbollah members for their part in assassination of PM Rafik Hariri in 2005; however, the party announced that it will not cooperate with the tribunal, describing it as an American-Israeli product aimed at destroying the Islamic Resistance.

"We confirmed Russia's adherence to Lebanon's sovereignty...and pointed to the importance of keeping stability and security of citizens in all its regions, in a way that assures that events in Syria do not affect the situation in Lebanon," said the ambassador.
"Russia is always with implementing all UN resolution pertaining to Lebanon, including the one concerning the STL." Zasypkin added that his country has participated in funding the tribunal, and continued to supports it as a "mechanism of international legitimacy."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Geagea keeps door open for dialogue with Hezbollah
 

Sat 22/10/2011 13:29

NNA - 22/10/2011 Head of Lebanese Forces (LF) Samir Geagea noted Saturday to Ithad newspaper that despite Hezbollah's unwillingness to meet others half way, his door remains open for fruitful dialogue.

National dialogue tables have been held repeatedly in Lebanon to bring together oppositionists, mainly March 14, and loyalists of March 8 camp, but to no avail. The most recent dispute between the two camps focused on funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), probing assassination of PM Rafik Hariri in 2005, with the opposition insisting on fulfilling Lebanon's international commitments, while some loyalists rejected any kind of governmental financing of the tribunal.

"[Hezbollah] is not willing to hold any dialogue with anyone unless they were certain beforehand that they will get you onboard their project...They do not want to hold talks from peer to peer." The veteran politician revealed that Hezbollah made tempting offers of power and ministerial portfolios to LF, but Geagea turned them down. "I tried to hold discussions with them repeatedly, but they were non-responsive." Nevertheless, Geagea saw that in the future the necessity of true national dialogue would entice Hezbollah to partake in one.

"Current cabinet will not agree to pay Lebanon's share of the STL," he stated, "which will put it and the entire Lebanese people in trouble." Geagea considered that if Hezbollah sustained its rejection of the funding, major changes will occur on the domestic scene. The Islamic Resistance had a plan which overshot Lebanon and the Arab world. "Hezbollah's project is one of expansion not merely dominance."

The Arab Spring, though seemingly bypassed Lebanon, had its influence locally, especially that the Lebanese administration fully backed the regime of Bashar Assad. The Maronite Patriarch also supported the Baath regime, citing fear over Christian minorities from possible Sunni extremist rule in case of Assad's toppling.

"History is heading towards further freedom and democracy," said Geagea who refused to go against the natural procession of history. "I am not afraid for Christians from the Arab Spring, I fear for Christians from other Christians."

LF Leader hoped that Lebanon did not stand as an anomaly by refusing any sanctions passed by Security Council, with the concurrence of Arab and Western countries, against Syria. "We should not remain fearful of terrorism, because Lebanon is a free and sovereign state."


R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri heads Amal meeting to recover Sadr
 

Sat 22/10/2011 13:20

NNA - 22/10/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri in his capacity as Amal leader presided over an extra ordinary meeting to decide on steps to recover vanished Imam Sadr and his two companions from Libya.

The meeting of Amal elders congratulated Libyan revolutionaries on the happy ending to the tyrant Gadhafi, the statement said. He implored the transitional Libyan council to do what they could to unveil the fate of Imam Sadr and his companions so that followers of Sadr could partake in the joy generated by Gadhafi's end.

Berri said the Libyan leadership must give utmost priority to unveil the location of Sadr's detention as part of a major human rights issue.

Amal decided to keep its meeting open in anticipation of contingencies.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

 


Politics - Berri offers condolences to King Abdallah and ministers
 

Sat 22/10/2011 13:07

NNA - 22/10/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri cabled condolences to Saudi monarch Abdallah Bin Abdul Aziz, Interior minister Naef Bin Abdul Aziz and the Royal Prince of Riyadh, Selman Bin Abdul Aziz. Berri also offered condolences to Saudi Defense Minister, Khaled Bin Sultan at the passing away of crown-prince Sultan following a long ailment yesterday.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel itinerant visitors, condolences to the Saudi King
 

Sat 22/10/2011 13:00

NNA - 22/10/2011 - Addressing interlocutors who visited him at his Bikfaya residence today, Kataeb Party boss Amine Gemayel spoke about the aimless wondering of the Lebanese ship on a disturbed sea surface.

Gemayel spoke about the Lebanese bad situation in contrast to major changes in the Arab world. He however, vowed not to fall in despair or surrender. Salvation for him lies in sticking to nation-building of state institutions.

Earlier, Gemayel cabled Saudi monarch Abdallah Bin Abdul Aziz over the passing away of crown-prince Sultan describing his death as a major loss for Lebanese and Arabs alike.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 


Politics - Sleiman's condolence message to the Saudi monarch
 

Sat 22/10/2011 12:52

NNA - 22/10/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, cabled Saudi monarch Abdallah Bin Abdul Aziz expressing condolences at the passing away of his brother crown-prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz.

The President indicated in his message that Sultan's death is a major loss to the Lebanese, Arabs and Saudis alike. He wished him good health and fortitude on the path of peace, progress and prosperity.

Among itinerant Baabda visitors today, has been a delegation from the pan-Arab congress headed by Abdul-Qader Ghawqa who briefed him on activities undertaken by his group to further pan-Arab solidarity.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ahmad Hariri: killer regimes will fall!
 

Sat 22/10/2011 12:45

NNA - 22/10/2011 - Future Party boss Ahmad Hariri, stated in the wake of Gadhafi's end that killer regimes of torture will collapse.

Hariri's affirmation came during a luncheon-function at Ali Tleis' residence of Ouyoun al-Samak attended by a number of Future Bloc parliamentarians and senior party officials.

Taking the word, he predicted that Asad regime would not outlast Gadhafi's for long. On the domestic scene Hariri stressed that there is no alternative to Islamo-Christian partnership and peaceful coexistence. He reiterated that the Taef accord is still in force and that it remains to be a national pact for all Lebanese.

He indicated that there still exists a chance for the implementation of Taef accords.

The senior Future Bloc official rejected Syrian cross-border activities into Lebanon and criticized the role of the Syrian Embassy in Beirut. He accused Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali of seeking to restore Anjar to Hamra Street in the heart of Beirut.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hayek to Seek Sadr Out in Libya
 

Sat 22/10/2011 12:27

NNA - 22/10/2011 - Amal polit-bureau head Jameel Hayek, disclosed his movement's intention to seek out the whereabouts of vanished Shiite imam Mousa Sadr and two of his companions with the Libyan Transitional Council within the few coming days.

Hayek who prompted Arab regimes to rally about Asad refused the notion that one nation "conspires" against its brothers for the sake of America and the Zionists as he described them. He also accused certain Lebanese leaders abroad of waiting for the moment when the balance tips in Asad's disfavor and concluded that Egyptian Copts were facing an American-Israeli plot with the aim of confusing Arab countries by creating new adversaries to Arabs and Muslims alike.
G.G.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati offers condolences over Saudi Crown Prince passing
 

Sat 22/10/2011 11:23

NNA - 22/10/2011 PM Najib Mikati was saddened Saturday over death of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abd al Aziz al Saud, dubbing it a deep loss for the Kingdom and Arab nations.
The heir to the crown passed away due to illness while seeking treatment outside Saudi Arabia.
"Lebanon will miss a friend and a brother...who has stood by our side through difficult years."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Moussawi: Hezbollah weapons only means of freedom
 

Sat 22/10/2011 11:13

NNA - 22/10/2011 Hezbollah MP Nawaf Moussawi shunned Saturday failed UN attempts to free prisoners, stating that only resistance and rifles liberate people.

Hamas held a celebration in honor of recently freed 1,027 Palestinian convicted prisoners who were held in Israeli prisons. Israeli government released the Palestinians in a deal which secured the freedom of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive by Hamas for over 5 years.

"The UN and alliances do not free lands and prisoners, only the rifle and resistance does," said Moussawi who also criticized anyone who dared suggest disarming Hezbollah. "What alternative or plan do they have to free Palestine and defend Lebanon?"

The MP was resolute that the arms of Hezbollah will endure all campaigns against it.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Raad back from Russia
 

Sat 22/10/2011 10:10

NNA - 22/10/2011 Delegation of Loyalty to Resistance Bloc headed by MP Mohammad Raad arrived to Beirut Saturday after its first official visit to Moscow, Russia.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ethiopian Ministers leave Lebanon
 

Sat 22/10/2011 10:07

NNA - 22/10/2011 An official visit by Ethiopian Ministers of Transporttion and Foreign Affairs ended Saturday.

The Ministers who stayed in Lebanon for a few days went back to Addis Ababa this morning.

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Aridi bound to Paris
 

Sat 22/10/2011 10:03

NNA - 22/10/2011 Public Works and Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi left Beirut Saturday morning heading to Paris, France.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abou Faour bound to Riyadh
 

Fri 21/10/2011 21:29

NNA - 21/10/2011 Minister of Social Affairs Wael Abou Faour left Beirut Friday evening heading to Riyadh, KSA.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hazim validates Rahi's fear of Sunni rule in Syria
 

Fri 21/10/2011 21:27

NNA- 21/10/2011 - The Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim joined his voice Friday to that of Maronite Patriarch Boutros Bechara Rahi, expressing concerns about the arrival of the Salafi Sunnis to power in Syria.

Syria's peaceful uprising demanding a change in regime was met by Maronite trepidation over replacement of Assad's Alawaite rule with Sunni extremists, according to Rahi.

Hazim assured in an interview with Voice of Lebanon radio that, "Christians of Syria are united and free," stressing "concerns relating to changes in Syria and what the future holds for this country, where nothing has been perpetrated against Christians in the last 30 years."

"The Christian minority in Syria is unable to create change or to hold senior positions," he said, expressing his doubts about a possible civil war in this country and hope that the changes there will have no impact on Lebanon.

On a domestic level, the Patriarch lamented the gap between Maronites, before addressing the topic of electoral law and emphasizing the "need for �Orthodox presence to provide a good representation for this community in Parliament."

He also hoped that the religious bodies turn "theories into action," calling on the local churches for more cooperation.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics -Change and Reform issues bloc's recommendations
 

Fri 21/10/2011 20:57

NNA - 21/10/2011 Change and Reform Bloc concluded Friday its legislative and regulatory retreat, headed by Michel Aoun, with recommendations branching into budget, healthcare, economy and other vital issues.

The retreat held at Mar Elias Monastery in Baabda drew a large crowd of participating ministers, deputies and economic figures.

The meeting concluded with several important recommendations such as drafting a law for executing the entire electricity plan, drafting a law plan for dams and mountain lakes.

The highlight of the bloc's recommendations zeroed in on rectifying the 2012 draft state budget, and halting a 2% increase on value added tax (VAT). On that note, the gatherers adamantly refused to allow a private auditing company to inspect governmental accounts. Conferees also advised imposing a tax on real estate profit.

Moreover, the bloc proposed planning a comprehensive long term growth and development map for production sectors. They insisted on revisiting laws of foreign labor.

On a social level, Change and Reform Bloc advocated the need for complete social security funded by the government as the main care keeper of all citizens. Conferees also pointed that it was time to end the displaced dossier via a special law draft.

The military institution had its share during the retreat, with a proposal of a law to arm the military with the approval of the higher defense council. Gatherers also hoped to achieve independence of the judiciary and make appropriate adjustments to military judicial system, activate surveillance and accountability within the judiciary, and establish the National Commission of the Disappeared.

The economy of Lebanon has always been based on the tourism sector more than anything else. Hence, the retreat wrapped up by recommending taking better care of touristic sites and places, mainly fortifying religious tourism.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Technology, communication tops Mikati's meetings
 

Fri 21/10/2011 19:48

NNA - 21/10/2011 PM Najib Mikati presided Friday over first meeting for Ministerial Committee of Technology and Telecommunications, with studies focusing on general framework of the sectoral policy for information and communications technology in Lebanon.

The Grand Serail meeting was attended by Minister of State for Administrative Development Mohammad Fneish, Education and Higher Learning Minister Hassan Diab, and Communication Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui.

In other news, Mikati met head of Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Beirut, Mohammad Shoukair, who updated him on the results of conference of economic bodies which took place yesterday.

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora discusses current developments with Ozyildiz
 

Fri 21/10/2011 18:28

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Head of Future Parliamentary Bloc, Deputy Fouad Siniora, met Friday at his Sadat Tower office with Turkish Ambassador to Lebanon, Inan Ozyildiz, over the current situation in Lebanon and the region.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Raad: we crave for Russian role that restores international balance
 

Fri 21/10/2011 18:18

NNA - 21/10/2011 "Loyalty to the Resistance" Bloc Head Mohammed Raad said the Bloc aspires for an effectual Russian role that sturdily contribute in restoring required international balance.
Deputy Raad was speaking during a political lecture he delivered at Russian Friendship University in Moscow, attended by University administration staff, instructors and students.
MP Raad is currently in Moscow on top of a delegation of "Loyalty to the Resistance" Bloc, on its first visit to Moscow.
Raad highlighted Russia's central role in restoring balance to international resolutions, saying US and NATO hegemony have disturbed requisite world balances becoming a threat to international security and stability.
On Lebanon's affairs, Raad stressed that the resistance underscores the importance of partnership with all the Lebanese, exchanging viewpoints amongst each other to determine Lebanon's paramount interests. He said the resistance seeks to find solutions to existing differences over crucial matters through national dialogue. "We consider this [national dialogue] as the sole means to end divisions in the Country", Raad noted.
Raad also considered targeting resistance's arms by whoever side as an utterly Israeli demand, noting that Israel permanently pose a threat to Lebanon's security, stability and its resources.
On Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issue, Raad said "we will not be surprised that STL is rendered a crossing arc for international custody on Lebanon, its security, stability and sovereignty."
On the current situation in the Arab world in light of popular moves, Raad said US pressing position on Syria does not aim at supporting requisite reforms but rather penalizing Syria on its supportive stand towards the resistance and changing already-existing balances in the region.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (CORRECTION) Rahi hopes "Arab Spring" leads to dialogue not conflicts
 

Fri 21/10/2011 18:02

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi hoped the "Arab Spring" would give way for dialogue to prevail, not civil warfare or any other sort of violence or aggression.

During a reception set in his honor on Friday at the Lebanese Consulate, the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi addressed diplomatic and religious figures attending the ceremony.

He affirmed that Lebanon as well as the Lebanese were distinguished and had chosen to lead a life of peace and loving, under the slogan of partnership and respect.

Rahi said the Arab World is outliving hard and tenuous circumstance known as the "Arab Spring."

"The "Arab Spring" would come to lose its significance if conflicts were to kill any Arab nationalist or innocent being," said the Patriarch.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi hopes "Arab Spring" leads to dialogue not conflicts
 

Fri 21/10/2011 17:45

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi hoped the "Arab Spring" would give way for dialogue to prevail, not civil warplanes or any other sort of violence or aggression.

During a reception set in his honor on Friday at the Lebanese Consulate, the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi addressed diplomatic and religious figures attending the ceremony.

He affirmed that Lebanon as well as the Lebanese were distinguished and had chosen to lead a life of peace and loving, under the slogan of partnership and respect.

Rahi said the Arab World is outliving hard and tenuous circumstance known as the "Arab Spring."

"The "Arab Spring" would come to lose its significance if conflicts were to kill any Arab nationalist or innocent being," said the Patriarch.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hizbullah: We seek new Libya's efforts to uncover Imam's case
 

Fri 21/10/2011 17:36

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Hizbullah said after the collapse of former President Moammar Gadhafi's tyrannical regime, it looks forward to the efforts of the new Libyan Command to identify the place of disappearing Imam Moussa Sadr and his companions.

In a statement issued on Friday by Hizbullah's press bureau, the party saluted the victory of the Libyan rebellions over Gadhafi's regime.

"The Libyans have now a historic opportunity to rebuild their country and safeguard it from the plunder and greed of grand states," said the statement.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Government should stand down today before tomorrow: Geagea
 

Fri 21/10/2011 17:27

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Lebanese Forces Leader Samir Geagea on Friday called on the Lebanese Government to do Lebanon's reputation good by stepping down "today before tomorrow".

"Following its last session, the cabinet proved to lack all the components of a potent cabinet, setting aside political rivalry," Geagea told a group of Mearab visitors today.

The fate of Arab Christians, a subject topping many Christian meetings and gatherings in the Arab world also highlighted Geagea's talks with visitors. "Can't MPs Franjieh, Michel Aoun, and others see all the bloodshed and killings taking place in Syria? Let's consider that the Muslim Brotherhood or some other party managed to rule [Syria], shall we expect to see an even more horrible scene?" Geagea said, wondering where Syrian Christians stood amid such developments.

Touching on the local scene, Geagea stressed the importance of finding apt solutions to social and livelihood issues. "Forming a ministerial committee, working alongside economic bodies, delving altogether into the matter and digging out solutions, could be the key."

As for cabinet's latest discussions on the pending salary increase, Geagea sufficed by describing this approach as giving citizens a pain killer that only worked for a short period of time, then left them suffer for long.

Responding to those describing the Mikati-led cabinet as a multi-color cabinet, Geagea refused such allegations, saying the cabinet "is made of a mono-political color, with different shares."

Moreover, and commenting on United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's condemnation of Syrian violations of Lebanese sovereignty, disregarding those of Israel, Geagea suggested the best solution would be the deployment of army check-points along B�kaa borderline areas.

Albeit, Geagea chose to eulogize any initiative to be made by the Arab League, calling on both sides of the Syrian divide to opt for dialogue.

On another level, Geagea held talks with MP Michel Pharaon over the cabinet's performance. "The majority team of the cabinet wishes to annul the democratic work of institutions. Therefore, there should be no fear over any cabinet change possibility," he said, fearing that the latter wished to exert pressure by the power of arms and threats to avoid the STL and link Lebanon's politics to foreign ones.

R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

Politics - Kahwaji, US delegation tackle military cooperation
 

Fri 21/10/2011 16:21

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, discussed military cooperation between the Lebanese and US armies with US Ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly.

The meeting was held Friday in Yarzeh in presence of US Defense Attache, Colonel Paul Ruth and the Security advisor, Andrea McFeely.

Catherine Vierling, advisor of the European Parliament in Brussels, who came next to Yarzeh office, tackled with Kahwaji the general situation.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora: We look forward to independent Libya governed by law
 

Fri 21/10/2011 15:35

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora said he aspires to see an independent, free and stable Libya governed by rule, after the end of a tyrannical regime.

Commenting on the killing of former Libyan President Moammar Gadhafi and the end of his ruling epoch, Siniora said the period of despotism and tyranny in Libya terminated and a new shift towards the good has started.

Siniora called for unveiling the truth behind the disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadr and his companions, as all Lebanese are eager enough to know the truth.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel meets his Congolese counterpart, tackles Diaspora's conditions
 

Fri 21/10/2011 15:16

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel followed up on Friday the conditions of the Lebanese Diaspora in Congo - Brazzaville during his meeting with his Congolese counterpart Raymond Zephirin Mboulou in presence of Ambassador Boutros Assaker.

Charbel thanked Congo for the facilitations it offers to the Lebanese Diaspora in a bid to reinforce ties between the two countries.

Discussions also touched on boosting security potentials, particularly in Lebanon.

Accordingly, Charbel shed light on the high professionalism of the ISF members in protecting citizens and fighting against crime.

Finally, Charbel called on his Congolese counterpart to visit Lebanon the soonest possible and work on reactivating bilateral cooperation.
D.K.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khoury from the Grand Serail: No breaches to Lebanese borders
 

Fri 21/10/2011 15:16

NNA - 21/10/2011 Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council head, Nasry Khoury told Prime Minister Najib Mikati Friday that there were no Syrian violations to the Lebanese borders.

Khoury said that media institutions constantly seek to prove otherwise without referring to official sourcing in that respect.

"We are in constant cooperation with the Lebanese army which is the sole responsible reference of borders," he said.

Syrian army tanks crossed the Lebanese border near the Bekaa town of Aarsal last Tuesday and fired several gunshots within Lebanese territory.
Clarifying such practice, Khoury said that Aarsal town is not among demarcated lands and its Lebanese or Syrian identity is not yet defined thus, "we cannot talk about breaches to Lebanese sovereignty herein."

Both men also hashed out about cooperation between the countries on political, economic, and security levels and urged for buttressing them.

Separately, Mikati met respectively with the Algerian Ambassador Ibrahim bin Audih Hasi, National Commission for Lebanese Women (NCLW), and a delegation of the Talal Abu-Ghazaleh organization.

L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri discusses current situation with EU, Algeria envoys
 

Fri 21/10/2011 15:15

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, met on Friday with European Union Ambassador, Angelina Eichhorst, over the current situation.

Algerian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ibrahim Bin Aoudeh, who came next to Ain el-Tineh, discussed with Berri bilateral relations and the situation in the region.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Salam, Butnam meet over general situation
 

Fri 21/10/2011 15:12

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Beirut Deputy Tammam Salam discussed the current situation and developments on the local and regional scenes with Candace Butnam, charge d'affaires of the US Embassy and Lisa Carle from US State Secretariat.

The meeting was held at the Deputy's residence in Msaytbeh Friday.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabalan urges NTC to probe Imam Sadr's case
 

Fri 21/10/2011 15:03

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Deputy Head of the Islamic Shiite Supreme Council, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, called upon the Libyan National Transitional Council (NTC) to pursue the bad actions of former Libyan President Moamar Gadhafi and look into the disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadr and his companions in Libya.

Qabalan, in his Friday sermon, urged the NTC to unveil the truth behind the Imam's case, assuring that Lebanon would send a delegation to Libya to help NTC probe the case and reach truth and justice.

Qabalan congratulated the Libyan public on its victory over Gadhafi and its regime, hoping for Libya stability and prosperity.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel meets Audi: Lebanon is heading towards unknown
 

Fri 21/10/2011 14:57

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Kataeb party's head, Amin Gemayel, uttered concern over the situation in Lebanon heading towards the unknown, saying the state is not capable of dealing with primary affairs or adopting any serious measures regarding livelihood issues, the STL or the frontiers' constant violations.

Gemayel expressed these worries during his meeting on Friday with Beirut orthodox archbishop Elias Audi who, in Gemayel's words, plays a major role among Christians.

The meeting was also an occasion to tackle local affairs as well as potential repercussions of regional unrest on the Lebanese internal scene.

"We should immunize the inside by our unity to avoid paying the price of others' revolutions," Audi said for his part.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt felicitates Libyans on historical victory
 

Fri 21/10/2011 14:17

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Head of the Progressive Socialist Party, Deputy Walid Jumblatt, felicitated the head of the Libyan transitional council Mustafa Abdel Jalil on the glorious historical victory the Libyans achieved.

He also called on the council to work for reestablishing internal unity and national reconciliation, avoiding schism and tension and heading towards a promising future.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - Sleiman hopes Libyans' dilemma ends
 

Fri 21/10/2011 13:36

NNA - 21/10/2011 Lebanese President hoped Friday that Libyan people's dilemma would come up to its end, that Libya starts a new phase in its history by building a democratic modern state, and it would take back its role in the Arab league on the basis of mutual cooperation with brotherly states.


Sleiman received Patriarch of Antioch and the East, Ignatius IV (Hazim), with talks featuring high on the importance of preserving Christian existence in the region.

Former Minister Naji Boustani also visited Baabda today and tackled with the President most recent up-to-dates.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Moqbel meets Audi: we seek Orthodox unity
 

Fri 21/10/2011 13:13

NNA - 21/10/2011 - The vice Prime Minister Samir Moqbel said Friday that the Orthodox gathering aims at reinforcing the union between communities members in a bid to regain their decision-making power.

Mokbel said these words during his visit to Beirut Greek orthodox metropolite, Elias Audi.

As for the electoral law suggestion by the orthodox gathering, Moqbel said the 64 Christian Deputies are elected through the voting of people who don't belong to the community.

"We support any law which allows true representation without marginalizing any Lebanese component," he finally said.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khoury urges Lebanese-Syrian agreements' implementation
 

Fri 21/10/2011 12:51

NNA - 21/10/2011 Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour tackled Friday Lebanese-Syrian agreements' implementation during his meeting with Nasry Khoury, Secretary General of the Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council.

Khoury stressed after the meeting the importance of keenness on Syrian stability and security and urged the Lebanese government to follow up on ongoing "movements" that have been going on for some time and deemed to be detrimental to the Syrian security.

The Minister also took up Lebanon's position at the International Organization of Civil Aviation, during his meeting with the organization's head, Asaad Koteit.

The latter urged exerting efforts to call for renewing Lebanon's membership in the aviation's executive board.



L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk's forthcoming visit to Australia aims at inaugurating NNA office
 

Fri 21/10/2011 11:59

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Information Minister Walid Daouk tackled Friday bilateral ties and latest developments with the Australian Ambassador to Lebanon Lex Bartlem.

Discussions also touched on the forthcoming visit of Daouk to Australia on November whereby he will inaugurate a new office for the National News Agency in Sidney.

The Minister will also participate in unveiling the statue of the Lebanese expatriates in Melbourne upon the invitation of the World Lebanese Cultural Union.
D.K.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qobeissi: Lebanon targeted due to Resistance culture embodiment
 

Fri 21/10/2011 11:34

NNA - 21/10/2011 Deputy Hani Qobeissi said Friday that Lebanon is targeted because it represents the Resistance's culture.

Qobeissi conveyed Amal movement's stance regarding Lebanese affairs and voiced support to teachers' demands as to salaries raise adjustment, during a memorial celebration in Doueir town.

"Lebanon has a sole enemy and that is the Zionist enemy," Qobeissi said hoping Lebanese leaders, who have previously sought inter-Lebanese quarrels, would go for a united position whenever Israel violates our territories with its warplanes or gunboats.

Qobeissi urged the government to speed up the endorsement of the oil and gas exploration law and allow Lebanese to invest their natural resources.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun assures government not unilateral
 

Fri 21/10/2011 11:02

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Deputy Michel Aoun confirmed Friday that the government is not one-colored as others claim, assuring that each camp has its own priorities.

The Deputy's words came during the closed legislative, organizational meeting currently held by the Change and Reform bloc at St. Elias church, Baabda.

"Our priority is to fight against corruption and make reforms, and we will proceed with following this routine," the MP promised, calling on the Deputies to follow up closely all the laws and projects as long as they are members of the Parliament.

Aoun focused in his word on the importance of discussing the 2012 budget which has totally disregarded the bloc's instructions.

"We refuse to keep accepting what we believe is wrong," he said.

The meeting will also touch on economic and social policies as well as their sway over wage plans.

The third phase of the meeting will be devoted for tackling the best means for developing the Change and Reform bloc's parliamentarian and governmental work.

Finally, conferees will go over different developmental files as well as all laws and suggestions related.
The closed meeting will be concluded by a list of recommendations.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abboud: Some ministers still resort to old trend
 

Fri 21/10/2011 10:49

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud told Voice of Lebanon "Voice of Freedom and Dignity" that some ministers in the cabinet still yearn for the previous pattern that have stretched for the past 20 years, adding that ministers of the Change and Reform bloc are treated as if they are new comers in politics.

"We are free in our thinking and we talk about mistakes wherever they are but the other side wants to build wrong assumptions on our views. There must be a new trend in governing," Abboud said.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


Politics - Daher accuses Hizbullah of trying to create security squares in Tripoli
 

Fri 21/10/2011 09:57


NNA - 21/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Khaled Daher told "Radio Free Lebanon" that Hizbullah and March 8 are trying to set up security squares in Tripoli as in the case of other Lebanese regions, stressing that the party's scheme to control Lebanon will not pass.

He added that all factions and parties in the north have rejected Hizbullah's attempts to create security squares in Tripoli, calling on the authorities to carry out its duties.

"Not only Future movement is furious. All sides are irritated by this abnormal behavior and even by Prime Minister Najib Mikati and former Prime Minister Omar karami's supporters."

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 


Politics - Kabara: Tribunal will proceed with or without Nasrallah's approval
 

Fri 21/10/2011 09:38

NNA - 21/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Mohammed Kabara told Voice of Lebanon "Voice of Freedom and Dignity" that the international tribunal will proceed in the right path and will punish all those who were involved in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and the rest whether Hizbullah's Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah liked it or not.

"Everybody knows that the tribunal was approved by the national dialogue committee and Hizbullah's claim that it did not endorse this tribunal is seen as a coup. The tribunal gained the support of all Lebanese parties and was backed by Arab and international resolutions. This tribunal is a guarantee to stop assassinations in Lebanon," Kabara said.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Mikati, Sayyid tackle current developments
 

Thu 20/10/2011 21:32

NNA - 20/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati met with General Jamil Sayyid, who visited him at the Grand Serail on Thursday evening.
Mikati and Sayyid tackled the current developments on the local scene.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sehanoui launches cellular III generation service
 

Thu 20/10/2011 20:39


NNA - 20/10/2011 Telecommunication Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui launched on Thursday cellular phones' III generation service, during a press conference at American University for Science and Technology (AUST) premises.
Sehanoui underlined the importance of partnership among the Ministry, private sector and universities, stressing that the Ministry's priorities lie in ensuring high speed internet and best telecommunication services. He said the Ministry aims at placing Lebanon ten years forward in the telecommunication sector prior to the end of the current year.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


Politics - "Loyalty to the Resistance" pursues visit to Moscow
 

Thu 20/10/2011 20:20

NNA - 20/10/2011 "Loyalty to the Resistance" Bloc delegation pursued visit to Moscow where they met with Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhael Pagdanov at Russian Foreign Ministry headquarters, Hezbollah said in a statement.
Bloc delegation is headed by Deputy Mohammed Raad, accompanied by MPs Hassan Fadlallah and Nawwar Sahli. The visit comes at the invitation by Russian parliamentary committee for relations with Middle Eastern parliaments.
Bloc Delegation and Pagdanov discussed the current regional situation with regards the Palestinian cause and Arab world developments, in addition to the situation in Lebanon, Hezbollah statement said.
Conferees held "a thorough and comprehensive discussion" in which both sides exchanged viewpoints and visions regarding the track of current developments, with the Russian side expressing keen concern for sounding Hezbollah on its position and analysis in this regards.
Hezbollah delegation underlined the importance of mutual cooperation to preserve regional stability and preventing foreign intervention that contradicts with peoples' interests and aspirations.
On emerging, Raad said "this is the first visit which opened the way for cooperation and following up discussions with Russian officials in the interest of joint causes".
The delegation also met with Russian Muftis Council Head Sheikh Rawi Ein Eddine where they boarded the current incidents in the Arab and Islamic worlds.
Mufti Ein Eddine expressed great appreciation of resistance's role in preserving Lebanon's stability.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Mikati in Jeita Grotto
 

Thu 20/10/2011 19:27

NNA - 20/10/2011 - President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman, arrived on Thursday 15:30 at Jeita Grotto for the purpose of voting for said grotto in the context of the new seven wonders competition.

The President was received by Tourism Minister Fady Abboud and Jeita Mayor Samir Baroud.

It is to note that Prime Minister Najib Mikati had arrived at the place minutes before Sleiman.

The President received from Baroud the key of the place and started his tour in the grotto, accompanied with Premier Mikati as well as ministers and deputies.

Winding up his tour, the President gave a word urging the Lebanese in their homeland or abroad to intensify voting, and calling upon media resources to duplicate efforts in this concern.

The President promised to help Jeita municipality to ameliorate the condition of the road leading to the grotto. He also urged citizens to give the Lebanese environment enough concern.
Information Minister Walid Daouk gave a word reminding of the Telethon day on October 31, 2011, for supporting the grotto. Accordingly, he called upon citizens to duplicate efforts in voting.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - (update) Sea borders, STL funding top Mansour-Pietton talks
 

Thu 20/10/2011 19:13

NNA - 20/10/2011 - French ambassador, Denis Pietton, told Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour it was necessary for Lebanon to respect its international commitments and pay its share in the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

The pair met on Thursday at Mansour's office over the maritime borders issue and the Syrian incursions into the Lebanese territories.

"We cleave to Lebanon's sovereignty and independence and we believe that it is necessary to demarcate the Lebanese-Syrian borders," said Pietton.

Earlier today, Mansour met with the Papal ambassador Gabriele Caccia over the latest UN General Assembly, Vatican's positions, and spiritual freedoms.

Catherine Vierling from the European Parliament also visited the Minister today and presented him with an invitation to participate in the conference on "the future of Christians in the Middle East," held in Lebanon on November 18 and 19, under the auspices of Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi.

The Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, later handed Mansour a written letter from his Iranian counterpart, Ali Akbar Salehi, on the US fabrication vis-a-vis the Islamic Republic of Iran.

"What is important for the time being is that the accused person is an Iranian concerned with the assassination of the Saudi ambassador. As a matter of fact, this person holds the American nationality, in addition to his Iranian one," Roknabadi said.

He added that this person has been living in the US for more than 16 years.

"We have duly asked, twice, the US to hand us the file (...) but nothing was done thus far. Therefore, we believe that this fabrication mirrors their failure and fiasco especially at this particular stage," he underlined.

On a different note, Roknabadi said he discussed with Mansour the preparations for Salehi's impending visit to Lebanon.

Mansour later received an official delegation of Ethiopia, with whom he tackled the draft report on the investigation into the Ethiopian aircraft which crashed last January in Lebanon with 90 passengers on board.

Afterwards, a 13-member delegation of honorary consuls in Lebanon visited the Minister.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

Politics - Berri on Gadhafi killing:
 

Thu 20/10/2011 18:55

NNA - 20/10/2011 Speaker of the House Nabih Berri commented on Libyan President Moammar Gadafi's killing by saying "Allah gives pace but never forgets".
Libya's National Transitional Council confirmed Moammar Gadhafi was killed, in a news conference in Benghazi Thursday.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sea borders, STL funding top Mansour-Pietton talks
 

Thu 20/10/2011 18:37

NNA - 20/10/2011 - French ambassador, Denis Pietton, told Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour it was necessary for Lebanon to respect its international commitments and pay its share in the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

The pair met on Thursday at Mansour's office over the maritime borders issue and the Syrian incursions into the Lebanese territories.

"We cleave to Lebanon's sovereignty and independence and we believe that it is necessary to demarcate the Lebanese-Syrian borders," said Pietton.

Earlier today, Mansour met with the Papal ambassador Gabriele Caccia over the latest UN General Assembly, Vatican's positions, and spiritual freedoms.

Catherine Vierling from the European Parliament also visited the Minister today and presented him with an invitation to participate in the conference on "the future of Christians in the Middle East," held in Lebanon on November 18 and 19, under the auspices of Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Bassil: First active step towards fuel exploration via government
 

Thu 20/10/2011 18:24

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Energy and Water Minister Gibran Bassil said Lebanon has recorded the first active step towards fuel exploration in land via the present government.

In a press conference held on Thursday at his office, Energy and Water Minister Gibran Bassil said that Lebanon is in need for a department to manage the fuel issue.

Bassil assured that the decrees pertaining to fuel exploration would be accomplished in the end of 2011 and that licenses for exploration works would be provided to people in the beginning of 2012.

Bassil tackled the recent up-to-dates in connection with the fuel file that was discussed yesterday Wednesday during the ministerial session.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Bassil: First active step towards fuel exploration via government
 

Thu 20/10/2011 18:04

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Energy and Water Minister Gibran Bassil said Lebanon has recorded the first active step towards fuel exploration in land via the present government.

In a press conference held on Thursday at his office, Energy and Water Minister Gibran Bassil said that Lebanon is in need for a department to manage the fuel.

Bassil assured that the decrees pertaining to fuel exploration would be accomplished in the end of 2011and that licenses for exploration works would be provided to people in the beginning of 2012.

Bassil tackled the recent up-to-dates in connection with the fuel file that was discussed yesterday Wednesday during the ministerial session.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora, Frem discusses economic issues
 

Thu 20/10/2011 18:01

NNA - Head of the Future Parliamentary bloc, Fouad Siniora, on Thursday, discussed the current economic situation in Lebanon as well as the general situation at the domestic and regional scenes, with Industrialists Association Head, Nehmat Frem.

Afterward, Siniora met in the afternoon with the representative of the Kuwaiti Fund for Economic Development, Nawwaf Dabbous. Discussions reportedly tackled the Kuwaiti projects implemented in Lebanon.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Government not alright, says Aridi
 

Thu 20/10/2011 17:21

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Ghazi Aridi, told the Voice of Lebanon radio station on Thursday that the government was not "alright" and that it could be more productive and consistent.

Picking holes in the cabinet's performance, Aridi said the delay in settling on the 2012 draft state budget was down to the divisive item of funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), a UN-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafic Hariri.

But Aridi did not give clear answers on whether MP Walid Jumblatt would hand his son Taymour the leadership of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), during the party's general assembly next week. "In the traditional sense, this is the fate of Mukhtara," Aridi said.

Jumblatt had said earlier that he would lay bare his party's vision and position for the future by the end of the month.

As to the heated cabinet session yesterday, Aridi said there could be more important matters to dwell on. "Work on ground is still on track (...) there are limits that we do not accept to cross," he stressed.

Ministers from PSP and the Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) traded blows during the cabinet's weekly session yesterday over the disputed transfer of funds from the Telecoms to the Finance Ministry.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Sleiman, Mikati in Jeita Grotto
 

Thu 20/10/2011 17:17

NNA - 20/10/2011 - President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman, arrived on Thursday 15:30 at Jeita Grotto for the purpose of voting for said grotto in the context of the new seven wonders competition.

The President was received by Tourism Minister Fady Abboud and Jeita Mayor Samir Baroud.

It is to note that Prime Minister Najib Mikati had arrived at the place minutes before Sleiman.

The President received from Baroud the key of the place and started his tour in the grotto, accompanied with Premier Mikati as well as ministers and deputies.

Winding up his tour, the President gave a word urging the Lebanese in their homeland or abroad to intensify voting, and calling upon media resources to duplicate efforts in this concern.

The President promised to help Jeita municipality to ameliorate the condition of the road leading to the grotto. He also urged citizens to give the Lebanese environment enough concern.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Roknabadi says unrest in Syria defusing
 

Thu 20/10/2011 16:42

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Iranian ambassador Ghazanfar Roknabadi said the situation in Syria was improving and that the country was overcoming economic pressures, following his meeting with Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Ignace IV Hazim, on Thursday.

"Syria is en entity of the resistance and relations between Iran and all Mideast components, namely between Christians and Orthodox in Lebanon, must continue," he said.

Touching on the impact of Syria's developments on Lebanon, Roknabadi said Syrian claims were just and equitable.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati receives Karami, others
 

Thu 20/10/2011 16:08

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati received on Thursday at his residence in Verdun former Premier Omar Mikati, in presence of Sports and Youth Minister Faysal Karami. Both reportedly engaged in talks relevant to current developments at the local and regional scenes.

Mikati said, after the visit, he is on the side of Karami and wants the latter to be also on his side for serving the national welfare of the country.

Karami, for his part, wished the Premier and his government every success, especially on the level of Tripoli's developmental projects, knowing that this city suffers severe deprivation.

Karami also hoped that both Mikati and President Michel Sleiman would be able to manage successfully pending social matters and serve the laborers' demands.

Separately, Mikati received the Tunisian Ambassador, Muhammad Fawzi Ballout, and discussed with him bilateral ties and means of activating them.

Afterwards, the Premier received the Russian Ambassador, Alexandre Zasypkin, with talks featuring high on the bilateral relation between Lebanon and Russia.

The Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Qahwaji, also visited Mikati and briefed him over the actual local security situation.

Among the Premier's visitors has been the Regional Director of UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Ninette Kelley.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Abu Faour meets Abi Ramia, US embassy delegation
 

Thu 20/10/2011 16:01

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Minister of Social Affairs, Wael Abu Faour, on Thursday met with MP Simon Abi Ramia and head of the Syriac League, Habib Efram, over an array of developmental and services-related affairs.

A delegation of the US embassy in Beirut also visited Abu Faour today for a meeting over the Ministry's affairs and the international situation.

On the other hand, the Ministry's media bureau announced that Minister Abu Four was bound to KSA, on top of a delegation, upon the invitation of the Head of Arab Gulf Program for Development, Prince Talal Ben Abdul Aziz.

The Minister is scheduled to meet with his Saudi counterpart to discuss the perspectives of cooperation between the two Ministries.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Mufti upholds national unity, says Ferzli
 

Thu 20/10/2011 15:52


NNA - 20/10/2011 - Former Deputy Speaker, Elie Ferzli, said the Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Mohmmad Rashid Qabbani, was keen on preserving national unity and stability, following his visit to Dar-al-Fatwa Thursday.

The pair also tackled the upshot of the fresh release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli detention jails, and highlighted the importance of the resistance in facing Israeli occupation. "This is a major cause for the Arab and Islamic world," Ferzli said.

The Mufti later met with Head of National Dialogue Party, Fouad Makhzoumi, and Mrs. Rabab Sadr.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

 


Politics - Syria serious about reform path, avows ambassador
 

Thu 20/10/2011 15:28

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Syrian ambassador, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, on Thursday said that the situation in Syria was en route to mitigation and that his country was serious about reforms path.

The reform campaign led by President Bashar Assad seems to be earning wide popular support as massive crowds of Syrians rallied yesterday in the northern city of Aleppo. Demonstrators chanted "we love you [Assad]" and waved Syrian, Chinese, and Russian flags.

Ali had been to Rabieh today for a meeting with Member of Parliament Michel Aoun over bilateral ties and most recent developments on the regional and international arenas.

He said dialogue was still underway between President Bashar and Michel Sleiman.

Aoun had met earlier today with the Russian ambassador, Alexander Zasypkin, with talks featuring high on the latest headway of situation in the Mideast region.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri follows up displaced file
 

Thu 20/10/2011 15:24

NNA - 20/10/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri tackled Thursday with the Minister of Displaced Alaa Al-Din Terro different issues related to the Ministry's work and to the remunerations that should be granted to the damaged of 2006 war.

Terro was accompanied by the Displaced Ministry's Director General Ahmad Mahmud and the head of displaced fund Fadi Aramouni with talks featuring high on displacement problem and solutions.

Also, Speaker Berri received at his Ain El-Tineh residence the Korean Ambassador to Lebanon Young-sun Kim who came on a protocol visit.

Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, had also been to Ain El-Tineh briefing Berri on the outcomes of his visit to Washington.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ghosn tackles military cooperation with Australian Ambassador
 

Thu 20/10/2011 14:46

NNA - 20/10/2011 - National Defense Minister, Fayez Ghosn, tackled military institution's arming possibility with the Australian Ambassador to Lebanon Lex Bartlem.

Conferees also went over latest developments in Lebanon and the region as well as the conditions of the Lebanese Diaspora in Australia.

Later on, Minister Ghosn received the Romanian Ambassador to Lebanon Daniel Tanasse who conveyed to him France's will to reactivate ties with Lebanon at different levels.

Ambassador Illango Karuppannan had also been to the Defense Minister's office whereby they discussed bilateral relations.

Separately, the European Parliament Counselor for Europe Catherine Vierling visited Ghosn and invited him to participate in the conference to be held in Beirut on "Christians' future in the middle east", on November 18 and 19.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

 


Politics - Cooperation reinforcement tops Charbel, Gyan talks
 

Thu 20/10/2011 14:14

NNA - 20/10/2011 Interior Minister took up Thursday in France boosting bilateral cooperation between French and Lebanese Interior Ministries, during his meeting with his French Counterpart Claude Gyan.

Charbel also engaged with Gyan in talks on French aids to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), civil defense department, and general security.

Talks also focused on the previously signed protocol between both countries regarding combating crimes, terrorism, drugs and human trafficking, and combating internet-spread crimes which have been developing fast lately, as Charbel stated.

Furthermore, the meeting between both Ministers aimed at tackling the necessity of activating and developing the Beirut Airport security training center.
"This center ought to be an integral part of the Airport security system," he said.

Biometric passports issue also topped talks of Ministers whereby Charbel conveyed Lebanese government's willingness to adopt them soon considering what it embraces of information impossible to falsify.

A biometric passport, also known as an e-passport or ePassport, is a combined paper and electronic passport that contains biometric information that can be used to authenticate the identity of travelers. It uses contactless smart card technology, including a microprocessor chip (computer chip) and antenna (for both power to the chip and communication) embedded in the front or back cover, or center page, of the passport.
The data stored electronically in the passport chip make it expensive and difficult to forge when all security mechanisms are fully and correctly implemented.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel back from Egypt: only law, constitution, equality protect people
 

Thu 20/10/2011 13:43

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Kataeb party's head, Amin Gemayel, announced upon his return from Egypt that law, constitution and equality between citizens are the only resorts for protecting people.

The former President who held a press conference on Thursday after his official visit to Egypt said he sensed a high level of responsibility amongst Egyptian officials who feel the situation's dangerosity and the necessity to address it as quick as possible through new legislations and measures.

Gemayel clarified that his visit is part of a wider plan for Lebanese Kataeb in the frame of reconfirming conviviality.

He called in this regard for finding the best course towards reestablishing a state which provides justice for everyone based on well-known common constants.

As for the Syrian situation, the Kataeb head said "we seek no interference whatsoever in the Syrian private affairs," affirming that "we should end this anarchy phase and step into better stage away from fanaticism."
D.K.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Saleh: Lebanon is strong through resistance of Zionist project
 

Thu 20/10/2011 12:38

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Development and Liberation parliamentary bloc member Abudl Majeed Saleh said Lebanon will remain strong and united thanks to the resistance of the US-Zionist projects and through its close ties with its Arab surroundings and especially with Syria.

"This Lebanese unity was manifested in its best form through the existence of the resistance. This resistance will always remain as the protective shield for Lebanon, Arab and Islamic nations," the MP said.

He added the some Lebanese factions still consider the resistance and its weapons as a problem and try to convince the public of their views.

Saleh argued that some Lebanese groups do not consider the Israeli occupation as cause for the existence of the resistance and they consider the Palestinian people in Lebanon as abnormal.

The MP asked those who criticize the resistance and its weapons why they don't fear Israel's military arsenal and Israeli nuclear arms.

He added that the same Lebanese factions that constantly target the resistance are also attacking the Syrian and Iranian regimes.

Saleh stressed that the exchange of prisoners between Hamas movement and Israel proved beyond any shadow of doubt that the resistance is the only way to face Israel.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Daouk tackles bilateral ties with Suisse Ambassador
 

Thu 20/10/2011 12:27

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Information Minister Walid Daouk tackled Thursday means to boost ties between Lebanon and Syria during his meeting with the Suisse Ambassador to Lebanon Ruth Flint.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour discuss situation with Iran's ambassador
 

Thu 20/10/2011 10:51

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour received on Thursday Iran's ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi who conveyed a message from Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi who plans to visit Lebanon soon.

Roknabadi told reporters that Iran is keen to refute U.S. allegations that it was involved in an assassination attempt against Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington.

The ambassador stressed that the Iranian individual who is allegedly involved in the assassination attempt carries a U.S. passport in addition to his Iranian citizenship.

"We are really surprised by U.S. judicial hearings that that any citizen with dual passport should be treated as a U.S. citizen. But in this occasion the U.S. authorities insist that the man charged in the assassination attempt is an Iranian citizen," Roknabadi argued.

He added that the man accused in the assassination attempt has been living in the United States for more than 16 years, ridiculing the notion that the Iranians collaborated with drug dealers.

"All these charges are pure speculations and U.S. authorities did not reach any conclusion on this case," the ambassador said.

Roknabadi added that the Iranian authorities have formally requested from the U.S. authorities to submit the file to Tehran but Washington up till now failed to present these facts to the Iranians.

"We believe that these allegations reflect their (U.S.) failure in all fields and especially at this particular stage."

The ambassador discussed with Mansour the arrangement for Iran's foreign minister visit to Lebanon.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kanaan: Divergence does exist inside Cabinet
 

Thu 20/10/2011 10:44

NNA - 20/10/2011 MP Ibrahim Kanaan said Thursday that divergence does exist inside Lebanese Cabinet and that different approaches linger when handling the government's dossiers.

Change and Reform bloc member told Voice of Lebanon -Freedom and Dignity- that the verbal debate the Cabinet session witnessed yesterday between Ministers Gibran Bassil and Ghazi Aridi comes in the context of setting right past practices.

An intense debate took place during yesterday's Cabinet session between FPM and PSP members over the transfer of Telecommunications funds to the Finance Ministry.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Majdalani: Lebanese interest is to abide by international resolutions
 

Thu 20/10/2011 10:13

NNA - 20/10/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc member deputy Atef Majdalani told Voice of Lebanon and the Lebanese have a vested interest in complying with UN resolutions, reiterating demands to pay Lebanon's share for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

He warned of grave consequences if Lebanon failed to comply with UN resolutions.

"Our basic position centers on Lebanon's interest and this interest lies in the full commitment of UN Security Council resolution 1757 and funding of the tribunal so that Lebanon can avoid any negative implications or sanctions that may be slapped by the United Nations," the MP said.

He reminded that Prime Minister Najib Mikati has agreed to act as a spearhead for Hizbullah and Syrian when he decided to form the government.

"This cabinet is the cabinet of Hizbullah and Syria."

The MP backed the livelihood demands of all the Lebanese people but said there are lot of issues that needs be clarified and discussed between the private sector and labor unions.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Houry says not funding STL is an escape from justice
 

Thu 20/10/2011 10:00

NNA - 20/10/2011 MP Ammar Houry said Thursday refraining from funding STL denotes a detachment from justice as it reveals an intention to having Lebanon confront the international community.

Future bloc member also told Voice of Lebanon radio station that the government ought to bear consequences of its actions in case it refuses to fund the Tribunal.

"We shall confront those who insist on having criminals flee justice," he said.

Houry said the confrontation will be done by democratic means deeming any security chaos as improbable in that respect.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khazen: Cabinet will not resign
 

Thu 20/10/2011 09:57

 NNA - 20/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Farid Khazen dismissed the possibility that Prime Minister Najib Mikati or the government intend to resign.
Speaking to Voice of Lebanon, the MP said: "both Mikati and the Cabinet are staying and from the first day the opposition wished this government to fall."

But Khazen admitted the existence of different views within the cabinet, adding that it is only natural for ministers to discuss matters in a serious manner.

Responding to a question about the Syrian security incursion into Lebanon, the MP said there are lots of exaggerations about these incidents along the border but nevertheless the MP rejected any violation of Lebanese sovereignty.

He also opposed the abduction of Syrian opposition figures in Lebanon and said this issue will be discussed in the human rights committee meeting on Monday.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Raad in Russia: Our visit aims to bolster communications
 

Wed 19/10/2011 21:32

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Loyalty to the Resistance bloc leader Mohammad Raad, currently on a visit to the Russian capital of Moscow, expressed hope on Wednesday that his bloc's deliberations with Russian Duma officials would result in augmenting communications and come out with set grounds for coordination and cooperation between both sides.

MP Raad and his accompanying delegation are in Russia upon the invitation of Russia's Duma Committee for Middle Eastern Relations. The delegation arrived in Moscow at dawn on Wednesday, and then initiated the visit by heading to the Duma headquarters.

Lebanese-Russian discussions reportedly focused on the importance of this visit, which both sides agreed played an essential role in boosting Parliamentary relations between Russia and Lebanon.

The "Loyalty to the Resistance" delegation later held talks with Duma Deputy Head Vladimir Zhirinovsky, who confirmed Russia's support to Lebanon, and utter refusal of foreign intervention in Lebanese affairs.

Both sides also tackled Middle East developments and U.S. intervention in Arab affairs.

The delegation later held similar talks with Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Head, Mr. Konstantin Kosachev. "Russia is profoundly interested in listening to the visiting delegation's point of view with regard to developments in the region," Kosachev said.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Harb slams state support to Syrian regime
 

Wed 19/10/2011 20:45

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Boutros Harb bewailed on Wednesday the Lebanese governments validation of the Syrian regime, affirming that the Lebanese state's mind-set in no way reflected that of the Lebanese opposition.

Interviewed on the "Voice of Lebanon" radio station Harb recalled the Lebanese-Syrian security and cooperation agreement , saying it has never forced Lebanon to stand against the Syrian opposition.

"We will not remain silent before the humiliating positions of the Foreign Ministry and the Lebanese government," Harb said, pledging to hold the cabinet accountable, and, even re-vote for confidence, if deemed necessary.

Harb also pointed to discrepancy between the Lebanese government's commitment to international obligations, explicitly funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), and positions by Hezbollah and Deputy General Michel Aoun, which have thus far proven to be anti-STL.

"What is the cabinet's position going to be like when the time comes to renew the mandate of the STL," Harb pondered.

In the course of concentrated discussions aiming at coming out with a new electoral law, Harb said he mostly looked forward to the day "when people's affiliations become devoted to their nation, not their leader."
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea warns of tampering with STL
 

Wed 19/10/2011 19:20

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, warned of any tampering attempts by the present majority with the funding issue pertaining to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

His stance came amidst his meeting on Wednesday with Deputy Fouad Saad.

Geagea said tampering with the STL, probing the assassination of martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes, would spark strife in the country, since it would disregard the popular majority demanding justice and truth.

Concerning the wages increase issue, Geagea called for forming a joint committee composed of ministers and representatives of business owners and work unions to look into said issue and find the right solution to it.

As for the penetration of Syrian troops into the Lebanese territories, Geagea claimed the responsibility on Lebanese Foreign Minister and others of the concerned Lebanese authorities for carelessness in this concern. He thereby called for a military Lebanese and Syrian cooperation to avoid mistakes.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hajjar: government wishes political storms in STL funding
 

Wed 19/10/2011 18:30

NNA - 19/10/2011 Deputy Mohammed Hajjar anticipated "political storms" in the issue of Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) funding, saying "the current government wishes the occurrence of such a tempest".
Hajjar was speaking to "Future News" Channel on Wednesday.
STL is a UN court probing the assassination of Statesman Rafik Hariri and other related crimes.
Hajjar, "Future" Bloc member, demanded from President of the Republic and the Prime Minister to put their utterances at the United Nations into deeds, by placing STL funding item on Cabinet agenda and ensuring a treasury loan.
Hajjar also called for best relations with Syria on condition they have to be based on state-to-state principle and respect of each country's sovereignty.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Makhzoumi: nothing new in present government
 

Wed 19/10/2011 18:26

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Head of National Dialogue Party, Fouad Makhzoumi, said on Wednesday "there is nothing new in Mikati-led government as the policy of previous governments is still being adopted."

Makhzoumi's stance came amidst a meeting with MP General Michel Aoun at Rabieh residence.

Both men engaged in talks relevant to overall developments at local and regional scenes, in addition to electoral law project, Lebanese daily life matters and the administrative appointments' issue.

He also congratulated the Palestinian people for the release of their detainees from Israeli jails.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Abou Faour, Wahlstrom discuss bilateral cooperation
 

Wed 19/10/2011 18:16

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abou Faour, received on Wednesday at his ministerial office Special Representative of the United Nations (UN) for disaster risk reduction, Margareta Wahlstrom, accompanied by acting Special Representative of the UN, Robert Watkins.

Attendees reportedly discussed cooperation between the Ministry and the UN in order to reduce the disaster risk and prevent related damages.

Lebanon's Chaldeans Bishop Michel Qasarji, also visited the Minister today for a meeting over the sect's affairs as well as social matters.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel receives Pietton
 

Wed 19/10/2011 17:05

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Former President of Lebanon, Amin Gemayel, received on Wednesday at Kataeb Central House in Saifi the French Ambassador, Denis Pietton. Talks reportedly featured high on overall developments at the local and regional scenes.

Pietton reminded of France's permanent support for Lebanon's sovereignty.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - (updated) Berri follows up orthodox gathering's electoral law-suggestion
 

Wed 19/10/2011 14:53

NNA - 19/10/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri tackled on Wednesday different issues, on top of which the election law-suggestion, with a visiting delegation of the Orthodox Gathering.

The Speaker's visitors stressed on the importance of ratifying the electoral law which allows each confession to elect its representatives in the Parliament, in a bid to achieve true parity between Christians and Muslims, as stipulated by the constitution and the Taef agreement.

Discussions touched on the Gathering's projects and aspirations, as well as the administrative appointments.

In the wake of the meeting, the Gathering's Secretary General Michel Tweini praised the special role played by Speaker Berri at different levels.

Also, the House Speaker received a delegation of the Murabitoun party headed by General Mustafa Hamdan who agreed with Berri on the fact that the western schemes aims at weakening the region and dividing it into statelets which only serve the Zionistic entity craving for taking over the region's resources.

The Lebanese fuel resources and the keenness to protect them also featured high during Berri's meeting with the Murabitoun who reconfirmed the major importance of the Army-People-Resistance formula.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel calls for immunizing internal scene against potential threats
 

Wed 19/10/2011 14:36

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Minister of Interior and Municipalities Marwan Charbel noted on Wednesday that immunizing the internal scene and reinforcing national unity must be adopted to face all future threats.

The Minister was honored by the Lebanese Ambassador to Paris Boutros Assaker at the Embassy's headquarters in presence of Lebanese businessmen and dignitaries.

"Fortifying the inside is way less costly than facing the repercussions of the towering developments in the region while drowning in alignments and pivoting in narrow interests," Charbel said.
"The only guarantee for fighting against external jeopardy is through calm dialogue and national unity," he added.

As for the new parliamentary electoral law, Charbel said it gives value to the expatriates' votes what boosts their sense of belonging to the nation.

He accordingly called on expatriates to amplify their visits to their mother-country and invest in it so as to help it grow faster.

Ambassador Assaker who honored Minister Charbel uttered the pride of the Lebanese Diaspora in France on the performance of the Interior Minister and his keenness to reinforcing social security and fighting against all breaches, as per the instructions of President Michel Sleiman who renders great deal of concern to the security situation in Lebanon.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved











 

Politics - Lebanese-Cypriot ties top Qabbani, Mavrommattis talks
 

Wed 19/10/2011 14:36

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Talks between lawmaker Mohammad Qabbani and Cypriot ambassador Homer Mavrommattis on Wednesday focused on offshore oil and gas exploration and common affairs.

The pair met today for the first time at Qabbani's office in the Parliament and ventured into the heated issue of the Exclusive Economic Zone.

Qabbani, who is also the head of the public works, energy, and water parliamentary commission, told journalists he was upbeat over his meeting with the Cypriot diplomat.

He revealed that Foreign Minister would be soon bound to Cyprus for "fruitful" talks.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

 


 

 

 


Politics - Berri follows up orthodox gathering's electoral law-suggestion
 

Wed 19/10/2011 13:37

NNA - 19/10/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri tackled on Wednesday different issues, on top of which the election law-suggestion, with a visiting delegation of the Orthodox Gathering.

The Speaker's visitors stressed on the importance of ratifying the electoral law which allows each confession to elect its representatives in the Parliament, in a bid to achieve true parity between Christians and Muslims, as stipulated by the constitution and the Taef agreement.

Discussions touched on the Gathering's projects and aspirations, as well as the administrative appointments.

In the wake of the meeting, the Gathering's Secretary General Michel Tweini praised the special role played by Speaker Berri at different levels.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abboud: If Lebanon does not fund STL, states' donations will
 

Wed 19/10/2011 11:50

NNA - 19/10/2011 Tourism Minister said Wednesday that we should not oversize the STL funding question any further for in case Lebanon does not finance the tribunal, states' donations will do.

The majority is leaning toward a new direction different than what was being adopted for the past 20 years, Abboud told Sawt el Mada radio station.

"We don't want same results we had with the raise on salaries that turned out to be unsatisfying to both employers and employees," he said.

Also, the Minister said budget law is capable of being argued plausibly at the Cabinet and that Change and Reform Ministers made clear their viewpoint regarding the taxation philosophy.

L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Meraabi accuses Syrian Ambassador of playing "collaborator" role
 

Wed 19/10/2011 11:29

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Parliament member Mouiin Meraabi said the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali should rather be called a "collaborator for Syria", in a talk show on Wednesday with the Voice of Lebanon, Voice of Dignity and Freedom.

The Deputy deemed shameful all the statements delivered by Ali regarding weapons smuggling from Lebanon to Syria as well as the accusations he launched against the Internal Security Forces Director General Ashraf Rifi.

"We regret the fact that the Lebanese Army denied any Syrian forces' incursion to the Lebanese territories," he said, noting that the Army Command itself is shrouding the Syrian violations, turning into an internal collaborator at the service of the Syrian regime.

"In light of the Syrian aggressions against our homes and mosques at the north and Bekaa borders we cannot remain silent anymore, therefore we call on the Lebanese state to assume its responsibility in controlling the frontiers' situation," he corroborated.

"Let the government demarcate the borders, and if it failed to do so, let it call upon the international forces to protect the frontiers and draw a blue line between Syria and Lebanon as well," concluded the Deputy.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nahhas: Cabinet to discuss reconsidering raise on salaries
 

Wed 19/10/2011 11:12

NNA - 19/10/2011 Labor Minister said Wednesday that the Cabinet is scheduled to discuss today the re-examination of raise on salaries decree.

Nahhas hoped a new decision would be adopted in that respect especially after that the solution formula became a problem.

"Despite my objection, I am obliged to fulfill my responsibility in formulating the raise decree," he told Voice of Lebanon- Freedom and Dignity- radio station.

At another level, the Minister said that canceling STL funding out of the Budget is one of the proposed escapes so that ongoing conflicts herein wouldn't lead to Budget endorsement delay.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahal: Assad says he can occupy Lebanon anytime
 

Wed 19/10/2011 10:44

NNA - 19/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Riad Rahal blasted Syrian president Bashar Assad who boasted in an interview with Assafir newspaper that he told the international community that Damascus can occupy Lebanon anytime it wants.

Speaking to Voice of Lebanon, the MP said: "When Lebanon is told that there is no decision yet to enter Lebanese territories then this could be interpreted as a warning to the international community that we (Syrians) can occupy Lebanon anytime we want."

He added that the Assad's regime only have the Lebanese card in its possession after losing the Palestinian card.

"This Lebanese card has two points: first is occupation of Lebanese territories and the second using Hizbullah's weapons."

He also accused Hizbullah of arming some groups in Lebanon to create security problems.

Rahal called on the Lebanese Cabinet and especially Prime Minister Najib Mikati to act quickly through Defense Minister Fazyez Ghosn, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel and Justice Minister Shakeeb Qortbawi to investigate security conditions in Tripoli and take appropriate actions.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ogassapian: Mikati part of STL tip over project
 

Wed 19/10/2011 10:17

NNA - 19/10/2011 MP Jean Ogassapian said Wednesday that Premier Mikati is part of the STL non-funding project en route for bringing down the tribunal.

Ogassapian urged Mikati to quit deluding people that STL is supposed to be funded via 2012 Budget and told Voice of Lebanon radio station that all budgetary talks are nothing more than a mean of "distraction".

"All foregoing practices, from bringing down Saad Hariri's government to sidetracking people with Budget issue, is one big game run by Hezbollah," he said.

The MP said STL embodies Lebanon's democratic future and the Hezbollah-backed game involves Lebanon in further confrontations with the international community.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (Update1) Cabinet devotes ministerial discussions to public budget
 

Tue 18/10/2011 21:36

NNA - 18/10/2011 Cabinet winded up a while ago its meeting at Baabda Palace where they listened to a briefing by Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi on 2012 budget general guidelines, especially budget explanatory summary.
Cabinet met in session at Baabda Palace on Tuesday afternoon, to discuss the 2012 public budget law project put forth by Finance Minister, Mohammad Safadi, in addition to other urgent items on their agenda.
President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, who chaired the session at Baabda palace, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, had earlier sat in a one-on-one meeting over most recent developments and the current general situation.

The President congratulated the Palestinian Command on the exchange of prisoners between Palestine and Israel. Premier Mikati, for his part, said the government gave the local security stability matter much concern.
Speaking to reporters before the cabinet convened, Safadi made clear that there was not any increase on fuel and oil products. The attendees of the cabinet session listened to Safadi's guidelines with regard to his 2012 public budget draft and it was agreed that the ministers would give their suggestions on this concern within a week period.
Information Minister Walid Daouk was interviewed after the session. Daouk said a workshop will probably be formed on daily basis to discuss each of the ministers' suggestions.

The minister added that today's session took place in a calm ambience far from any harsh tone of discussion among the ministers - something that leads to positive works.
-------------R.A.H, L.Y, A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati: no other choice for Israel except accepting Arab Peace Initiative

Tue 18/10/2011 20:54

NNA - 18/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati said Israel faces no other option than accepting the Arab Initiative for Peace that is based on respecting UN international resolutions which help achieve comprehensive peace in the Middle East and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with Quds its capital.

Premier Mikati cabled on Tuesday head of the Palestinian State, Mahmoud Abbas, congratulating him on the exchange of prisoners between Israel and Palestine. Mikati said this exchange is a clear sign for Israel to understand that its aggressive performance will not halt the Palestinians from calling for their rights.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - (Update) Cabinet devotes ministerial discussions to public budget
 

Tue 18/10/2011 19:51

NNA - 18/10/2011 Cabinet winded up a while ago its meeting at Baabda Palace where they listened to a briefing by Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi on 2012 budget general guidelines, especially budget explanatory summary.
Cabinet met in session at Baabda Palace on Tuesday afternoon, to discuss the 2012 public budget law project put forth by Finance Minister, Mohammad Safadi, in addition to other urgent items on their agenda.
President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, who chaired the session at Baabda palace, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, had earlier sat in a one-on-one meeting over most recent developments and the current general situation.
Speaking to reporters before the cabinet convened, Safadi made clear that there was not any increase on fuel and oil products.
-------------R.A.H, L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Karami meets with Aoun, Bassil
 

Tue 18/10/2011 19:50

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Former Prime Minister Omar Karami met on Tuesday at his residence in Beirut with head of the Bloc of Reform and Change, General Michel Aoun, and Energy and Water Minister Gibran Bassil, in presence of Sports and Youth Minister Faysal Karami. Talks featured high on recent developments.

A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Future Bloc: those refusing STL funding protect culprits
 

Tue 18/10/2011 19:36

NNA - 18/10/2011 - The Future Parliamentary Bloc said on Tuesday those who back funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon stand on the side of justice, while those refusing STL funding have chosen to protect culprits.

The Future Parliamentary Bloc members convened on Tuesday at Beirut Central House under the chairmanship of the head of said bloc Fouad Siniora.

Attendees issued a statement in the wake of the meeting, affirming to Mikati-led government that the decision pertaining to funding the STL, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes, is not a technical or selective decision, but rather a political and typically national one.

The STL funding decision is directly connected to the principle of justice, liberties and refusing the logic of dominion, said the statement. The STL funding, after all, is related to unveiling the truth behind the assassination crime of Statesman Rafic Hariri and other martyrs, in order to put terms to any desertion from the face of justice and to safeguard the future of political life in Lebanon, the statement added.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Cabinet devotes ministerial discussions to public budget
 

Tue 18/10/2011 19:10

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Lebanon's Ministers are going to discuss the 2012 public budget law project put forth by Finance Minister, Mohammad Safadi, during their cabinet session Tuesday.

President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, who is chairing the session at Baabda presidential palace, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, had earlier sat in a one-on-one meeting over most recent developments and the current general situation.
The Ministers are also scheduled to tackle other urgent items on their agenda.
Speaking to reporters before the cabinet convened, Safadi made clear that there was not any increase on fuel and oil products.
For his part, Labor Minister Charbel Nahas said he was to ask for reconsidering the week-old wages adjustment decision.
Nahas yesterday promised a delegation of the economic bodies to relay their viewpoint to the cabinet and to ask the Ministers to re-venture into salaries increase within the Price Index Committee.
Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour, in turn, revealed that diplomatic appointments were close to being completed.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun: not to fund STL
 

Tue 18/10/2011 19:02

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Deputy Michel Aoun said Tuesday he clings to his usual stance of not financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

After the regular meeting of the Bloc of Reform and Change on Tuesday in Rabieh, head of said bloc, General Michel Aoun, said he would not retreat from his already adopted stance of not financing the STL, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes, and thus would not yield to the logic of intimidation.

With regards to the budget issue, Aoun said he does not feel any relief at the budget draft neither in form nor in content. "If there weren't a detailed budget for alternative institutions like the Reconstruction and Development Council, we would not approve on the budget, as it would be unreasonable to allocate a sum unknown how and where to be spent," said the general.

However, he added, if the majority approved on the budget, the BRC would resort to democratic law as means of opposition.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk underlines press liberties
 

Tue 18/10/2011 18:23

NNA - 18/10/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk highlighted the importance of safeguarding press liberties, which also entails photography line of work. Daouk stressed that a photographer should be able to carry out his tasks across the entire Lebanese territories under best conducive conditions, the matter that is guaranteed by the Constitution.
"Press liberties guarantee the work of journalists and photographers wherever they exist.... No one is allowed to carry out an assault on a journalist or on his apparatuses", Daouk stressed in the wake of his meeting with a delegation of Press Photographers Syndicate, who visited him on Tuesday at his ministerial office.
The delegation handed Daouk an invitation to patronize "Martyrs Day" Media functions, set to take place upcoming Feb 22, 2012, which the Minister duly accepted. "Martyrs Day" itinerary includes an environment media competition and an auxiliary exhibition.
The delegation raised with the Minister an array of relevant demands, including Ministry's financial contributions and arrears to the Syndicate in addition to facilitating photographers' work.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel partakes in "Milipol" exhibition in Paris
 

Tue 18/10/2011 17:34

NNA - 18/10/2011 Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel partook in the inauguration ceremony of 7th annual "Milipol" Exhibition in Paris, at the invitation of his French counterpart Claude Gueant.
Milipol exhibition is the first of its kind worldwide specialized in manufacturing up-to-date equipment related to security and safety technologies and advanced devices used by security forces in combating crime.
Charbel toured the various exhibition pavilions, getting briefings on means of computerizing biometric travel passports, planned to be implemented in the year 2014 in the entire world. Charbel was also briefed on improvising united services cards which are accorded to citizens, including identity card, health card, electronic gateway and others.
Charbel visited next Civil Defense De-mining Unit, where he got briefings on the most advanced devices used in controlling fires and de-mining tools.
In his delivered word, Gueant welcomed participating delegations in the said exhibition, which he described as "the most important French event in the field of interior protection technology". He announced the participation of around 888 specialized companies in defense and security fields, with 41 countries across the world currently taking part.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Diplomatic meetings highlight Mansour's Tuesday activities
 

Tue 18/10/2011 17:16

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Foreign Minister, Adnan Mansour, on Tuesday met with the Consul of Malawi to Lebanon, Antoine Akiki, over the visit in Beirut to a Malawian economic delegation headed by Civil Planning, Housing, and Agriculture Minister.
Talks also touched on bilateral ties and the means to develop cooperation and trade exchange between both countries.
Mansour later tackled the situation of the Lebanese community in Canada with the representative of the Higher Shiite Council in Canada, Nabil Abbas.
Iraqi ambassador, Omar, Barzenji, also visited Mansour today, with talks featuring high on an array of paramount issues.
Speaking to journalists after the meeting, the diplomat said he discussed with the Minister bilateral ties and the necessity to improve the condition of Iraqi refugees in Lebanon.
"Iraqis did not come to Lebanon for work, but difficult circumstances drove them to come to this country. It is about time that they shall return to their homeland," he said.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman sees Israel must tilt towards peace as prisoners swap half-done
 

Tue 18/10/2011 16:34

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, on Tuesday said the first phase of prisoners swap between Israel and Palestine must be a lesson for the enemy to scupper warfare and aggressions policy, calling to venture again into just, permanent, and comprehensive peace-aimed talks on the basis of Madrid Conference and the Arab peace Initiative.
Israel and Hamas Movement have agreed to free over 1000 Palestinian prisoners for the lone Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shalit. Today, 477 Palestinians arrived in Gaza and the West Bank. Another 550 jailed Palestinians are to be released next month.
Sleiman, who hailed the successful swap deal, stressed Israel must tilt towards peace rather than to proceed with its usual policy, jeopardizing the Mideast region's security and stability.
The situation in Syria was not absent from the President's agenda today, as he followed up on the Arab League's meeting in Cairo earlier this week.
Arab Foreign Ministers on Sunday held an emergency meeting in Cairo and called for the immediate cessation of violence in Syria, giving the regime and the opposition a 15-day time limit to engage in talks under the Arab League's auspices.
Within this frame, the President met with Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour.
He later discussed most recent developments and an array of law projects with Member of Parliament Atef Majdalani.
Former Minister Ibrahim Dedeyan also visited the President today for a meeting over the general situation.
Afterwards, a meeting with the Constitutional Council's Head, Issam Suleiman, and another with a delegation of Sunni, Jaafarite, and Druze spiritual courts featured high on a spectrum of judicial affairs.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Mikati meet
 

Tue 18/10/2011 16:24

NNA - 18/10/2011 Lebanese President is currently meeting with Premier Mikati at Baabda palace with Premier Najib Mikati before the holding of the 2012 Budget law session.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (corrected) Aoun: Europe's positions do not match usual policy in Middle East
 

Tue 18/10/2011 15:40

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Parliament member Michel Aoun told his visitors on Tuesday that the latest European stances do not harmonize with their well-known policies in the Middle East region.

General Michel Aoun met with a delegation of French intellectuals and journalists headed by editor in chief Frederic Bonze who came to Lebanon on a touristic and cultural visit.

"We have observed indeed many changes, particularly in the European principles," Aoun indicated to his visitors.

The Deputy confirmed that "the political game" imposes good ties between the two neighbor countries [Lebanon and Syria]. This is the golden rule I've been following since the 2005, the date of the Syrian army's retreat from Lebanon," he announced.

As for the political situation at the Middle Eastern scene, Aoun confirmed that each country has its own particularities.

"Lebanon is not similar to Syria; neither does it resemble Saudi Arabia or Iraq. Each country has its own geography," he corroborated, reiterating his support to religious pluralism and freedom of faith.

Aoun warned as well that the change in Syria must be done progressively in order to avoid anarchy, as in Iraq, warning from the arrival of the Muslim brothers to the rule for it contradicts with the region's cleaving towards plurality.

"I believe the situation in Syria is going towards the better," he pointed, promising of a Levant of development and civilization.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati: Lebanon should preserve good ties with entourage
 

Tue 18/10/2011 15:39

NNA - 18/10/2011 Premier Mikati said Tuesday that Lebanon ought to preserve positive ties with its entourage as well as with the international community.

Mikati also said Lebanon has the capability to be the bridge converging East and West and, in that respect, hailed Lebanese people for having always favored consensus over conflict and have always been determined to preserve their national unity which is one of the characteristics of the country's political system.

Mikati's words came during his patronage of the Middle East Businessmen Association works launching event at the Grand Serail held in presence of Economy and Trade Minister Nicolas Nahhas, Turkish Ambassador Inan Ozyildiz, Lebanese Banking Association (LBA) head Joseph Torbey, and other economic figures.

"The association's works inauguration is the core of a joint cooperation that represents a preliminary measure toward a regional complementarity beneficial to the economy and social security," Mikati said and went over Lebanon's role in this process within financial, banking, health, and educational fields.

Also, he voiced hopes that this event would be an opportunity for Lebanon to be open to new markets en route for further job opportunities and competitiveness reinforcement.

"We, as government, are determined to adopt all procedures and steps to preserve Lebanon's position as a center for regional and international organizations," Mikati concluded.


At another level, Premier Mikati convened earlier today with the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) new head in Beirut Jorge Montagne, a delegation of the Palestine Scholars Body headed by Abdul-Ghani al-Tamimi, Deputy Akram Shehayyeb, and Deputy Ibrahim Kanaan.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - EU keen on developing sports, youth skills in Lebanon
 

Tue 18/10/2011 15:32

NNA - 18/10/2011 - EU ambassador Angelina Eichhorst on Tuesday told Minister of Youth and Sports, Faysal Karame, the European Union was keen on developing sports and the skills of youth in Lebanon.
The ambassador visited Karame at his office today to be briefed over the Ministry's activities and the government's approach of youth and civil society's problems.
The Minister had met earlier today with Head of As-Salam sports club, Faysal Rafeh, Advisor of Culture Minister, Michel Shadervian, sports representative of the army's command General George Boutros, Head of the Lebanese Football Federation, Hashem Haidar, and Member of Parliament Mohammad Hajjar.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun: Europe's position do not match usual policy in Middle East
 

Tue 18/10/2011 15:29

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Parliament member Michel Aoun told his visitors on Tuesday that the latest European stances do not harmonize with their well-known policies in the Middle East region.

General Michel Aoun met with a delegation of French intellectuals and journalists headed by editor in chief Frederic Bonze who came to Lebanon on a touristic and cultural visit.

"We have observed indeed many changes, particularly in the European principles," Aoun indicated to his visitors.

The Deputy confirmed that "the political game" imposes good ties between the two neighbor countries [Lebanon and Syria]. This is the golden rule I've been following since the 2005, the date of the Syrian army's retreat from Lebanon," he announced.

As for the political situation at the Middle Eastern scene, Aoun confirmed that each country has its own particularities.

"Lebanon is not similar to Syria; neither does it resemble Saudi Arabia or Iraq. Each country has its own geography," he corroborated, reiterating his support to religious pluralism and freedom of faith.

Aoun warned as well that the change in Syria must be done progressively in order to avoid anarchy, as in Iraq, warning from the arrival of the Muslim brothers to the rule for it contradicts with the region's cleaving towards plurality.

"I believe the situation in Syria is going towards the better," he pointed, promising of a Levant of development and civilization.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (updated) Bassil, Connelly hold discussions
 

Tue 18/10/2011 14:57
NNA - 18/10/2011 - Water and Energy Minister Gebran Bassil on Tuesday held discussions at his ministerial office with the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly.

The latter stressed Lebanon's need to fulfill international obligations above all, funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a statement issued by the U.S. embassy said.


R.H.-L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Government silence over northern borders violation draws Fatfat's ire
 

Tue 18/10/2011 14:54

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Ahmed Fatfat said he was feeling bitter over the "wretched" position of the Lebanese government from the violation of northern borders earlier this month and the indifference towards Syrian citizens seeking refuge in Lebanon.
Two weeks ago, Syrian tanks crossed the Lebanese-Syrian border into the Bekaa town of Aarsal and fired at a deserted battery factory after suspecting the presence of armed individuals inside it. The matter was absent from the 159-item agenda of the cabinet which convened in session the next day.
The Lebanese northern borders also received flocks of Syrians seeking refuge who fled unrest in their country since late April.
Fatfat lambasted the failure Prime Minister Najib Mikati-led government to meet the humanitarian and health needs of these Syrians, especially in the north and Bekaa regions.
Speaking from the Parliament on Tuesday, the Future bloc member said the Lebanese government must have summoned the Syrian ambassador in Beirut at the backdrop of Aarsal incident to duly inform him of Lebanon's condemnation.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati: Lebanon should preserve good ties with entourage
 

Tue 18/10/2011 14:50

NNA - 18/10/2011 Premier Mikati said Tuesday that Lebanon ought to preserve positive ties with its entourage as well as with the international community.

Mikati also said Lebanon is has the capability to be the bridge converging East and West and, in that respect, hailed Lebanese people for having always favored consensus over conflict and have always been determined to preserve their national unity which is one of the characteristics of the country's political system.

Mikati's words came during his patronage of the Middle East Businessmen Association works launching event at the Grand Serail held in presence of Economy and Trade Minister Nicolas Nahhas, Turkish Ambassador Inan Ozyildiz, Lebanese Banking Association (LBA) head Joseph Torbey, and other economic figures.

"The association's works inauguration is the core of a joint cooperation that represents a preliminary measure toward a regional complementarity beneficial to the economy and social security," Mikati said and went over Lebanon's role in this process within financial, banking, health, and educational fields.

Also, he voiced hopes that this event would be an opportunity for Lebanon to be open to new markets en route for further job opportunities and competitiveness reinforcement.

"We, as government, are determined to adopt all procedures and steps to preserve Lebanon's position as a center for regional and international organizations," Mikati concluded.


At another level, Premier Mikati convened earlier today with the International Red Cross Committee (ICRC) new head in Beirut Jorge Montagne, a delegation of the Palestine Scholars Body headed by Abdul-Ghani al-Tamimi, Deputy Akram Shehayyeb, and Deputy Ibrahim Kanaan.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Parliamentary bureau board elected
 

Tue 18/10/2011 14:36

NNA - 18/10/2011 - The parliament elected on Tuesday its bureau's board as well as the members of parliamentary commissions during a session presided by the House Speaker Nabih Berri, in presence of Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Deputies Marwan Hamadeh and Antoine Zahra were elected as secretaries while MPs Serge Tersarkissian, Michel Moussa and Ahmed Fatfat were selected as the bureau's commissioners.

Conferees finally agreed on the commissions' members' names.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Kabalan: reinforcing Egyptian unity tantamount Arab positivity
 

Tue 18/10/2011 14:14

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Sheikh Abdel Amir Kabalan said Tuesday that reinforcing Egypt's unity will have positive repercussions over the Arab world.

The vice Head of the Islamic Shiite Supreme Council received the Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon, Muhammad Mustafa Toufic, with whom he highlighted the importance of Egypt regaining its pioneer role in the Arab region.

Sheikh Kabalan called on Egyptians to put great and serious efforts into fortifying their country and boosting cooperation among them.

He also warned, as he always does, from the Israeli enemy's schemes which aim at dividing the Arab nation.

Reactivating bilateral cooperation for the interest of both countries also topped talks between Kabalan and Toufic.

Separately, the Sheikh received former parliament member Wajih Baarini, with whom he tackled current situation at both local and regional scenes.

D.K.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora, Lahoud talk developments
 

Tue 18/10/2011 14:02


NNA - 18/10/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc leader, Fouad Sinora, tackled on Tuesday most recent domestic and regional developments with Democratic Renewal Movement Leader, Former MP Nasib Lahoud.

"Internal developments in Lebanon, as well as surrounding Arab Spring developments topped Siniora and Lahoud's talks," a statement issued by Siniora's bureau said.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Israel frees Palestinian prisoners in Gaza, West Bank
 

Tue 18/10/2011 13:53

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Israel freed 477 Palestinian prisoners, most of them to the Gaza Strip, where Hamas leaders greeted former prisoners who arrived in buses bearing Red Cross insignia.

For Palestinians, it was a time to rejoice what Hamas hailed as a victory, and a heroes' welcome awaited the released prisoners. Palestinians see brethren jailed by Israel as prisoners of war in a struggle for statehood.

The deal had been Okayed by Israel's Supreme Court late last Monday, after it rejected petitions from the public to prevent the mass release of prisoners, many serving life sentences imposed by Israeli courts for deadly attacks.

Those talks, led by Israel and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas collapsed 13 months ago in a dispute over settlement building in the occupied West Bank. Abbas now wants the U.N. to recognize Palestinian statehood, a unilateral bid opposed by Israel and its main ally, the United States.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji tackles military affairs with US officials
 

Tue 18/10/2011 13:47
NNA - 18/10/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, tackled with US officials a basket of political and military affairs during his visit to the USA.

Kahwaji ended this visit last night after having met with military and political figures, and toured on special units and training centers, inspecting their work and how to benefit from their potentials to serve the Lebanese Army.

The Army Commander tackled with US responsible logistic arming and training measures assuring that "the major role played by the military institution in protecting Lebanon from external aggressions and fighting against terrorism contributes somehow in preserving regional stability at the service of the region altogether."

The US officials for their part praised the military command's efforts in reinforcing army's potentials, confirming their commitment to boosting cooperation between both countries at the military level.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 


Politics - Bassil, Connelly hold discussions
 

Tue 18/10/2011 13:17

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Water and Energy Minister Gebran Bassil on Tuesday held discussions at his ministerial office with the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Orthodox Gathering apprehensive over Copts status quo
 

Tue 18/10/2011 13:13

NNA - 18/10/2011 - The Lebanese "Orthodox Gathering" sounded the alarm on Tuesday over the carnage which had been lately witnessed in Egypt, leaving behind scores of dead and injured Christian Copts.
The Orthodox Gathering held a meeting at its Achrafieh headquarters today headed by Secretary General Michel Tweini, in presence of Vice Prime Minister Samir Mokabel and former House Speaker Elie Ferzli.

"The current Egyptian authorities are fully in charge of finding a final solution to sectarian tension which also poses a big threat to Egypt's future and unity," Tweini said on emerging. He also reminded of the Christian-lead historical role in the region, and of its major contribution to the Middle Eastern intellectual and national expansion.

Preceding the meeting, the Orthodox gathering held separate talks with the Lebanese Greek Orthodox League headed by Nicholas Gholam. Talks reportedly focused on the importance defending the sect's "wasted rights". Conferees also underscored the importance of adhering to the electoral project law previously proposed by the Orthodox gathering.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mourabi: Hizbullah to decide on tribunal funding
 

Tue 18/10/2011 12:30

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Moueen al Mourabi said that Hizbullah is the only party in the government to decide whether or not the cabinet should fund the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

The MP reminded Hizbullah that its ally Iran has agreed to listen to Washington concerning its allegations that Tehran was involved in the assassination attempt of the Saudi ambassador to Washington.

Mourabi implied that Hizbullah should cooperate with the international tribunal to prove its innocence just like Tehran is doing with Washington.

"But it is painful to see Lebanon breaching its commitment and this will make look like a failed state," the MP warned.

He also castigated the Syrian regime for oppressing its people for the past six months.

Mourabi, who was talking to "Al Sharq radio", criticized the decision of the Arab League to grant the Syrian regime a 15 day grace period to reconcile its differences with the Syrian opposition.

"This grace period is unacceptable in any form because this step should have been taken more than six months ago and before the killing of 450 people. The Arab states should have stepped in and ended the slaying of the Syrian people," he argued.

Blasting the Syrian measures along the Lebanese border, Mourabi said that Damascus is using the pretext of weapon smuggling to its own country to exercise its control over Lebanon.

"Every time we raise our voices against the Syrian violations along the border, the Syrian regime maintains its pressure on Lebanon."

He also expressed his outrage over the Lebanese government's position on the events along the border.

"This regime only survives through intimidations, threats and killing against all its neighboring countries."

The MP hailed the information revealed by the Internal Security Forces about the abduction of two Syrian opposition figures by the Syrian intelligence in Lebanon.

"We have lot of collaborators in Lebanon such as Israeli, Syrian and Iranian collaborators. This person should be held accountable for all the deeds he did in Lebanon and should be punished according to the law."

He repeated his accusation that Hizbullah is fully controlling Lebanon and even controls all the vital government facilities and institutions.

"Hizbullah managed to control the country due to the laxity and indifference of the state."

The MP charged Hizbullah with stealing the treasury and the people's pockets.

"All these practices of Hizbullah are done amidst a deteriorating economic and security conditions. The Western nations always warn their citizens not to go to Lebanon."

The MP said that government's decision to raise the salaries was very hasty because most of the private sector cannot afford these wage hikes at the moment.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Syria's Ambassador: Arab league decision echoes foreign influence
 

Tue 18/10/2011 11:55

NNA - 18/10/2011 - The Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, said on Tuesday that the Arab League's most recent stance from Syria was an outright translation to foreign pressure and influence.

Despite the Arab Foreign Ministers decision not to suspend Syria from their regional organization last Sunday, they urged the government and opposition to negotiate an end to the violence within a period not exceeding 15 days.

Fearing Arab Gulf countries' acknowledgement of the Syrian National Transitional Council, now that Syria has refused the Arab leagues' call for dialogue in Cairo, Abdul Ali assured all concerned sides that Syria was on the way to comprehensive reform.

"Syria is studying things closely and welcomes all well-intentioned efforts. It is en route to reform via internal dialogue," he said following a visit to former Prime Minister Salim Hoss.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jisr: Tribunal puts all sides on brink
 

Tue 18/10/2011 10:51

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Deputy Samir Jisr stressed that Lebanon could not confront international community, adding that tribunal funding issue would put all sides on the brink.

The MP told on Tuesday "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity that "Hizbullah and its team are against STL funding", pointing out that President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati confirmed their commitment to international obligations.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Budget discussions go in line with set items, says N. Nahhas
 

Tue 18/10/2011 10:47


NNA - 18/10/2011 - Minister of Trade and Economy Nicolas Nahhas asserted on Tuesday that the budget would be discussed in accordance with its items.

Interviewed on the Voice of Lebanon radio station, Nahhas also made clear that deliberations pertaining to the funding process of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) would be taking place, at their set date, in the course of budget discussions.

"This budget which will be setting the economic track for Lebanon should aptly represent the economy's factual potentials," Nahhas added.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved





 

Politics - Fatfat rules out Mikati's resignation
 

Tue 18/10/2011 10:02

NNA - 18/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Ahmed Fatfat told Voice of Lebanon that Prime Minister Najib Mikati is trying to improve his media image internally and externally by claiming his support to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon although he is fully aware that he does not have means to finance the tribunal.

Fatfat added that the majority of the ministers will vote against funding of the tribunal for political reasons.

"Eventually, the ministers will follow the decisions issued by Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah who is the real ruler of the government," the MP said.

He warned that the cabinet will drag its feet on the issue of tribunal funding; expressing sorrow that Mikati has allied himself with factions that only know the language of force and weapons.

The MP ruled out the possibility that Mikati will submit his resignation in the future.

Fatfat assured that the opposition will oppose the government's proposal to raise the value added tax from 10 percent to 12 percent as this step will have negative effects on the economy.

"The VAT issue is none negotiable at the moment for economic reasons. Finance Minister Mohammed Safadi's 2012 draft budget projects a deficit of 12 to 13 percent and this is the same percentage that led to the destruction of the Greek economy," the MP explained.

O.H
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (UPDATE)Sleiman: Economy must no longer serve politicians
 

Mon 17/10/2011 20:52

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman said it is no longer tolerable to have economy serve the interests of politicians.

Sleiman's word came in the context of launching the NPTP program, devoted for supporting very poor families in Lebanon by the Social Affairs Ministry, at the Attorney's House in Beirut. The event was attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, House Speaker Nabih Berri, Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour, the Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Morabito, the Canadian Ambassador Hilary Adams and others.

The President cited a report by the UN saying that around 1 billion persons in the world suffer severe poverty, with the hiking prices of essential commodities and the spread of armed conflicts.

The President said it was time to give economic and social affairs enough concern by looking further into the daily life matters of citizens. Accordingly, Sleiman reiterated his call for administrative decentralization in Lebanon, which contributes in achieving balanced development, finding job opportunities and doing political reforms.

In turn, Minister Abu Faour did not guarantee a fully successful outcome by his ministry's project, but insisted that the program was a chance to support poor families, especially at the absence of a comprehensive social program covering their daily perils.

"It is a chance to help poor families augment their living capabilities and break the poverty chain being inherited from one generation to another," Abu Faour said.

The Social Affairs Minister explained that this project was crafted for those suffering below the poverty line, which according to statics are 8% of the Lebanese citizens.

"Our project involves all sects, regions, affiliations," Abu Faour added, stressing every single poor person's right for dignity and respect by the state and society alike.
A.M./R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


 

 

 


Politics - Jumblatt: To jettison political interests for developmental ones
 

Mon 17/10/2011 20:03

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Walid Jumblatt on Monday urged Lebanese officials to let go of personal politcal and sectarian accounts in the service of developmental projects deemed highly essentail for the nation's economic cycle.

The "National Struggle Front" leader's words came in his weekly stance accored to the Progressive Socialist Party's (PSP) Al-Anbaa newspaper.

"All development-related projects ought to triumph political interests, not to mention be set on high quiality scientific and professional standards," Jumblatt explained.

Despite capitalizing on the pressing need of increasing wages, Jumblatt said that a step as such was supposed to be preceeded by major administative reform procedures, as well as by meticulous research to ensure required financial resources that could cover all the expenses.

"We don't want to end up falling in the vicious cycle of inflation like that of Greece," Jumblatt warned.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati, Chaar tackle North affairs
 

Mon 17/10/2011 19:11

NNA - - 17/10/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati had been briefed on Monday afternoon on Islam-related affairs in Lebanon by Tripoli and North Lebanon Mufti Mohammad Chaar.

Chaar and his accompanying delegation, visited Mikati to specifically follow-up on education being delivered in public schools on the religion of Islam.

"We discussed with Mikati a number of projects which he has promised to study closely," Chaar said with this regard, following his meeting with the Prime Minister.

Economic sufferings and the general atmosphere witnessed in Tripoli city and North Lebanon also topped Mikati-Chaar discussions.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk: Lebanon's experience exhorts Arabs' aspiration for free media
 

Mon 17/10/2011 18:58

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Information Minister Walid Daouk said Lebanon's pioneering experience in the field of media is a motivation for Arabs aspiring for free, open media.

During the opening of the Regional Conference on the Indices of Media Resources in the Arab states on Monday, Information Minister Walid Daouk, representing Prime Minister Najib Mikati in the event, said media problematics in most Arab states are so complicated in their cultural and constitutional background that they [Arab states] have become in dire need for a comprehensive structural reform that would take into consideration the Arab citizen's right for a free media, open to development technologies and modernity, and for an independent media that would safeguard the freedom of expression and exchange of opinions.

The Minister added saying that despite some flaws in Lebanon's adoption of the concepts of freedom and independence, Lebanon would remain a guide for Arab countries aspiring for free media relying upon truth and responsibility in covering news, so as to boost the reconciliatory ambience within diversive communities.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Electoral law tops Kataeb's weekly discussions
 

Mon 17/10/2011 18:52

NNA - 17/10/2011 - New electoral law-related deliberations featured high Monday on Kataeb Party political bureau's weekly meeting.

Kataeb's meeting, chaired by Party Leader Amine Gemayel, came to resume last weeks discussions in preparation for Kataeb's anticipated closed meeting which aims at coming out with the party's final decision from the matter.

"Former Deputy House Speaker Elie Ferzli has welcomed Kataeb political bureau's request for a detailed explanation of the 'Orthodox Gathering's' electoral law," a statement issued by Kataeb in the wake of the meeting read.

Moreover, the meeting was an occasion for party members to listen to Kataeb leader Amine Gemayel's detailed briefing on his visit to Egypt, where he held talks with Arab League Secretary General, Nabil Arabi, and head of the Copts' church.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (Corrected) Mansour: what affects Syria does likewise affect Lebanon
 

Mon 17/10/2011 18:39

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour said Lebanon will always stay on the side of its brother countries and what badly affects Syria does likewise affect Lebanon.

Upon his return from the Arab Foreign Ministers meetings in Cairo on Monday, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said from Rafic Hariri International Airport that it was agreed during the meetings that a dialogue must be set between the Syrian regime and its opposition, in order to help Syria surpass its crisis and resume stability and security.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Experts, officials hope Arab Spring to underpin new development patterns
 

Mon 17/10/2011 18:37

NNA - 17/10/2011 - An Arab preparatory meeting in Cairo for a high-level UN eco conference next year, Rio+20, capitalized the necessity to benefit from Arab Spring political and social changes to reconsider development patterns in facing sustainable development-related challenges in the Arab World.

Experts and officials, who participated in the meeting, held on October 16 and 17 at the headquarters if the Arab League in Egypt, saw that the flop to achieve sought development was basically down to the failure of the developed countries to keep their promises and commitments towards developing ones.

A statement by ESCWA media advisory on Monday said that the meeting also highlighted the need to form and bolster national councils for sustainable development, with clear reference and structure, to draw related plans, strategies, and programs.

Rio+20, The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, will take place in forthcoming June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will feature high on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, as well as on institutional framework for sustainable development.

Representatives of social, economic, and environmental governmental parties, UN agencies and the Arab League, as well as of funding institutions, civil society organizations, private sector, and academic institutions partook in today's meeting.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Experts, officials hope Arab Spring to underpin new development patterns
 

Mon 17/10/2011 18:37

NNA - 17/10/2011 - An Arab preparatory meeting in Cairo for a high-level UN eco conference next year, Rio+20, capitalized the necessity to benefit from Arab Spring political and social changes to reconsider development patterns in facing sustainable development-related challenges in the Arab World.

Experts and officials, who participated in the meeting, held on October 16 and 17 at the headquarters if the Arab League in Egypt, saw that the flop to achieve sought development was basically down to the failure of the developed countries to keep their promises and commitments towards developing ones.

A statement by ESCWA media advisory on Monday said that the meeting also highlighted the need to form and bolster national councils for sustainable development, with clear reference and structure, to draw related plans, strategies, and programs.

Rio+20, The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, will take place in forthcoming June in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and will feature high on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, as well as on institutional framework for sustainable development.

Representatives of social, economic, and environmental governmental parties, UN agencies and the Arab League, as well as of funding institutions, civil society organizations, private sector, and academic institutions partook in today's meeting.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rifi, Connelly tackle current situation
 

Mon 17/10/2011 18:27

NNA - 17/10/2011 Internal Security Forces (ISF) Chief Ashraf Rifi tackled with US Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly the general security situation in the Country and US Aids program to ISF, a statement by ISF Public Relations Department said on Monday.
Connelly visited General Rifi on Monday at his Barrack office, in the aim of bolstering means of cooperation and coordination, presenting condolences on the late Sergeant, martyr Elias Nasrallah.
On the other hand, Connelly hailed ISF full readiness in carrying out its tasks, notably its recent follow up of the seven Estonians' kidnapping issue and prosecuting culprits.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman: economy must no more serve politicians
 

Mon 17/10/2011 18:16

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman said it is no more accepted that the economy will come to serve politicians.

Sleiman's word came in the context of launching the NPTP program, which is concerned about supporting very poor families in the world, by the Social Affairs Ministry, at the Attorney's House in Beirut. The event was attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, House Speaker Nabih Berri, the Italian Ambassador Giuseppe Morabito, the Canadian Ambassador Hilary Adams and others.

The President cited a report by UN saying that around 1 billion persons in the world are suffering severe poverty with the rise in price of main commodities and the spread of armed conflicts.

The President said it is time to give economic and social affairs enough concern and look into daily life matters of citizens. Accordingly, Sleiman reiterated his call for administrative decentralization in Lebanon that contributes in achieving balanced development, finding job opportunities and doing political reforms.

A.M.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Oil exploration tops Parliament joint committees meeting
 

Mon 17/10/2011 17:45

NNA - 17/10/2011 Speaker of the House Nabih Berri chaired a joint session by House committees to discuss oil exploration issue, attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Water and Energy Minister Jibran Bassil at the House of Parliament on Monday.
Attending the session have been House commissions for Foreign and Expatriates Affairs, Public Works and Transportation, National Defense, Water and Energy, Interior and Municipalities and Environment.
Summing up today's session outcome, Deputy Mohamed Qabbani stated that related regulatory and application decrees shall be accomplished by the outset of this year, saying "Petrol sector administration body shall also be appointed before the end of this year, in line with oil and gas law".
Qabbani also disclosed that Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour will head soon to Cyprus to resume talks on the demarcation of borders related to Lebanon's Exclusive Economic Zone.
Qabbani said House Commissions agreed on holding a follow up meeting before the end of this year to discuss this matter.
"There is a consensus that we [House commissions] shall not accept to consider 860 square kilometers off the coast as a disputed area between Lebanon and the Israeli enemy... We insist that this area is an Exclusive Maritime Lebanese Zone", Qabbani stressed.
Water and Energy Minister's Advisor Cesar Abu Khalil said the meeting took up all issues related to oil exploration in a "positive, fruitful and constructive atmosphere".
In the wake of the meeting, Berri met with Premier Mikati at the Parliament office, who left without giving a statement to mediamen.
Berri then met respectively with Budget and Finance Committee Head Ibrahim Kenaan and Water and Energy Committee Head Mohamed Qabbani, where they boarded related committees' affairs.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Charbel tackle Lassa topography issue
 

Mon 17/10/2011 16:56

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel, currently on a visit to Paris, contacted on Monday Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, tackling with him Lassa topographic works issue.

Charbel received from the President directions with regard to this issue.
It is worth noting that Charbel will be chairing on October 25 a meeting at his office for topographical teams and concerned sides, to approve on topographic works to be carried on in Lassa in line with agreements initialled by Bkerki follow up committee in this regards.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 


Politics - Baarini relays to Mufti necessity to elect Islamic Shariaa Council
 

Mon 17/10/2011 15:28

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Former Deputy Wajih Baarini highlighted the necessity to have the Higher Islamic Shariaa Council elected after the end of its term this year, rebuffing any possibility of a mandate renewal, following his meeting with the Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, Monday.
Baarini, who is also the head of Akkar's Popular Gathering, had been to Dar-el-Fatwa today for a meeting with the Mufti over an array of local and regional developments and affairs.
He also suggested that a spiritual summit be held in Akkar to confirm national constants and principles, and spurn extremism. "No one solely owns the nation (...) we all do together," he said.
Talks touched on the "just" claims of workers to adjust wages and the obligation to speed up the dossier of full-time teachers at the Lebanese University.
The pair also shed light on what they termed as "the historical achievement" of the fresh prisoners swap deal between Palestine and Israel.
Israel and Hamas on Tuesday agreed to free 1027 Palestinian prisoners for the lone Israeli captive soldier Gilad Shallit.
Baarini did not fail to voice support for the rights of Arab people to claim freedom and democracy; but he cautioned against meddling into the affairs of any Arab country, namely Syria.
General Security Chief, Brigadier Abbas Ibrahim, had also been to Dar-el-Fatwa today for a meeting with the Mufti over the general situation.
Sheikh Qabbani later received Mufti of Tyre, Sheikh Midrar Habbal, and Mohammad Barakat from the Islamic Philanthropic Institutions for Social Care.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour: what affects Syria does likewise affect Lebanon
 

Mon 17/10/2011 15:07

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour said Lebanon will always stay on the side of its countries and what badly affects Syria does likewise affect Lebanon.

Upon his return from the Arab Foreign Ministers meetings in Cairo on Monday, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said from Rafic Hariri International Airport that it was agreed during the meetings that a dialogue must be set between the Syrian regime and its opposition, in order to help Syria surpass its crisis and resume stability and security.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abdullah meets Mikati, praises Lebanon's support for Palestine's full membership to UN
 

Mon 17/10/2011 14:59

NNA - 17/10/2011 - The Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon Abdullah Abdullah praised during his visit Monday to Premier Najib Mikati the efforts deployed by Lebanon at the United Nations in following up the Palestinian full membership request.

The Ambassador thanked President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati as well as the permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations headed by Ambassador Nawaf Salam for following up closely the Palestinian request to the UN to admit Palestine as a full member state.

Abdullah also admired the endeavors of Mikati in keeping the country safe at the current stage. Latest developments in the region and their influence over Lebanon and Palestine also topped talks between the two men.

Mikati and his visitor highlighted the importance of putting huge Lebanese-Palestinian efforts in cooperation with UNRWA to collect the financial support needed for rebuilding Nahr El-Bared camp.

Mikati confirmed in this regard that he seeks preserving the Palestinians' dignity, assuring that joint efforts must be exerted in a bid to protect the country's security.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Erslan: for Lebanon to remove impurities from political STL
 

Mon 17/10/2011 14:59

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Deputy Talal Erslan said Lebanon must set negotiations with the United Nations, for the purpose of eliminating structural impurities from the typically political Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

The Lebanese Democratic Party hosted yesterday Sunday a dinner banquet at Habtoor hotel in Sin el-Fil, under the auspices of said party's head Talal Erslan, during which the latter gave a word saying "what is more important than funding or non-funding the STL - probing the assassination of Marty Rafic Hariri in 2005 - is the necessity for Lebanon to resort to Article 20 of the Understanding Memo between Lebanon and the United Nations, in a way to set negotiations with the UN in order to eliminate structural impurities from the typically political STL."

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (Updated) Berri meets Mikati
 

Mon 17/10/2011 13:43

NNA - 17/10/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri met on Monday, upon the end of the joint parliamentary commissions' meeting, with the Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Later, Berri received the head of finance and budget committee, Ibrahim Kanaan.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kabbara, Daher, Merehbi urge for a weapon-free City
 

Mon 17/10/2011 13:40

NNA - 17/10/2011 MP Mohammad Kabbara urged Monday political leaders to confiscate weapons in Tripoli due to security chaos the City occasionally witnesses.

MP Mohammad Kabbara received at his residence Deputies Khaled Daher, Mouin Merehbi, former Ministers Samir Jeser and Ahmad Fatfat along with other religious figures.

After their meeting, conferees called on all political, religious, and civil figures to cause Tripoli to be a weapon-free city and abolish security complexes there, deeming arms as the origin of every occurring conflict.

"Overlooking our demands and being lenient in pursuing criminals led to consecutive security clashes in Tripoli," attendees said referring to the murder attempts in Kobbeh and in Mina regions.
"Leaving shooting incident, which took place Thursday at the security complex in Zahriyye, unhandled has caused further aggravation on Friday eve," they added.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri meets Mikati
 

Mon 17/10/2011 13:29

NNA - 17/10/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri met on Monday, upon the end of the joint parliamentary commissions' meeting, with the Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abboud tackles touristic ties with Indonesian Ambassador
 

Mon 17/10/2011 13:13

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud tackled economic and touristic ties with the Indonesian Ambassador to Lebanon Illango Karuppannan who visited him on Monday.

The Ambassador announced that preparations are underway to sign an accord soon between the two countries in order to reinforce touristic relations.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel tackles with Sheikh Al-Azhar Islamic-Christian dialogue
 

Mon 17/10/2011 13:05

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Lebanese Kataeb's head, Amin Gemayel, tackled on Monday with Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Al-Tayeb means to reinforce ties between Christians and Muslims by reactivating dialogue among them.

The former President who met with Al-Tayeb towards the end of his visit to Egypt accompanied by the Kataeb vice head Sejaan Azzi assured that wisdom and courage are the best resort for this delicate stage.

The meeting between Gemayel and Al-Tayeb was very fruitful as it focused on several current developments not only in Egypt but in the Arab world as a whole.

Gemayel hoped these efforts would lead to filling the gap between Muslims and Christians and reactivating dialogue which serves stability and peace between society's components.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 


Politics - Sleiman meets Nahhas and De Frej
 

Mon 17/10/2011 12:34
NNA - 17/10/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman met on Monday before noon with Economy Minister Nicolas Nahhas and discussed current developments and the economic situation.

Also, Sleiman met with Deputy Nabil De Frej and tackled political affairs on the Lebanese scene.

Separately, Sleiman met with USJ President Father Rene Shamousi who presented a draft law of technical mediation center that focuses on training mediator in political, social and dialogue fields.

Sleiman welcomed this project and stressed the necessity to endorse such law.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


Politics - Marouni: Arab Ministers gave Syria chance for further oppression
 

Mon 17/10/2011 12:01

NNA - 17/10/2011 MP Elie Marouni expressed Monday concern over the 15-day period Arab Foreign Ministers gave Syrian regime.
The Arab League foreign ministers, meeting in an urgent session in Cairo, yesterday urged "national dialogue" between Syria's government and the opposition.
Marouni deemed it as an opportunity for Syria to practice further oppression on the people whereas, during their meeting, Arab Ministers said the period was a chance for the country to hold a comprehensive national dialogue.

As for the Lebanese government's stance herein, Kataeb bloc member told Al-Sharek radio station that the Syrian Ambassador has gone beyond his diplomatic capacities.

Pertaining to the STL issue, Marouni said Special Tribunal for Lebanon shall carry out its works whether with or without funding.
"Lebanon will be subject to economic penalties that, in turn, ought to weaken government's power if ever international obligations were not fulfilled," he said.


On the economic level, Marouni regarded raise on salaries the Cabinet endorsed as a "well-crafted play" the GLC had made.

"Salaries raise decree is unclear, broken down and it needs adjustments," Marouni said and stressed the importance of reinforcing social services as well as citizens' income.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved













 

 


Politics - Aoun meets Australian Deputy
 

Mon 17/10/2011 11:58
NNA - 17/10/2011 - Deputy Michel Aoun met on Monday before noon at his Rabieh residence with Australian Deputy of Lebanese origin Khalil Idy accompanied by Akkar delegation.

Idy hoped after the meeting that Lebanon would become a real democratic counrty, wishing success to general Aoun and Lebanon.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Tohmeh: no substitute for state power in preserving security
 

Mon 17/10/2011 11:27


NNA - 17/10/2011 - Parliament member Nidal Tohmeh said nothing can substitute the state's power in controlling the security file.

The MP's words came during his condolences visit on Monday to the family of Albert Al-Nashar, the citizen who was shot few days ago and left behind in Antelias region.

Tohmeh fiercely condemned this incident which has not been unveiled yet, calling for uncovering all facts behind it and punishing the perpetrators as soon as possible.

Furthermore, the Deputy called for keeping the security dossier away from all political polarization, allowing no blackmail to the country's security at the service of narrow interests.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


Politics - Berri presides over joint committee session
 

Mon 17/10/2011 11:20

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Speaker of the House Nabih Berri chaired on Monday the parliament joint committee session in presence of Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

Discussions will touch on oil and gas exploration issue.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sahli accuses U.S. of conspiring against Iran
 

Mon 17/10/2011 11:09

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Deputy Nawwar Sahli said Washington's allegation that Iran was involved in an assassination attempt against Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington as nothing more than a U.S. ploy to implicate Tehran after they (U.S.) realized that the international tribunal scheme did not lead to any result.

"The plan is clear and the aim of this is to inflame sectarian strife in the region", the MP stressed, calling on all sides to be cautious of this issue.

Sahli's remarks came in the opening of Health Solidarity Fund building in Hermel, where he stressed the necessity to help and serve the citizens.

"Helping people and providing full medical coverage is the state's responsibility", Sahli said, hoping to achieve this soon.

On the other hand, the MP considered the incident that took place in Baalbek couple days ago as "not innocent", calling on the cabinet to shoulder its responsibility on security matters, stressing that "Hizbullah" cannot cover perpetrators.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aswad: Mikati chooses funding
 

Mon 17/10/2011 10:24

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Deputy Ziad Aswad said that Prime Minister Najib Mikati would choose tribunal funding while they (March 8) would choose the cabinet.

The MP stressed that the bloc is against funding file whether voting occurs or not.

"The current cabinet might not remain", Aswad said, adding that the coming days would decide its fate, pointing out that there is no problem in political life if the cabinet resigns or fails and "we should adapt to adjustment pattern".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fatfat: Events along Syrian border surpasses reality
 

Mon 17/10/2011 10:20

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc member deputy Ahmed Fatfat said the incidents occurring along the border with Syria exceed norms and has become a political reality as if there are attempts to drag the country into the conflict inside Syria.

Speaking to Voice of Lebanon "Voice of Freedom and Dignity", the MP accused the Lebanese authorities of completely ignoring the continuous Syrian incursion into Lebanon.

He also commented on the new clashes between the guards of the Syrian embassy and Kurdish demonstrators in Beirut.

"The Lebanese opposition will work through the parliament and parliamentary committees to underline the need to protect Lebanese sovereignty," the MP said.

He criticized the foreign ministry for working against Lebanese interest "as if we have returned to Syrian hegemony era in Lebanon."

Fatfat called on the new majority to take clear positions concerning the developments near the Syrian border.

He regretted the official political and security indifference towards the violations of the Lebanese sovereignty.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Habib: Hezbollah is in confusion
 

Mon 17/10/2011 10:07

NNA - 17/10/2011 MP Khodr Habib said Monday Sheikh Naim Kassem's words reflect Hezbollah's state of confusion especially after learning about the President, Premier, and Deputy Walid Jumblatt's support to funding STL.

Sheikh Kassem said earlier that parties agreed to discuss pending issues inside the government and, in case of disagreement, voting is the solution.
Hence, Habib told voice of Lebanon radio station that Hezbollah is in an awkward position after that Jumblatt voiced support to STL following his meeting with Sayyed Hassan Nasrollah.

Also, Future bloc member urged Syrian Ambassador to quit interfering in Lebanese affairs.
"Abdul Karim Ali ought to respect diplomatic ties and is not entitled to criticize the ISF general director," he concluded.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qoubaissi: Some will exploit salary wage debate to trigger riots
 

Mon 17/10/2011 08:53

NNA - 17/10/2011 - Development and Liberation parliamentary bloc member deputy Hani Qoubaissi warned that some factions in Lebanon are trying to exploit the debate over salary increase to trigger internal turmoil.

The MP, who was speaking at a memorial service in the south, said that the main goal for raising the salaries was to cater to the demands of the citizen, worker and farmer.

"But it seems that some groups in the country want to take advantage of the debate over the salary increase by triggering riots through calls for a general strike," the MP said.

Qoubaissi also blasted some western powers that are seeking to control the wealth of other nations.

He cited the example of the revolution spreading in most Arab states and noticed that some powers are trying to exploit these revolutions to win contracts in these countries.

The MP accused some countries of fomenting the turmoil in Syria for ulterior motives but praised the positions of Russia and China which used the veto to block a UN Security Council resolution to denounce the Syrian government.

He believes that some countries are conspiring against the Syrian government and president because of their full support to the Lebanese resistance and Palestinian cause.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hamadeh returns from Paris
 

Sun 16/10/2011 21:52

NNA - 16/10/2011 - MP Marwan Hamadeh returned to Beirut Sunday, coming from the French Capital, Paris.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kassem: America's recent accusation to Iran aims at creating strife between Muslims
 

Sun 16/10/2011 21:50

NNA - 16/10/2011 - Hizbollah Vice Secretary General, Sheikh Naim Kassem, described the American accusation to Iran of plotting to assassinate Saudi Ambassador to Washington as being closer to "police failure movies" than being close to truth and realty! He considered that the aim of such an accusation is to distort Iran's portrait in the Arab and Islamic world and create strife between Muslims. He added that Iran denotes a true obstacle for America, standing in the way of its plots and projects in the region.
Kassem's words came during an encounter at the Iranian Embassy in Beirut Sunday evening, organized as a follow-up to the "Islamic Awakening Conference" which took place in Tehran recently.
In turn, Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghadanfar Rukn Abadi, considered that the region's revolutions, in their adopted principles and moral codes, are not in conformity with the American and Zionist wishes and aspirations in the region.
R.Sh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel pursues his visit to Cairo
 

Sun 16/10/2011 20:50

NNA - 16/10/2011 - Kataeb Party Head, President Amine Gemayel, began his second day in the Egyptian Capital, Cairo, by meeting with Copt Pope Shnouda III. The encounter was a chance to review the situation of Copts in Egypt, the sufferings they have been through and their attachment to coexistence with their fellow citizens.
Following the meeting, Pope Shnouda expressed gratitude to Lebanon, as a whole, for its support to the Copts, thanking President Gemayel for all kind gestures shown.
Gemayel, in turn, indicated that his visit comes to extend condolences to Pope Shnouda for the trying times that the Copts have been through and the fallen innocent victims as a result of such difficult circumstances.
Gemayel considered that prayers alone are not enough but that efforts ought to be exerted to derive the necessary lessons from what has taken place, and cooperate with all people of Egypt for the sake of restoring solidarity and kindness amongst all. He hoped that stability and peace would prevail, which would be to the benefit of Egypt as a whole.
Gemayel later paid a visit to Egyptian Foreign Affairs Minister, Mohamad Amro, offering condolences for the victims of the Maspiro incident. He expressed full confidence in the Egyptian people's ability to overcome all challenges and crises. He added that what signifies Egypt from other countries is the presence of state institutions that go back far in history; a factor which allows for trust in Egypt's restoration of its healthy status, he noted.
For his part, Minister Amro expressed Egypt's appreciation for President Gemayel and the Lebanese people's expressed feelings in support and solidarity with the Egyptian people during all circumstances. He also voiced confidence in the Egyptian people's ability to overcome all obstacles and challenges confronting them.
In a word before awaiting newsmen, and in response to a question regarding his coinciding visit to Cairo with the Arab League's meeting to discuss Syria's membership suspension, Gemayel denied any link in this respect. He explained that his visit to Egypt had been previously scheduled, adding that he has met with a number of Egyptian officials. He added that his talks in Cairo have touched on the general situation on the Arab scene and the possibility of reaching an understanding within a framework that would be of benefit to Arab revolutions until a new Arab regime is established based on liberty, quality, democracy and human rights.
Responding to another question regarding the possibility of a civil war in Syria, and the reflection of such a war on Lebanon, Gemayel hoped that such a war would not occur in any Arab state, since that would denote a disaster for the Arab human, in general, whether in Syria or any other place. He expressed concern for the situation in Syria to remain stable and for a quality move to be achieved, so that democracy and human rights would prevail, putting an end to all practices against the Syrian citizen.
Over his vision regarding the situation in Egypt and warnings of civil war threat, Gemayel indicated that the incidents of the past days have been very worrisome to many, both Muslims and Christians together. He added that he has sensed an honest wish on part of all Egyptian officials to put an end to such acts. Hence, Gemayel expressed his reliance on the national responsibility, awareness and maturity of Egyptians so as to overcome such circumstances, allowing for the involvement of all constituents of the Egyptian community in drawing the future of their country.
On the other hand, it is to note that President Gemayel also met Sunday in Cairo with Qatari Prime Minister, Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad ben Jassim Al Thani, with whom he reviewed the general situation in the Arab world and the region.
Gemayel is also scheduled to meet Sunday evening with Al-Azhar Sheikh, Ahmad Al-Tayeb.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

Politics - Irish President winds-up her visit to Lebanon
 

Sun 16/10/2011 19:52

NNA - 16/10/2011 - Irish Republic President, Mary Mac-Aleese, left Beirut Sunday, ending a 3-day official visit to Lebanon.
Vice Prime Minister, Samir Mokbel, was at the airport representing President of the Republic, General Michael Sleiman, bidding the Irish President a safe return to Dublin. Also present at the airport were Irish Ambassador to Cairo and Irish General Consul in Lebanon, as well as a number of dignitaries.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Erslan meets with a Syrian youth delegation
 

Sun 16/10/2011 19:43

NNA - 16/10/2011 - Democratic Party Head, MP Talal Erslan, met Sunday at his Khaldeh Residence with a Syrian National Unity youth delegation. Speaking before them, Erslan stressed on the unity of the Lebanese-Syrian tracks and Lebanon's linked fate and stability to that of Syria. He also stressed on Syria's steadfastness in the face of the Israeli-Western campaign waged against it. He considered this campaign as targeting Syria's preventive role in the region. He added that what is required of Syria at this juncture is not reform but a change in its national stands, which is a request on the Israeli agenda!
Erslan went on to state that Lebanon and Syria share a "one" fate, whereby both countries have faced a lot together throughout history and whatever affects Syria shall naturally affect Lebanon as well, he noted. However, he added that he harbors no fear for the situation in Syria, since its stability is a basic matter and its internal status is very solid. He also noted that there is great awareness amongst the Syrian people towards the conspiracy plotted against them.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Wahhab lays the cornerstone for a hospital in Jahlieh
 

Sun 16/10/2011 19:05

NNA - 15/10/2011 - Arab Unitarian Party Head, former Minister Wiam Wahhab, laid Sunday the cornerstone of a new hospital in the area of Jahlieh, within the framework of the "Unitarian Village" project to be established in the town of Deir Dourit in Shouf Mountain. A ceremony took place on the occasion, in presence of Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghadanfar Rukn Abadi, since the Iranian Islamic Republic is contributing to the project in providing part of its funding.
Public Health Minister, Ali Hassan Khalil, represented President of the Republic, as well as the House Speaker and Prime Minister at the event, which was attended by various political, social and military figures. Cuban, Venezuelan and Russian Ambassadors to Lebanon also attended the event.
In his word on the occasion, Wahhab expressed gratitude to the Iranian Republic for its contribution to launching said project, hoping that the first phase would be inaugurated while the Iranian Ambassador is still in term of office in Lebanon. He considered that today's gathering is not solely to lay the cornerstone for the village project, but rather for laying the cornerstone for building a new human who would not be left to beg at hospital doors for health care and attention! He added that the hospital will be available to all citizens with no discrimination whatsoever since it a project is for every needy citizen in the mountain.
Wahhab moved on to touch on the current ongoing incidents in the region and the world. In this respect, he considered that all international decisions are American-Zionist decisions! He noted that the resistance resolutions in Lebanon, Palestine and Iraq are solely the ones capable of achieving change and turning all equations. Wahhab praised herein the recent positions by China and Russia, considering that they served to bring back some balance to the international stands and put a limit to the American craziness.
In turn, Ambassador Rukn Abadi stressed that Iran's contribution to the hospital establishment comes within the developmental and humanitarian projects that it supports, in a bid to stand by the Lebanese people and their resistance. He hailed herein all Arab resistances, stressing that the American conspiracies and plots shall not succeed in creating strife and divisions amongst Islamic nation countries and people.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabalan's "vicious conspiracy"
 

Sun 16/10/2011 16:43

NNA - 16/10/2011 - Deputy-head of the Shiite Supreme Council, Abdul Amir Qabalan, perceived a looming "vicious conspiracy" staring our country in the eye.

Qabalan and, in a statement today, said the conspiracy was looming with its head to threaten more than one Arab country. He added that it has taken a divisive character in support of tyranny and oppression. He described the present juncture as a dark tunnel, Arabs find themselves in and counseled leaders to act wisely to help their peoples out of the present tragedy.

The senior religious cleric urged Muslim leaders to extend a helping hand to their brothers and peoples by promoting a cultural unity and solidarity.

Qabalan also urged Lebanese politicians to do more of the same to save their country and their national unity. He concluded that through their cooperation and their unity they would be able to deal with arising tensions such that their country becomes an abode for peaceful coexistence.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fatfat deplores Mikati silence!
 

Sun 16/10/2011 16:01

NNA - 16/10/2011 - Pro-Hariri Deputy of the House, Ahmad Fatfat, deplored the Prime Minister's silence over recent Syrian violations in Akkar and Bekaa.

Speaking to a group of pro-Hariri students in Menieh - Tripoli, in presence of Future Bloc Deputies, Qassem Abdul Aziz and Kazem Al-Khayr, Fatfat interpreted Mikati's total silence over recurring Syrian violations to the fact that he lacked all independence vis-a-vis the Syrians and Lebanese allies. He foresaw Mikati caving in, to pressure by Hizbullah Chief Hasan Nasrallah.

Among other things, Fatfat rejected any Value Added Tax (VAT) hikes since in his words there were no such hikes since 10 years so why resort to VAT raises now, he exclaimed.

Also taking the word, Future bloc MP Abdul Aziz, interpreted Prime minister Mikati's willingness to settle STL dues as a strictly personnel position of his. He indicated that the final decision rests with the government as a whole.

Another pro-Hariri Deputy, Qazem Al-Khayr, spoke about deep contradictions within the Mikati cabinet saying these were differences between members of a supposedly unilateral line cabinet. He concluded that contradictions marring the Mikati cabinet prevented it from taking any meaningful decision.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aridi critical of appointments
 

Sun 16/10/2011 14:15

NNA - 16/10/2011 - Minister of Public Works and Transportation Ghazi Aridi lashed out at the government and politicians for their miss-handling of the issue of appointments to key-administrative positions.

Speaking before a number of Shouf Municipal heads, and senior government officials, Aridi sarcastically described politicians as geniuses who regard themselves as God's only gift to the world.

While listing his merits in the Shouf Mountain, the Minister accused them of nepotism and lusting politically by choosing their own henchmen and exclaimed that this is no good way to run a state.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Houry: Cabinet lost its prestige
 

Sun 16/10/2011 13:54

NNA - 16/10/2011 MP Ammar Houry said Mikati's cabinet has lost its cachet in the presence of a stronger power, alluding to Hezbollah, during an interview Sunday to Sharq radio station.

The main divide in Lebanon between March 8 and 14 camps these days centered on whether the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) should be funded or not. Although UN resolution 1757 concluded said matter, new debate from Hezbollah and supporters has resurfaced recently during the reign of PM Najib Mikati. With Hezbollah ferociously defending 4 of its members accused by STL of assassinating PM Rafik Hariri in 2005, the issue of funding was now more uncertain than ever.

"The government's prestige has vanished, and there are weapons [in Lebanon] far stronger than that of the state," said Future Bloc Member Houry.

Saad Hariri's cabinet agreed to fund STL in its ministerial statement. When Mikati was voted PM he promised to "respect" the STL rather than "commit" to it.

"He said that respect was stronger than commitment," explained Houry.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rival pro and anti-Asad demonstrations
 

Sun 16/10/2011 13:12

NNA - 16/10/2011 - Two rival groups of Syrians separated by Lebanese army and security personnel staged sit-ins and demonstrations before the Syrian Embassy in Hamra. One group of Kurdish workers chanted anti-Asad slogans in memory of the Kurdish Leader Tummo slain in Qameshly last week.

The second group of Syrian expats raised banners and Asad pictures.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qassem: Majority vote chooses cabinet's path
 

Sun 16/10/2011 12:47 NNA - 16/10/2011 Deputy Secretary General of Hezbollah Naiim Qassem revealed Sunday that what cannot be agreed upon in cabinet will be decided by voting, during a graduation ceremony in Bekaa.

March 8 camp, comprising of some major political players such as Hezbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement, has vehemently objected to funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, citing bias and budgetary deficit as some of the reasons behind said rejection. The STL probing 2005 assassination of PM Rafik Hariri named four members of Hezbollah as culprits in the murder.

"We agree to discuss everything freely within cabinet," said Sheikh Qassem, "if we do not reach consensus, then we vote, and the majority chooses the direction of things and others have to abide."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserve

 


 

Politics - Minister Nahhas: No to STL-funding, Yes to Wage- Hikes
 

Sun 16/10/2011 12:23

NNA - 16/10/2011 - Minister of Labor, Charbel Nahhas, reiterated commitment to the Aounist position over withholding of government funding of dues to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

Interviewed on Voice of Lebanon radio station today, the minister favored adjoining transport fees and basic monthly salaries. Nahhas also favored comprehensive hospitalization coverage for the workforce. He reiterated that while he remained opposed in principle to wage-rectification, he tended to empathize with business magnates who regard wage hikes detrimental to their interests. Nahhas disclosed that business bosses intend vetoing wage rectification before the Consultative Council but still, he was in the process of formulating a draft law as decided by the cabinet.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour heads to Cairo in support of Assad
 

Sun 16/10/2011 11:36

NNA - 16/10/2011 Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour stated Lebanon's unequivocal solidarity with Syria's ruling regime as he left to Egypt Sunday to partake in meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers.

Arab League headquarters in Cairo is scheduled to host the meeting upon invitation from Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to discuss Syrian situation after 8 months of predominantly peaceful public uprising demanding the end of Baathist rule of the Assad family, which has thus far been met by bloody crackdown aimed at crushing the revolt.

"Our position will not be derailed from Syria's side...We hope there will be Arab consensus on higher interest of Syria and the entire region," said Mansour.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khalil refuses funding politicized tribunal
 

Sun 16/10/2011 10:48

NNA - 16/10/2011 MP Youssef Khalil declines governmental financing of Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) on the basis of bias and politicization, in a radio interview Sunday with Free Lebanon.

The Free Patriotic Movement, a close ally in March 8 Camp to Hezbollah, has objected to the STL even before its inception. The tribunal aimed at bringing to justice killers of PM Rafik Hariri, who was assassinated in 2005. 4 Hezbollah members were charged as culprits in the attack.

"We will not allow Lebanon to remain under political or economical threat, that is why we cannot succumb to either fund the tribunal or suffer international sanctions," said Khalil. He suggested the President and PM ask other countries to pay Lebanon's share in the STL.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel bound for Paris
 

Sun 16/10/2011 10:29

NNA - 16/10/2011 Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel left to France Sunday on an official visit to partake in Salon Milipol, a step which he deemed vital in cementing Lebanese-French ties.

Salon Milopol held from October 18 till the 21 is a police exhibition which promotes security technology and equipment. It is open to professionals in the field of security, including manufacturers, end-users, buyers and exhibitors of all nationalities.

Charbel is scheduled to meet his French counterpart Claude Gueant. "This visit...aims at exchanging expertise and discovering modern methods adopted in security," said the Minister.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun: We fought in defense of sovereignty, independence and liberties
 

Sat 15/10/2011 23:41

NNA - 15/10/2011 - Free Patriotic Trend-Aley Chapter marked Saturday "October 13th" commemoration at the Conferences Hall in Dbayeh, under the auspices of "Reform and Change" Parliamentary Bloc Head, General Michel Aoun. A number of prominent political, social and religious dignitaries attended the event.
In a word before attendees, Aoun recalled the past years of fighting in defense of Lebanon's sovereignty, independence and liberties. He recalled herein the memories that carry honor and bravery, and also pain.
Aoun considered that no official can perform all prerogatives according to the law while trespassing the law at the same time! He hailed the campaign by the Free Patriotic Trend against corruption that has become part of the Lebanese State, he noted.
Aoun called on all Trend members to act in accordance with national unity and remain in solidarity at the social and moral aspects, harboring respect for the law at all junctures.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved l


Politics - Meqati holds a dinner banquet in honor of Irish President
 

Sat 15/10/2011 23:19

NNA - 15/10/2011 - Prime Minister, Najib Meqati, met Saturday evening at the Grand Serail with Irish President, Mary Mac-Aleese, who is currently on an official visit to Lebanon. Also attending the meeting was Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Adnan Mansour, and Senator Martin Mac-Aleese, spouse of the Irish President.
Premier Meqati stressed during the encountner that Lebanon is honored for being one of the founders of the United Nations and hence, is committed to all international resolutions especially Decision #1701. He added that he shall spare no effort for the sake of boosting the Lebanese armed forces, rendering them capable of replacing the UNIFIL peace-keeping forces currently operating in South Lebanon.
Meqati expressed Lebanon's appreciation for the role and efforts exerted by Ireland through its contribution to the UNIFIl peacekeeping forces in the South, hailing herein the souls of all Irish martyrs who fell on Lebanon's soil. Meqati stressed Lebanon's appreciation of Ireland's role in convincing the international community in endorsing the agreement banning use of cluster bombs.
Furthermore, Meqati hailed the positive attributes of the Irish people and the points of resemblance that they share with the Lebanese, especially the globalization aspect. He noted herein that both the Lebanese and Irish people are amongst the most citizens widely-spread all over the world. He added that they are both people of humor and kind nature, enjoying the spirit of initiative and trustworthiness, as well as many other mutual attributes.
In turn, the Irish President valued Lebanon's commitment to boosting ties with the European Union. She also praised the rise of Lebanon after the difficult circumstances it had undergone and its reconstruction phase. She hailed the Lebanese people for their courage and spirit of initiative and ability to overcome the hard times.
President Mac-Aleese also hoped for widened mutual cooperation between both countries through determined initiatives that would reflect positively on both Lebanon and Ireland at the economic and social levels.
It is to note that PM Meqati held a dinner banquet in honor of the Irish President and her husband and members of her accompanying delegation.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel meets with Arab League Secretary General
 

Sat 15/10/2011 22:45

NNA - 15/10/2011 - Lebanese Kataeb Party Head, President Amine Gemayel, began his visit to the Egyptian Capital, Cairo, Saturday by meeting with Arab League Secretary General, Dr. Nabil Al-Arabi.
In a statement by Gemayel's media bureau, it indicated that discussions during the meeting touched on four main issues, namely the general situation in the Arab world; progress of change in Egypt and the painful incidents that coupled with it; the role of the Arab League during this period; the Lebanese situation and the expected visit by Al-Arabi to Beirut.
The statement described the encounter as very positive with respect to the exchange of views between both men. It also indicated that Gemayel suggested the need for placing a framework for the future of Arab revolutions related to constants and values of the regimes that would arise in the wake of said revolutions.
Gemayel and Al-Arabi discussed the framework of laws that would lay the foundation of a new Arab regime that is based on democracy and engulfing of minorities and Arab society constituents in each state till the situation is totally settled and the Arab world can enjoy the internal stability that is aspired for.
R.Sh.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - De Freij: The government has two different economic visions
 

Sat 15/10/2011 22:20

NNA - 15/10/2011 - MP Nabil de Freij stated Saturday that he is against the principle of salary increase in the country on condition of a studied indication of high cost of living, while providing facilitations for institutions on the other hand.
De Freij went on to indicate that Minister Nahhas wishes for everything to be in the State's possession, like the electricity and tele-communications sectors, at a time when efforts are being exerted to create an investment atmosphere in the country. He added that such an investment atmosphere would be of great benefit to the State.
De Freij also considered that the best way to control prices in the country is through competition between companies for the sake of providing the best services and quality, and creating wide job opportunities.
De Freij questioned how the current government can continue in a normal manner in presence of two different economic visions within its structure. He denied herein the possibility of any common denominator that unites between both contradictory visions.
De Freij's words came during an interview to Radio "Voice of Lebanon" Saturday.
R.Sh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nahhas: No going back on salary increase decision
 

Sat 15/10/2011 21:27

NNA - 15/10/2011 - Economy Minister, Ncoula Nahhas, called for withdrawing the issue of the International Tribunal from political media discussion. He also confirmed that funding for the Tribunal shall be included in the annual budget, stressing that Lebanon cannot remain isolated from the world!
Nahhas went on to stress that there shall be no going back on the Council of Ministers' adopted decision to increase salaries. He indicated herein that the State is the one to specify the ceiling of salaries following its study of the matter with laborers and business owners. Nahhas continued to indicate that this step in increasing salaries comes as a first move to be followed by other steps within a comprehensive economic plan by the government in balance with the annual budget so as to encourage economic growth.
Nahhas also promised that monitoring of prices shall be more effective in the coming period. He disclosed herein that the Economy Ministry shall work in cooperation with the security apparatuses to activate control of prices.
Nahhas was speaking in an interview to Radio "Voice of Lebanon" Saturday.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sfeir: The incidents we are witnessing are reassuring to no one
 

Sat 15/10/2011 19:40

NNA - 15/10/2011 - In an open dialogue with journalists, Cardinal Nasrallah Butros Sfeir considered that Christians in Lebanon and the East have the Lord to protect them, preserve them and preserve all others along with them. He added that there ought not to be fear regarding what is going on in the region since the Lord is the protector of all; however, he considered the incidents taking place at the current phase as being reassuring to no one. Hence, he stressed that all ought to come together in unison so as to overcome the crisis.
Moreover, Sfeir went on to indicate that despite all that is occurring in the region, Lebanon remains in better conditions than the surrounding countries. He added that Lebanon remains a peaceful place in spite of some disputes here and there.
Sfeir expressed hope that Lebanese expatriates would remain attached to their mother nation and towns and villages. He hoped that they would continue to boost cooperation with their families in Lebanon in various areas, so as to preserve their heritage and existence in the region.
Sfeir's words to journalists came within his visit to the town of Mezyara Saturday and his meeting with the town's citizens who gathered to warmly welcome him in their town. Mezyara Parish Head, Father George Wehbeh, gave a luncheon banquet in honor of Cardinal Sfeir, which was attended by Bishops Boulos Emile Saadeh and George Abou Jaoudeh and various town's dignitaries.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Shehayeb: We implore Syrian Ambassador to halt targeting security apparatuses
 

Sat 15/10/2011 19:08

NNA - 15/10/2011 - Member of the National Struggle Front, MP Akram Shehayeb, commented Saturday on Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdel-Karim Ali's statement following his encounter with Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Adnan Mansour, yesterday regarding the case of the missing Shibli El-Aisamy. Shehayeb indicated that the case of El-Aisamy is now in the hands of Lebanese military courts, which leaves no right to the Syrian Ambassador to give any statement regarding this case nor become a side by addressing criticism to Lebanese security apparatuses.
Shehayeb went on to stress that it is unacceptable for any side, be it political or diplomatic, to interfere in a case that has become in the hands of the concerned judiciary, especially if it where a security issue par excellence!
Shehayeb, in his capacity as a deputy of a region where El-Aisamy was kidnapped from in broad daylight, highly appreciated the manner in which Internal Security Director General, Ashraf Reefy, has approached said case with utmost responsibility before the Parliamentary Human Rights Committee especially that this is a security and human rights matter, he noted. He added that it is high time things were set right and an end was put to all interferences in the nation's affairs.
Shehayeb concluded by calling on the Syrian Ambassador to exert efforts for unveiling the fate of a Syrian "extraordinary" citizen, who has a long history of national struggle and sacrifice. He also urged him to halt all criticism directed to the Lebanese security apparatuses and limit his diplomatic approach to the concerned official sides.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt receives popular delegations in Mukhtara
 

Sat 15/10/2011 18:29

NNA - 15/10/2011 - National Struggle Front Head, MP Walid Jumblatt, met Saturday with a number of popular delegations who visited him at his Mokhtara Palace, raising various daily living demands. Delegations came from the towns of Ibil Saqi, Fardis, Mimes, Khalwat Hasbaya, Btater, Barouk, Daraya and Shehim.
Archbishop Nabil Wakim also visited Jumblatt accompanied by a delegation, whereby they extended to him an invitation to attend a church mass headed by Bishop Elie Bshara Haddad at Banouti Church on November 6th, 2011. Greek Catholic Melkite Bishopric Secretary, Father Sleiman Wehbeh, also called on MP Jumblatt today.
Partaking in Al-Mukhtara meetings with visiting delegations Saturday were: Minister Alaeddine Terro, Deputies Nehme Tohme and Akram Shehayeb, and MP Jumblatt's son, Teymour.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


Politics - Ain Teeneh itinerants and Highlights today
 

Sat 15/10/2011 17:24

NNA - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, reviewed illegal billboard-advertising and was briefed over steps the syndicate is jointly taking with various ministries including the interior ministry by head of the Union of Owners of Media Billboard firms, Antonio Vincenti.

Vincenti reiterated to Speaker Berri syndicate's position regarding the removal and listing of unlicensed advertising billboards to ensure sound sustainable firm functioning

Berri also met with Special Sudanese presidential aide, Nafe' Ali Nafe' in presence of Ambassador Idris Sleiman. Discussions reportedly focused on bilateral relations and developments on the domestic and regional scenes. It is to note that the Sudanese official conveyed an undisclosed letter to the Speaker.
G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Syrian Youth to Aoun with satisfaction
 

Sat 15/10/2011 17:06

NNA - Deputy of the House, General Michel Aoun met today at his Rabieh residence with a visiting Syrian Youth Delegation coming to thank Lebanese politicians deemed supportive of the regime.

The Deputy informed them that "he's been following up events in Syria closely and remains confident of its eventual triumph with Assad's regime becoming stronger than ever."

Aoun distinguished between Israeli oppression against Palestinians and the need to carry out bloodless non- violent reforms in Syria.

He reiterated that with "Every experience gained by the people, they become immune for living in peace. Presidents (in reference to Assad) duly become more powerful fortified by their army and people." Aoun concluded.
R.K./G.G.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Minister Daouk's ash-Sharq Interview
 

Sat 15/10/2011 16:52

NNA - 15/10/ 2011 Assessing the performance of Mikati-led cabinet, Information minister Walid Daouk told ash-Sharq/Orient radio station that the coalition government functions as a single coherent team with trust governing relations between various ministerial portfolio members.

On the P.M.'s actual standing, he added that Mikati works tirelessly for bolstering stability and unity of the Lebanese as prime postulates of his.

With reference to Hezbollah's arms, the minister alluded to the power of weapons or weapons of power out of a sheer logic meaning that it must remain pointed in the direction of the enemy.

The minister reiterated Lebanese government honoring of international resolutions considering the fact that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon {STL} would proceed with or without the will of the government.

He stressed strict government non-intervention in Syrian affairs saying the Syrian government reciprocates by not intervening in our domestic affairs.

Minister Daouk however acknowledged the existence of hurdles barring appointments to key administrative and official posts but, denied clashes taking place between allies over this issue.

He categorized the media as a potent power-house that reflect positions of various politicians.

The minister also pledged to render ministry workers full-time employees while restoring their full rights and privileges due to them.

G,G./R.K

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Politics - Harb criticizing Syrian Ambassador's meddling
 

Sat 15/10/2011 15:21

NNA - 15/10/2011 - March 14 Deputy of the House, Boutros Harb, criticized Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, for meddling into Lebanese domestic politics.

Harb and, in a press release Saturday regarded Ambassador Ali's statement tantamount to slandering of Lebanese officials who dared to criticize Syrian violations of Lebanese borders and demanded holding the ambassador accountable for his utterances.

Harb asked the Lebanese authorities concerned to issue ambassador Ali with an ultimatum for side-stepping international diplomatic protocols and conventions.

Harb also demanded that House Defense Commission sounds Internal Security Chief Ashraf Rifi over Intelligence tips regarding Syrian kidnappings of dissidents seeking refuge in Lebanon.

G.G/R.K

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


Politics - Irish President Touring South
 

Sat 15/10/2011 14:32

NNA - 15/10/2011 Visiting Irish president Mary McAleese, flew on board a UNIFIL helicopter into the Irish contingent base dubbed the Scorpion of Tibneen South Lebanon. Having inspected the base, she commended Irish peace-keepers for their sacrifices and fortitude. She also well-wished the Lebanese the best of luck and permanent peace they aspire for. The PM concluded that that Irish peace-keepers would do all they could to ensure a bright and prosperous future for Lebanon.

She planted a cedar ling tree as a token of appreciation in presence of UNIFIL commander Alberto Assarta and top Irish brass serving with the international peace-keeping force.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


News from 4 October 2011 till 15 October 2011