Politics - Geagea not seeing eye-to-eye with Zasypkin at Me'rab
 

Tue 8/11/2011 16:49
NNA - 08/11/2011 - Commander of Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, failed to see eye-to-eye with visiting Russian Ambassador, Alexander Zasypkin during his visit to Me'rab today.

Geagea urged Lebanese President Michel Suleiman and PM Najib Mikati to intervene in order to prevent the kidnapping of Syrian oppositionists seeking refuge in Lebanon, Russian Ambassador Zasypkin, predicated a successful outcome of the Arab initiative on positive response by the Syrian opposition.

Geagea indicated that the fate of the Syrians seeking refuge in Lebanon is deteriorating by the day and that this was unacceptable and damaging to Lebanese image abroad.

He added that Lebanese and Syrians feel insecure in view of recent abductions. Geagea even accused certain Lebanese security agencies of complicity in the kidnappings.
He said Syrian refugees were lured by the authorities and then sent back to Syria.

Geagea concluded on a call on the Mikati government to resign and challenged the government to do something about pro-Syrian-Palestinian organizations outside the refugee camps.

G.G/R.K

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk convenes with Aoun
 

Tue 8/11/2011 14:07

NNA - 08/11/2011 MP Michel Aoun met Tuesday at his Rabieh residence with a number of high ranking visitors, among whom was Information Minister Walid Daouk.

Alexis le Cour Grand Maison, in charge of North Africa and the Middle East at the French Foreign Ministry, met with Aoun. Talks focused on developing events in the region and domestic issues, particularly Special Tribunal for Lebanon, and the country's international commitments.

Aoun also convened with Ambassador of Greece in a farewell visit.

Minister of Information Walid Daouk held an hour-long assembly with Aoun. "I was honored to meet General Aoun," said the Minister, "we discussed ways of improving electronic and printed media, as well as radio and television. We took the General's input and we will work on all these issues."

Daouk adamantly refused to compromise freedom of expression. "The only restrictions [on media] will be applied to any act that infringes on another person's freedom."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabbani criticizes Bassil's "vindictiveness"
 

Tue 8/11/2011 13:40

NNA - 08/11/2011 - Future Parliamentarian, Mohammad Qabbani, criticized Minister of Energy Gibran Bassil for sacking 18 electricity company employees calling it "sheer vindictiveness."

The MP and in public statement today, exclaimed as to how the Energy Minister gets at the electricity workforce by sacking those regarded politically opposed to him.

Qabbani regarded this as tantamount to Bassil's "gift" to the workers on Adha Day and vowed to take up the matter in their defense next week.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri receives call from Mikati
 

Tue 8/11/2011 13:38

NNA - 08/11/2011 House Speaker Nabih Berri received Tuesday a phone call from PM Najib Mikati, currently in London, congratulating him on Eid Adha.

The Premier also updated Berri with latest progress of his meetings with British officials.
R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Felicitations for Adha to Qabalan
 

Tue 8/11/2011 13:24

NNA - 08/11/2011 Vice President of the Higher Islamic Shiite Council Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan received a series of congratulatory calls for Adha Eid.

Topping the felicitators was President Michel Sleiman, President Amine Gemayel, Druze Sheikh Akl Naiim Hassan, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi, Mufti of the Republic Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, and a host of deputies.
R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahra: Opposition supports Syrians from humanitarian standpoint
 

Tue 8/11/2011 13:03

NNA - 08/11/2011 MP Antoine Zahra said Tuesday to Future News TV that Assad is completely clueless to the happenings of his country, and insisted that the only backing Lebanese opposition gives to the Syrian people is moral support.

The people's uprising in Syria, which began some eight months ago, was met with controversy in Lebanon. Loyalists yelled 'conspiracy' as they shored up the Baathist regime of President Bashar Assad; while Lebanese opposition sympathized with the call of the Syrian people for democracy.

"Assad appeared on TV smiling and hailing the crowds. He is oblivious like all tyrants to what is going on around him," said the Lebanese Forces MP. He adamantly denied accusations that the opposition was supplying Syrians with arms and money. "We simply empathize with them."

Zahra blamed the cabinet of either turning a blind eye to abduction of Syrian nationals on Lebanese territories or actually participating in these kidnappings. "Speaker Berri promised to hold a session mid November to assess the accountability of the cabinet in matters of human-rights violations." He went on to say that the stability of the neighboring country was in Lebanon's best interest. "A Christian does not fear...freedom and human rights." On that note, Zahra assured that LF's relations with the Maronite Patriarch were "excellent." Patriarch Rahi had voiced concern about the future of Christians in the East if Assad's regime got toppled.

In the divisive matter of funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), investigating the assassination of former Premier Rafik Hariri, the MP stated the issue was administrative routine and did not require a cabinet decree. "Voting on the funding is voting on the international legality of Lebanon."

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi; Fed up with Dissensions!
 

Tue 8/11/2011 12:29

NNA - 08/11/2011 - Maronite patriarch Beshara Rahi, expressed deep disgruntlement with the present state of affairs namely with dissensions marring Lebanese political life and body politic.

Rahi's expressed dismay came during visits by interlocutors at Bkirki today; visitors and well-wishers included a delegation of school pupils from the Antonine College/Khalidiyyeh, March 14 deputy of the House Boutros Harb, head of the Mariyamite monastic order Boulos Fahd and Sarkees Sarkees.

The patriarch told pupils that the future of the country hangs in the balance unless they take matters into their hands. He duly vested in them what he termed as "the future of the family and community." Rahi, also listed the merits of confessional diversity in Lebanese society saying "this adds to the beauty of the country". He urged school teachers to uphold high morality and principles as defined by Jesus Christ.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hobeish: If we win 2013 elections Berri will not be Speaker
 

Tue 8/11/2011 10:44

NNA - 08/11/2011 MP Hadi Hobeish said Tuesday that coup of current ruling party on former PM Saad Hariri changed rules of the democratic game, insisting that if March 14 won 2013 parliamentary elections they would not choose Berri for House Speaker.

Rival camps of March 8, comprising mainly of Hezbollah, Amal Movement and Aoun, and March 14 which includes Hariri's Future Movement, Lebanese Forces, and Kataeb among others, formed a cabinet of national unity under the premiership of Saad Hariri. However, March 8 affiliates turned on Hariri and collectively resigned, forcing him out of office. Shortly after, a new March 8 cabinet formed under Najib Mikati.

"They decided on that choice, and we are playing their democratic game," said Hobeish, "and unless Speaker Nabih Berri joins March 14 camp, we will not vote for him in 2013."
R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - A. Aoun: Cabinet to find best way to deal with STL
 

Tue 8/11/2011 10:31

NNA - 08/11/2011 MP Alain Aoun said Tuesday to Voice of Lebanon radio that the cabinet should find the best approach to deal with the funding of Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) in the coming few weeks.

STL is an international tribunal probing the assassination of PM Rafik Hariri in 2005.

"We either suffice with cabinet decisions, or take it up a notch by holding discussions with the United Nations on mechanisms to rectify work of the tribunal constitutionally, from a Lebanese perspective," said Aoun.
R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati, Cameron: Lebanon must honor international resolutions
 

Tue 8/11/2011 10:22

NNA - 08/11/2011 British Prime Minister David Cameron prompted Lebanon Monday to respect its international obligations, particularly the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), stressing UK's support for Lebanese dominion during PM Mikati's visit to London.

Premier Najib Mikati, currently on an official visit to the United Kingdom, convened Monday with his British counterpart, David Cameron. The latter stressed the importance of fully implementing U.N. Security Council resolution 1701. Said resolution was formulated to end July war of 2006, upon which Israel launched a massive assault on Lebanon following Hezbollah's kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. Two of the main constituents of 1701 were the withdrawal of Israeli occupation from all Lebanese territories, and the other demanded the disarmament of Hezbollah.

"Lebanon and the UK are partners," said the British PM, adding that Lebanon should abide by its commitments to the STL after the U.S. and France warned that bilateral ties with Lebanon would suffer if Mikati's cabinet failed to fund the tribunal.
Cameron insisted that his cabinet was in full support of "the sovereignty, stability and independence of Lebanon."

In his turn, Mikati maintained that Lebanon should uphold international resolutions, on top of which resolution 1701. He asserted that financing the STL would be discussed by the cabinet to take fitting measures. "We can't be selective in asking the international community, the Security Council and the U.N. to support the full implementation of 1701 in southern Lebanon and at the same time say that we don't want to implement another resolution," he said.

Talks between the two Prime Ministers extended to regional developments, particularly in Syria. "Lebanon should distance itself from the events in the neighboring country," said Mikati, who explained to Cameron how happenings in Syria spill into Lebanon. However, the British PM stressed that Lebanon has a major role to play in the Arab Spring in terms of putting Lebanese democratic experience into use across the Arab world.

Mikati highlighted Lebanese army's need for support both in training and equipment, and asked Britain's help in arming it.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi congratulates concerned officials on Adha Eid
 

Mon 7/11/2011 19:58

NNA - 7/11/2011 Maronite Patriarch Marbeshara Rahi phone called each of the Lebanese House Speaker Nabih Berri, Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Kabbani, vice head of the Islamic Shiite Supreme Council Sheikh Abdel Amir Kabalan, Druze Sheikh Akel Sheikh Naim Hassan, Alawite Mufti Sheikh Assad Assi, and passed on his good wishes on the occasion of Adha Eid.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - F. Karami: For a real non-politicized tribunal
 

Mon 7/11/2011 19:30


NNA - 7/11/2011 Youth and Sports Minister said Monday that "Lebanon is in need of a real tribunal, and not of a politicized one that targets civil peace and jeopardizes the country."

He then singled out in an interview with the Voice of Lebanon radio, the incidents that marred the course of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon; the false witnesses' issue along with that of the judge who accepted bribery.

"STL had to go through the legal process before beginning its work," he said, and assured that "the government shall succeed to achieve a compromise on the funding process so that Lebanon remunerates its share of costs."

At another level, Karami hoped Tripoli would be disassociated from local and regional quarrels especially that the situation in Syria brought tensions to the City.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Pieton: France pioneer in promoting justice
 

Mon 7/11/2011 19:08

NNA - 7/11/2011 French Ambassador said Monday that France was and will always be pioneer in promoting international penal justice.

During the "International Justice Fate" conference held today within the 18th Francophone Book Fair in Beirut, Ambassador Pieton went over the path of justice in Arab countries.
In that respect, Pieton conveyed France's displeasure regarding UN Security Council's failure to decide on Syrian matter due to "Russia and China hindrances."

The conference was held in participation of Belgium Ambassador, former Minister Salim Sayegh, representatives of Premier Mikati, MP Michel Aoun, Telecom Minister Nicolas Sehanoui and other concerned officials.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Yazbek for reform, resistance and Syrian dialogue
 

Mon 7/11/2011 17:22

NNA - 07/11/2011 - Special Khamena'i representative to Lebanon, cleric Mohammad Yazbek, favored the twining between reform and resistance. He also came out for dialogue between the regime in Damascus and oppositionists. The cleric's utterances came during the Adha Feast sermon at Imam Ali Mosque in Baalbek.

With respect to Lebanese domestic politics, Yazbek established an indivisible twinning between resistance and reform saying both go hand-in-hand, for there would be no reform without resistance and no resistance without reform.

He vowed to have hands of the corrupt and opportunists chopped off for corruption according to him, destroys while resistance and reform build sovereignty and independence of Lebanon. He exclaimed as to what premises the country should be built on and answered that only through sense of citizenship far from teaming up with the outside could we achieve a good homeland.

Yazbek criticized France and America for provoking unrest in Syria. He added that both super powers were responsible for bloodletting in Syria and that dialogue and reform must ultimately prevail in Syria.

The cleric concluded that reform and unity in the face of outside intervention only safeguard Syria.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jouzou/Jumblatt back to track?!
 

Mon 7/11/2011 14:35

NNA - 7/11/2011 - A PSP delegation headed by Salim Sayyed discussed with Sunni Mufti of Mount Lebanon Mohammad Ali Jouzou prospective restoration of rapports between the Druze and the Sunni cleric during their stop-over at Jouzou's Jiyyeh residence early today.

The PSP official reportedly conveyed to Jouzou Jumblatt's willingness to connect and cooperate to the benefit of the Shouf Mountain as a whole. Jouzou who reportedly reciprocated positively to Jumblatt's call said both must work together with Saad Hariri so that the three of them effectively face up to challenges ahead. Sayyed quoted Jouzou as saying that Hariri's contributions transcend and benefit all religious sects.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Baabda and the Eid
 

Mon 7/11/2011 13:51

NNA - 07/11/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, has been in contact with Arab and Muslim Heads of State where he offered Adha greetings to them. He is reported to have seized the occasion to deliberate with them over recent domestic and regional developments in Lebanon and the Arab world.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri lashes back at Hariri's tweets
 

Mon 7/11/2011 13:36

NNA - 07/11/2011 House Speaker Berri retaliated Monday to comments made by former PM Saad Hariri, stating that the younger politician should have focused on his hobbies and left politics alone.

Hariri said recently on his twitter page that these days he had more time to exercise his favorite hobbies, such as diving. On a political note, the former PM clearly stated that he had no intention to vote for Speaker Nabih Berri in upcoming House elections.

"The Lebanese have discovered a new hobby of the Sheikh's, which is politics," said disgruntled Berri, "he should have dove in the first and left the second alone."

On the occasion of Adha feast a large host of political, religious and social figures contacted Speaker Berri to felicitate him, including: President Michel Sleiman, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi, Mufti Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, Head of Kataeb Party Amine Gemayel, Head of Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea, Head of Change and Reform Bloc Michel Aoun, and Army Commander Jean Qahwaji.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati bound for London today
 

Mon 7/11/2011 13:23

NNA - 07/11/2011 - Lebanese Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, arrived in London on an official visit during which he is to see British counterpart David Cameron over regional and domestic developments with both men expected to explore venues for promoting bilateral relations.
Mikati is also expected to explore with officials prospective British financial military and technical aid.

Highlighting Mikati's discussions' agenda would be a prospective enhanced UNIFIL peace-keeping role in south Lebanon. Anticipating his meeting with his counterpart, the PM met earlier with British Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and senior official Tom Fletcher, with whom he discussed preparations for talks with the British Prime Minister.

Mikati briefed newsmen at the Airport about the situation in Lebanon describing it as being stable and under control. He told them that his government would be focusing on dealing with day-to-day problems.

Among other things, Mikati also reiterated Lebanese government commitment to International Resolutions including the funding of the STL. He expressed willingness to take into consideration views and standpoint of the opposition.

During his stay in London, Mikati met with a number of expatriated Lebanese politicians at the Embassy where he renewed commitment to honor all International Resolutions including the 1701. He however, predicated Lebanese stability on the continuity of the Damascus regime bringing to attention the bilateral cooperation protocols binding both countries. He opted for non-intervention in the affairs of neighboring countries.

The PM concluded that any radical changes on the Syrian scene might entail unforeseen risks for Lebanon and the Lebanese. He urged all Lebanese to remain focused on socio-economic files since in his words political outbidding is counterproductive.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabbani meets Caccia, cables Saudi King
 

Mon 7/11/2011 13:18

NNA - 07/11/2011 Mufti Qabbani met Monday Apostolic Nuncio Gabriele Caccia, Bkirky delegation, and sent a congratulatory letter to Saudi King.

Caccia visited Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani to felicitate him on Adha Eid. Qabbani expressed his desire for Muslims and Christians to co-exist and flourish side by side in Lebanon.

A delegation representing Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi also visited the Sunni Mufti on the Eid occasion. The Patriarch telephoned Qabbani and offered his warm congratulations on the Muslim feast.

Bishop Elias Audi and Head of Beirut Maronite Bishops Bolous Matar also contacted the Mufti.

In other news, Qabbani sent a congratulatory letter to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Saudi King Abdullah Bin Abed al Aziz, lauding him for recent appointments at defense ministry as well as appointing Prince Mohammad Bin Saad Bin Abed al Aziz as Vice Prince of Riyadh.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics (Corrected) - Qabalan calls for corruption-free state
 

Mon 7/11/2011 11:31

NNA - 07/11/2011 Jaafarite Mufti Sheikh Ahmad Qabalan advocated during his Eid Adha sermon for a state free of corruption that controls and sanctions everything, a state that can protect its people and defend its rights for oil and water.

The Mufti invited different political parties to put an end to conflict and engage in constructive dialogue, dubbing the situation as "too delicate" to avoid such a step.

"We want a state worthy of the sacrifices of Lebanese who defended their homeland through resistance," he said.

The Mufti also expressed his fear of the situation, noting that events in Syria construed a vicious plot aiming at the abolition of a regime that refused to submit to American and Israeli policies.

"We want the Syrian people to guard against the trap we call American democracy and our Arab brothers to side with Syria in the crisis," he concluded.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Helou: No legal justification for STL funding
 

Mon 7/11/2011 10:45

NNA - 07/11/2011 MP Michel Helou stated Monday that just because funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was agreed upon during national dialogue, that does not mean it has legal constitutional status.

Financing the STL, probing the assassination case of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri in 2005, received national consensus during dialogue among various political factions in the country. However, recently March 8 camp has crusaded against its funding, describing the tribunal as politicized and unconstitutional.

"We are not against justice," said the Aounist MP from Change and Reform Bloc, "but there are legal means decreed in the Lebanese constitution by means of which we can rectify the situation." Helou brought into question the legal standing of the entire tribunal.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Harb: Berri relaunches dialogue efforts because of domestic crisis
 

Mon 7/11/2011 10:30

NNA - 07/11/2011 MP Boutros Harb refused Monday to return to a national dialogue table before putting into execution what has been agreed upon in previous dialogue sessions, telling Voice of Lebanon, Voice of Freedom and Dignity radio station that the country is in crisis that's why Berri has re-launched efforts to hold a national dialogue.

Conflict between opposition and the ruling party has reached a boiling point in the country over two main topics, the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), probing the assassination of PM Rafik Hariri in 2005, and the defense strategy pertaining to the question of legality of the arms of Hezbollah. National dialogue table held previously asserted the financing of the STL and a further discussion of the defense strategy.

"But I think the parties involved are not ready to go back to the dialogue table," said Harb who wondered how a dialogue could succeed if some deny previous agreements over STL and refuse to discuss the defense strategy.

Concerning the drafting of a new electoral law, the MP said he was in favor of proportionality because it provided more representation for the different factions of Lebanese society. He suggested keeping the Caza electoral status as is, "Let the citizens elect a single member in the Caza" he said.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabalan calls for corruption-free state
 

Mon 7/11/2011 10:13

NNA - 07/11/2011 Vice President of the Higher Islamic Shiite Council Sheikh Ahmad Qabalan advocated during his Eid Adha sermon for a state free of corruption that controls and sanctions everything, a state that can protect its people and defend its rights for oil and water.

The Mufti invited different political parties to put an end to conflict and engage in constructive dialogue, dubbing the situation as "too delicate" to avoid such a step.

"We want a state worthy of the sacrifices of Lebanese who defended their homeland through resistance," he said.

The Mufti also expressed his fear of the situation, noting that events in Syria construed a vicious plot aiming at the abolition of a regime that refused to submit to American and Israeli policies.

"We want the Syrian people to guard against the trap we call American democracy and our Arab brothers to side with Syria in the crisis," he concluded.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sidon Mufti calls for dialogue, justice
 

Sun 6/11/2011 18:54

NNA - 6/11/2011 - Sidon Mufti Sheikh Salim Sousan on Sunday called politicians to engage in an objective dialogue and to put forth projects advantageous to the state and the citizens.

Speaking during his sermon upon Adha Day, Sheikh Sousan highlighted the necessity to handle all dossiers with equity and justice.

"States are built through the restructuring of the constitutional, governmental, legal, social, and administrative institutions herein, upon the basis of justice," he said.

He called upon officials to meet the aspirations of the people and to find solutions to crises and tribulations, namely to the economic hardship, to mitigate the suffering of the Lebanese.

He particularly urged Muslims to close ranks so as to fight and resist the Zionist enemy.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - N.Gemayel berates Syria, defies Hezbollah
 

Sun 6/11/2011 18:38

NNA - 6/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Nadim Gemayel on Sunday told MTV channel that March 14 camp was still under threat ever since 2005 and that Syria was accountable for all the political assassinations in Lebanon.

Demurring on the Syrian 'effect' in Lebanon, he regretted that Saint Joseph University (USJ) had become "an arena to hoist flags of Syria and Iran instead of Lebanon's."

Besides, he saw that NDU elections proved that March 14 camp reaped what he termed as "the Christian voice," deploring however the conduct of security and military forces towards disarmed students. He reckoned that the state was irked by democracy.

"We did not arm our youngsters, but at some point, if the situation was still heading to the worst, we must be ready; if the other camp ever thought of entering our regions, I defy them to survive [even] for four days," he struck.

In another development, Ashrafieh Deputy confirmed that Hezbollah indeed tried to install a telecoms network in Tarshish, although the party's allies gainsaid such allegations. But he vowed to personally intervene to halt any similar violation, if taking place in the future.

"The government is absent and the state relinquished all its rights (...) we want to stand by the President of the Republic, but we are still waiting for a crystal clear position from his part and from the government as well," he said.

On the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri, Gemayel avowed STL was en route to accomplishing its mission.

He reiterated that there was one and sole item on the national dialogue table, that is to say Hezbollah's weapons. "We want to know where and when these weapons would be retreated, for they are presently aimed towards our chests to disfigure Lebanon," he added.

As to northern borders demarcation, Kataeb Deputy said the state had best demand the United Nation to carry out this mission as per resolution 1680, in case it was unable to do so by itself. Nonetheless, he made clear that he refused the deployment of international forces along borders with Syria and that the Lebanese army alone must assume this task.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - A. Aoun: no compromise over financial corruption
 

Sun 6/11/2011 16:51

NNA - 06/11/2011 - Reform and Change Deputy of the House, Alain Aoun, reiterated his Trend's rejection of any compromise over the reality of financial corruption in the country.

In a clear reference to Siniora and other members of the Hariri bloc, he vowed that there would be no compromise over the reality of financial miss-conduct of certain oppositionists.

Interviewed on LBC talk show, "Have a happy Day", he underscored Aounist Trend's intention to honor and realize priorities agreed upon in the Trend's 2009 political platform.

He stressed Aounist Trend's commitment towards Lebanese people in quest of improving the all-out situation in the country by addressing, standing, social and day-to-day problems.

Aoun categorically denied major problems between Trend ministers and PM Mikati but acknowledged the presence of tactical variances with him over certain issues. He dismissed this, as pretty normal under democratic procedures.

The Deputy favored a compromise solution between business bosses and the work-force in such a way prone to preserve mutual interest of both social categories.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea's Eid Congratulatory Message
 

Sun 6/11/2011 14:07

N.N.A. Nov. 6,2011 Lebanese Forces' commander Sameer Geagea, extended Eid Adha greetings to the Muslims of Lebanon in a special message today.

Geagea's media office beseeched the Almighty One to usher in the way of fortitude, stability and prosperity for Muslims and other Lebanese such that all their wishes and aspirations be realized.

The congratulatory message well-wished all Arabs a flowering Spring with blossoming democracy and liberty amid many happy returns of the day.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabbani receives felicitation calls on Adha
 

Sun 6/11/2011 13:06

NNA - 06/11/2011 A host of political and religious figures contacted Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, to congratulate him on Adha feast.

The felicitators included Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who is currently abroad, Druze Sheikh Akl Naiim Hassan, and head of the Evangelical sect, Father Salim Sahyoun.
R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jouzou: Syrian liberty is our own!
 

Sun 6/11/2011 13:01

NNA - 06/11/2011 - Sunni Mufti of Mount Lebanon, Mohammad Ali Jouzou, stated that Syrian Liberty is our own. The senior cleric told his congregation of faithful at the Mosque of Al-Rahman Sheheem/Kharroub region, that freedom of the Syrian people equals exactly our own.

He brandished the banner of jihad in quest of self-liberation from oppression, treason and corruption. He alluded to Syrian Baathists without calling them by name, saying they sold out the lands of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine.

He saluted Arab peoples in revolt against tyrannical regimes. Jouzou also saluted the struggling Syrian people since the days the Umayyads as he said.

He proclaimed indivisible ties to the Syrian people saying Lebanese, Syrians and Arab are all fighting for a common goal.

The cleric condemned the killing of innocent civilians in Syria and concluded that God-willing the Syrian people would over throw their rulers as Libyans, Egyptians and Tunisians recently did.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk visits Hoss for Adha Feast
 

Sun 6/11/2011 12:52

NNA - 06/11/2011 Minister of Information Walid Daouk visited Sunday former Prime Minister Salim Hoss at his office in Beirut on the occasion of Adha feast.

Following the meeting, Minister Daouk said, "We always visit PM Hoss and consult with him, because he is the conscience of Lebanon."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hassan's Adha sermon: embrace culture of resistance
 

Sun 6/11/2011 12:40

NNA - 06/11/2011 Sheikh Akl of Druze sect Naiim Hassan held Sunday Adha sermon in Obaya where he wished domestic peace for Lebanon and better relations with Arab surrounding and international community, while maintaining the culture of resistance.

The Sheikh advised Lebanese politicians to solve pending issues of conflict for the sake of the state. He also warned Arab countries of falling into further bloodshed. "We hope that our brethren Arab countries move towards justice and security with the will of its people." Hassan hoped for dialogue to replace violence.

"Lebanon should continue its state of reconciliation with its history, heritage and Arab surrounding as well as international friends." Hassan stressed the preservation of resistance in face of the Israeli enemy's continuous attempts to dominate Lebanon's riches.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (corrected) - Rahi for Clinging to Christian Identity
 

Sun 6/11/2011 12:13

NNA - 06/11/2011 - Maronite patriarch Bshara Rahi wants to see Oriental Christians clinging to their religious identity no matter what!

The patriarch told his flock during Sunday service's sermon at Bkirki that they must adhere to their faith as a matter of actual Christian identity, and out of following the spirit and letter of the teachings of their Lord.

The Church head went on to say that, "Christ himself entrusted them with the particular mission of retaining their Christian identity and sense of belonging."

The underlying theme of his sermon was "the sanctifying and renewal of religious mandate of the Lithurgic annum 2011-2012."
G.G.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi for Clinging to Christian Identity
 

Sun 6/11/2011 12:06

NNA - 06/11/2011 Maronite patriarch Bshara Rahi wants to see Oriental Christians clinging to their religious identity no matter what!

The patriarch told his flock during Sunday service's sermon at Bkirki that they must adhere to their faith as a matter of actual Christian identity, and out of following the spirit and letter of the teachings of their Lord.

The Church head went on to say that, "Christ himself entrusted them with the particular mission of retaining their Christian identity and sense of belonging."

The underlying theme of his sermon was "the sanctifying and renewal of religious mandate of the ritual/theological annum 2011-2012"
G.G.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabbani advocates better international relations
 

Sun 6/11/2011 11:35

NNA - 06/11/2011 Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani said Sunday that Lebanon should develop its relations with the international community, as he vigorously refused any deal that would divide the region during his Adha feast sermon at Mohammad Amine Mosque in Down Town Beirut.

Adha feast or Festival of Sacrifice is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep to sacrifice instead.

"We will not allow a new Sykes-Picot agreement in the Arab region that serves Israel's interest," he said in reference to the 1916 secret deal that divided the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire outside the Arabian Peninsula into areas under British and French rule. "We should hold onto each other amid attempts to re-map the world particularly in our Arab region," Qabbani said. However, he refused to drag Lebanon into a squabble with the international community. "We as Lebanese should preserve our friendship with abroad and work on improving our ties with the international community," he asserted that the sole enemy was the Zionist entity which has seized the lands of Palestinians, Lebanese and other Arabs.

Concerning internal strife between March 8 and 14 forces, Qabbani said that the word "minority" should be dropped from public and national dialect and kept limited to parliamentary representation. "We are all majorities and there are no differences between us," the Mufti added.

"We should hold on to our nation � rebuff differences and walk hand in hand towards a tough and fair state in which the Lebanese race towards serving one another," he said.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hajjar: Situation now more dangerous than last January's coup
 

Sun 6/11/2011 11:05

NNA - 06/11/2011 Future Bloc MP Mohammad Hajjar warned Sunday that current socio-political circumstances in the country are far more hazardous than they were during toppling of Saad Hariri's cabinet last January, contending during Bloc's monthly meeting in Mount Lebanon that Mikati's administration is attempting the obliteration of the state.

Dispute between Future Bloc and PM Najib Mikati varies in reasons; however, main cause of disagreement focused on procrastination in announcing a clear statement concerning funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), probing the assassination of PM Rafik Hariri in 2005.

"Mikati is trying to say that artillery of Hezbollah can impose whatever it wants," the MP demanded Mikati abandon his gray stances and place funding article on Cabinet's agenda. In case the PM failed at that, Hajjar advised him to resign.

"We are facing a cabinet that is trying to obliterate the state," said Hajjar, "there are border violations, and no one does anything; there are attacks and kidnappings and no one says anything; and there is pressure on the justice system, especially in the case of Fayez Karam, and mum is the word!"

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Raad blows lid on West's evil agenda
 

Sun 6/11/2011 10:27

NNA - 06/11/2011 MP Mohammad Raad held Sunday that neocolonialism has been using the media for some time to hide its true agenda. Raad spoke during a book signing in Nabatiyeh.

"[The West's] previous experiences showed that it can perpetuate the exploitation of the resources of a population by falsifying the ugly truth behind its plans," he said.

MP Raad held that the West was riding the wave of Arab spring under the guise of supporting people's call for freedom and democracy. However, the truth was that the West was settling the score with a host of its agents in the region, whose tyranny they have supported for over three decades.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel: my statement on assassinations was misinterpreted
 

Sat 5/11/2011 21:57

NNA - 5/11/2011 Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel stressed the importance of closing of ranks on the internal scene, saying political divisions in the Country allow a "fifth column" to interfere by stimulating a minor dispute that might develop into a bigger crisis.
Minister Charbel elaborated that his recent statement he made in France on assassinations was misinterpreted, clarifying that he meant the necessity of avoiding internal political divisions in order to close the door before a "fifth column" from exploting them.
The Minister was speaking in an interview he accorded to Lebanese Forces TV Channel "LFTV".
In reply to a question about Syrian violations of Lebanese borders, Charbel underlined that the solution to this issue lies in border demarcation since Lebanese-Syrian borders are interpenetrated.
On the electoral law issue, Charbel described the new law as "simple" and feasible for implementation, disclosing that the project law will be finalized two years ahead of the electoral deadline. He also announced that he placed an uncomplicated balloting mechanism for Lebanese expatriates, notifying Foreign Ministry on its details.

---------------L.Y
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Naiim Hassan: We hope politicians meet around table of dialogue
 

Sat 5/11/2011 20:08

NNA - 5/11/2011 Druze Sheikh Akl Naiim Hassan hoped that Lebanese officials will put forth sacrifices for the sake of meeting around table of dialogue, and to find means of maintaining a tranquil situation in the Country.
Sheikh Hassan was speaking in his Eid message on the occasion of blessed Adha Feast.
Sheikh Hassan also called for resolving all standing disputes away from the language of treason, escalation and tension and finding means of maintaining cordial relations with our neighbors, Arab brethrens and friends in the region and the world. He also stressed that the resistance should exist as long as occupation of our lands persist.
Hassan also underlined the duty of the Lebanese State and its concerned apparatuses in preserving the country's order and security.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (Corrected) Deir al-Qamar meeting to sort things out between Odwan and Wahhab!
 

Sat 5/11/2011 17:31

NNA - 05/11/2011 - MP Odwan's residence in Deir el-Qamar witnessed a get-together between the Deputy and local representatives of the local Druze politician Wi'am Wahhab. PSP officials and Dori Chamoun of the National Liberal Party were also invited.

Elderly Druze clerics from Jahiliyeh and Kfarhim also played their part in the Adwan-Wahhad reconciliation attempt.

Conferees reportedly tried to sort things out between Odwan and Wahhab whose supporters fought with knives and sticks in the Shouf Mountain following a basketball match last summer.

Conferees reportedly agreed on defending peaceful coexistence between Wahhab and Adwan. They even threatened to punish whoever makes future mistakes.

Dori Chamoun for his part, urged all parties concerned to keep in touch with local dignitaries and clerics in order to block the way of any trouble maker and that he was ready to play the role of go-between.

Taking the word, local PSP official Radwan Nasr cautioned the wise among local leaders to act wisely such that ignorance and extremism would not lead to unforeseen problems.

Wahhab's representative, Amine Abou Diab, spoke about the merits of Druze and Christians. He went to the extent of saying that Maronite Christian presence in the mountain gives his party and sect ample protection.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Deir al-Qamar meeting to sort things out between Odwan and Wahhab!
 

Sat 5/11/2011 17:25

NNA - 05/11/2011 - MP Odwan's residence in Deir el-Qamar witnessed a get-together between the Deputy and local representatives of the local Druze politician Wi'am Wahhab. PSP officials and Dori Chamoun of the National Liberal Party were also invited.

Elderly Druze clerics from Jahiliyeh and Kfarhim also played their part in the Adwan-Wahhad reconciliation attempt.

Conferees reportedly tried to sort things out between Odwan and Wahhab whose supporters fought with knives and sticks in the Shouf Mountain following a basketball match last summer.

Conferees reportedly agreed on defending peaceful coexistence between Wahhab and Adwan. They even threatened to punish whoever makes future mistakes.

Dori Chamoun for his part, urged all parties concerned to keep in touch with local dignitaries and clerics in order to block the way of any trouble maker and that he was ready to play the role of go-between.

Taking the word, local PSP official Radwan Nasr cautioned the wise among local leaders to act wisely such that ignorance and extremism would not lead to unforeseen problems.

Wahhab's representative, Nassib Abou Diab, spoke about the merits of Druze and Christians. He went to the extent of saying that Maronite Christian presence in the mountain gives his party and sect ample protection.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aounist Trend refutes reports of Bassil-led security meeting
 

Sat 5/11/2011 16:03

NNA - 05/11/2011 - The Free Patriotic Movement's branch in Batroun responded to Lebanese Forces (LF) Deputy Zahra accusing him of fabricating news about Minister Bassil's meeting at Le Marin restaurant saying he never met with anyone on that date.

The Trend duly accused Zahra of dealing with Bassil in a militia-like mentality and that the LF MP served as an armed-militia man who aggressed civilians for long. He mentioned the equation of Aounist building and LF militia-men destroying.

The Trend hinted that a law-suit would be filed against all those striving to tarnish its reputation including Zahra.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Zahra's reaction to NDU incident
 

Sat 5/11/2011 15:48

NNA - 05/11/2011 - Commenting on the NDU incident, Lebanese forces' Deputy of the House Antoine Zahra said the incident reflects the present Lebanese balance of forces. He justified the LF position calling for 50% sectarian quotas in line with the Taef agreement.

Interviewed on al-Jadid New TV, the LF deputy said any meaningful national dialogue must begin from the precept of studying in-depth the immunization of the state. He added that it is impermissible for the Syrians to encroach on our land even if it is a matter of one meter.

He accused the Aounist Trend of arming itself and training its members in the Batroun area with the help of the Syrian Social National Party. The deputy regarded his statement about the Trend as a notification to the authorities concerned.

Zahra accused Iranians of striving to install electricity pylons in the Batroun area and that Energy Minister Bassil was their accomplice in this endeavor.

He rejected the notion of Deputy Hasan Fadlallah about Hariri's so-called security bloc in Qoreitem arguing that the whole of southern Beirut and Lebanon became one Hizbullah security bloc after 2006.

The Deputy ended on a note that LF and allies would work to topple a Mikati-led government bent on placing Lebanon on a collision course with the International Community by their refusal to fund the STL.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - A. Gemayel and the NDU incident
 

Sat 5/11/2011 14:52

NNA - 05/11/2011 - Kataeb Party Boss, Amine Gemayel, criticized what he termed as a "new law designed for punishing merry-making and celebration." He however, regarded the electoral outcome at NDU as a model for democracy and not just a triumph for the Kataeb Party rather than for March 14 as a whole.

Addressing a group of NDU students who visited him today, Gemayel spoke highly of the new generation of Kataeb youth and condemned the "new law" designed to punish any celebratory gesture. He vowed to carry on with the mission of a free and dignified Lebanon.

Gemayel traced back Kataeb experience far reaching to the student revolt in the 1990s dubbed as the Cedar Revolution and stressed that the Kataeb shall never henceforth bow to any beating.

He concluded that Lebanon of the Future shall be under the law and the constitution.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved








 

Politics - Baabda Eid greetings/Daouk's blue-print for reforming media
 

Sat 5/11/2011 13:45

NNA - 05/11/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, congratulated Lebanese Muslims and Arabs at the advent of al-Adha Feast of the Sacrifice. He well-wished them many happy returns of the Eid amid stability and prosperity for all. The President well-wished them also a consolidated national unity in the face of political storms gusting on the whole Middle Eastern region.

Also marking the event, Telecommunications' Minister, Nicolas Sahnaoui, handed the President an initial copy of stamp collection prior to marketing circulation. The stamp collection given by Sahnaoui to the President carried photos of four Lebanese Presidents with one stamp dedicated to Lebanon's joining of the UN Security Council with observer's status for the years 2010-2011.

Another stamp depicts President Sleiman and his Syrian counterpart while signing diplomatic relations protocol back in 2008. One stamp in the collection depicts the President at his summer retreat of Beiteddine.

Among Baabda itinerant visitors today has been Information Minister Walid Daouk who presented him with a blue-print for a reformed government run-media, the proportional electoral law and other items.

Raef Chweiri who came in next, briefed the President over projects designed to help the disabled and the old.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Terro for STL-funding
 

Sat 5/11/2011 13:07

NNA - 05/11/2011 Minster of the Displaced Ala-Eddeen Terro confirmed Saturday PSP Cabinet ministers voting in favour of STL-funding.

Terro, and in an interview on Voice of Lebanon radio station, indicated that STL-funding is non-negotiable and that Jumblatt maintains steady contacts with both president Sleiman and P.M. Miqati in order to secure the passage of a favourable vote. Terro indicated that a unanimous vote in favour averts further internal divisions within the Lebanese body-politic.

On Jumblatt's reports with Hizbullah, the minister underscored the PSP boss's autonomy vis-a-vis political groups including this one. He however stressed that Jumblatt agreed with Hizbullah about dealings taking place independently from the Syrian regime.

He regarded actual forwarding of the proportional electoral law as totally ill-timed and urged a speeded -up border-delineation with Syria.
G.G.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour, Harati discuss expatriate affairs in Brazil
 

Sat 5/11/2011 13:06

NNA - 05/11/2011 - Foreign and Expatriate Affairs' Minister, Adnan Mansour, discussed expatriate affairs with senior Brazilian Government Representatives to the Middle East, Siham Harati, who visited him early Saturday at his Villa Boustros office.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abi Ramya: Byblos the fortress of Aounists
 

Sat 5/11/2011 13:04


NNA - 05/11/2011 MP Simon Abi Ramya read the speech of Change and Reform Bloc Head Michel Aoun during an annual dinner for Byblos sector of the Aounist trend, during which he called the city the bastion of all Aounists, and mapped out the future plan of the Bloc.

"We are trying to build a country for humans and to change the way of thinking of Lebanese officials so that the citizen knows his value and rights," the MP said.

R.Z.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabalan plans not to receive felicitators for Adha
 

Sat 5/11/2011 12:45

NNA - 05/11/2011 Vice President of the Higher Islamic Shiite Council Abed al Amir Qabalan declined Saturday meeting with any felicitators on the occasion of Adha feast due to the harsh conditions the region was passing through.

Qabalan also noted that dialogue was the only means to solve pending political issues in the country. He highlighted that topics of disagreement faded in comparison to issues on which Lebanese concurred; hence, he was optimistic of the results of a possible national dialogue table.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Diab to Fatfat: "Away with polarizations!"
 

Sat 5/11/2011 11:59

NNA - 5/11/2011 - "Away with political polarizations when dealing with purely academic matters", Higher Education minister's info bureau exclaimed today. Minister Hassan Diab has been apparently responding to pro-Hariri parliamentarian Ahmad Fatfat's allegations about the Diab's resorting to tit-for-tat tactics in a bid to make political capital out of certain academic decisions of his. Diab's office reiterated the Education minister's impartiality away from political polarizations from which he is totally detached. The office underscored the minister's regrets for being misinterpreted on grounds of failure to cater to certain needs. He duly urged all politicians not to embroil his ministry in the labyrinth of Lebanese politics.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - N. Gemayel shames harsh security conduct against NDU students
 

Sat 5/11/2011 11:19

NNA - 05/11/2011 MP Nadim Gemayel was outraged Saturday by violent slam down against Lebanese Forces and Phalange Party students of Notre Dame University (NDU) yesterday while celebrating elections victory, describing it as a flashback to times of Syrian custodianship and oppressive reign of former President Emile Lahoud.

Once the results were announced at NDU in Zouk Mosbeh, the triumphant students took to the streets to celebrate, launching fireworks, which prompted army troops in charge of security in the university's vicinity to try to stop them. Verbal clashes and a stampede ensued, leaving several students injured. Media reports said the army called in major reinforcements to the area.

"What is their crime?" asked Gemayel, "were they firing rockets and RPGs because their leader made an appearance? Or were they plotting a kidnapping or the assassination of an Officer pilot in his helicopter? Or were they installing illegal private telecom networks? Or even burning tires demanding the release of convicted prisoners?"

Gemayel reminded the security forces that if it weren't for the sacrifices of these students, the army and other security apparatuses would have continued to live in the perpetual nightmare of the Syrian regime, and the second independence would have never been realized.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea: We won by our own strength, not that of others
 

Sat 5/11/2011 10:39

NNA - 5/11/2011 The commander of the Lebanese Forces (LF), Samir Geagea, said Saturday to a delegation of students from Notre Dame University - Louaize (NDU), that student elections reflect the state of society as a whole.

Students affiliated with March 14, particularly LF and Phalange Party, won students elections in NDU.

"We won on our own one hundred percent and not by force and the help of others; therefore, this victory is that of today, yesterday and tomorrow's victory is guaranteed," Geagea told his visitors.

He considered that the student elections mirrored the status of society, arguing that time after time Christians have proven their support for the State and not that of mini-statelets.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Meraabi: Mikati reaches out to murderers and punishes victims
 

Sat 5/11/2011 10:29

NNA - 05/11/MP Mouein Meraabi was outraged Saturday by PM Mikati's decision to halt all health coverage and hospitalization of Syrian refugees who fled to Lebanon after being wounded during recent uprising in Syria.

Syrian President Bashar Assad called on Prime Minister Najib Mikati, who is the president of the High Commission for Relief, to suspend immediately any health treatment and medication of injured displaced Syrian nationals on Lebanese territories.

"This goes against all international treaties, human rights and charter of the United Nations," the MP said.

Meraabi held that, "Moderation and centrism is not accomplished by reaching out to the assassin and punishing the victim."

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Patriarch postpones visit to Tripoli
 

Sat 5/11/2011 10:09

NNA - 05/11/2011 Maronite Patriarchy announced Saturday the delay of Patriarch's visit to the northern city of Tripoli.

Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi was scheduled to visit Tripoli on the 12 of November. However, upon the request of Mufti Malek Shaar, who is currently performing hajj (pilgrimage) in Mecca, the visit was postponed to an undeclared time.

It is to note that Rahi is still scheduled to visit Koura-North Lebanon on Nov. 13.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Raad: Israel suffers interior problems
 

Fri 4/11/2011 21:09

NNA - 04/11/2011 - Deputy Muhammad Raad, head of the Loyalty to Resistance Bloc, said Friday the Israeli enemy was suffering interior and economic problems and a state of unbalance in deciding its policies.

Raad explained Israel's menaces of setting war against Iran are not true as Israel is sustaining the worst times ever. Hence, any idiocy of launching a war will not enable Israel to hold its breath and preserve its presence, Raad concluded.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Britain welcomes Mikati's visit as opportunity to support Lebanon
 

Fri 4/11/2011 19:55

NNA - 04/11/2011 - British Foreign Ministry welcomed on Friday Prime Minister Najib Mikati's visit to the country, deeming Mikati's upcoming meeting with his British counterpart David Cameron as an opportunity to show out Britain's solidarity with Lebanon and support for Lebanese.
Interviewed by the United Press International, British Foreign Ministry spokesman Barry Marston evoked the Special Tribunal for Lebanon - probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes - , saying Britain was quite confident that the Lebanese officials would adopt the right decisions that would serve Lebanon's interest and international obligations.

Marston said Lebanese must be sure that Britain was always ready to support their country in this concern.
The United Kingdom would also brace Lebanon's sovereignty and stability, the banking sector and administrative reforms as well as the Lebanese military, Marston indicated.

He added that Cameron would discuss with Mikati the current situation in Syria and the necessity for the regime to halt aggression against its public.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea, Hobeish: Hezbollah arms hinder economy
 

Fri 4/11/2011 18:59


NNA - 04/11/2011 Lebanese Forces (LF) Head Samir Geagea stated during a meeting with MP Hady Hobeish that Lebanon is not likely to experience any prosperity in the presence of arms of Hezbollah and absence of security apparatuses.

Recently calls for a national dialogue started going around as House Speaker and March 8 affiliate Nabih Berri invited all political factions to discuss vital issues of conflict. To that, Geagea was adamant that the only topic that needed a national dialogue table was the artillery of Hezbollah, and unless the Resistance was ready to hold this talk, a national dialogue would be futile. He also refused any further discussion on the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), probing the 2005 assassination of PM Rafik Hariri. "This topic has been decided upon, and Lebanon has already paid several of the fees demanded of it to the STL."

"This random and sterile cabinet must resign," said the veteran politician, "who will compensate for the citizen now that prices went up without any wage hike approval?" Geagea was certain that with the continued presence of the threatening arms of Hezbollah, the economy would continue to suffer and so would the country's stability.

The revival of an armed Palestinian Organization named "Saiqa" or Thunderbolt, which played a hand in the Lebanese Civil War, alarmed the LF leader. "Where is the government? And where are security apparatuses...which are turning a blind eye to the smuggling of arms to Palestinian Organizations [in Lebanon] which are rebuilding their internal structure again without any control?" Geagea found irony in the fact that Palestinian President Mahmoud Aabass has repeatedly demanded the disarmament of Palestinian Organizations in Lebanon, while the Lebanese government was completely oblivion to the subject.

Similarly, Syrian violations of Lebanese sovereignty needed to be dealt with seriously by the government. "This cabinet is completely absent." Geagea was unfazed with reviving the threat of assassinations, which according to him was publicized by March 8.

In his turn, MP Hadi Hobeish commented to the press that abduction of Syrian nationals in Lebanon was a serious issue which should not be taken lightly. In February, three brothers from the Jasem family were kidnapped. One of them had been seen a few days earlier handing out flyers calling for reform in Syria, according to Human Rights Watch. Shortly after, the father and his wife went missing.

"This is a judicial and political scandal," said Hobeish, "had the Prime Minister been briefed of the abductions...he would not have said [they were isolated incidents]."

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Moussawi calls for investigation in LAU events
 

Fri 4/11/2011 17:27

NNA - 04/11/2011 MP Nawaf Moussawi called on Interior Minister to open an intensive investigation into attacks of Lebanese American University (LAU), accusing security forces of conspiring with March 14 affiliates against Hezbollah during annual dinner for the Party's education sector at Coral Beach Thursday.

A fight broke out Tuesday between partisans of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri's Future Movement and supporters of Speaker Nabih Berri's Amal Movement. LAU students said seven undergraduates were injured in the fight as chairs, trash cans, stones and other hard objects were being heaved at the university's upper gate.

"An investigation into the conduct of security forces linked to ISF must be carried out, particularly with information pointing to involvement of some of these forces in attack on students," Moussawi urged Lebanese army to protect the campus against the "armed mutiny of Qoreitem's government."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Time not encouraging for Hariri to return, says Fatfat
 

Fri 4/11/2011 16:55

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Ahmed Fatfat on Friday said current security and political conditions were not encouraging for former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to return to Lebanon.

Fatfat visited today Beirut Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi, with whom he reviewed an array of local and regional affairs.

On funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri, North Deputy said Lebanon needed the United Nations and international ties, noting that the UN contributed with nearly one billion dollars to the UNIFIL.

Asked about whether they [opposition] would take to the streets if Lebanon did not pay its share of STL funding, Fatfat said demonstration was a national and democratic right to be practiced at any time.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour follows up on Imam Sadr's affair
 

Fri 4/11/2011 16:13

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Director General of the Foreign Ministry, Haytham Jomaa, on Friday told Minister Adnan Mansour that Libya's National Transitional Council had taken up a series of measures as part of efforts to unearth truth behind the affair of vanished Imam Moussa Sadr.

The Lebanese state committee, including Jomaa, designated to follow up on Sadr's affair recently returned from Libya after talks with NTC officials.

Imam Sadr and his two comrades, Sheikh Mohammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine, went missing in 1978 in Libya, where they had been in a bid to end the Lebanese civil war.

Mansour avowed that the Ministry was keenly following up on this affair and that it was holding necessary contacts in preparation for his [Mansour] impending visit to Libya.

Separately, the Minister met today with Change and Reform bloc member, Farid Khazen, over most recent developments in Lebanon and the broader region.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hariri warns against attempts to circumvent Arab initiative
 

Fri 4/11/2011 16:00

NNA - 04/11/2011 - Press Office of Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri issued Friday the following statement: "Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri congratulated the Lebanese in general and the Muslims in particular on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, hoping that this occasion would be a good opportunity for all Lebanese parties to reflect on the situation the country is in, because of the attitude of those who use illegal weapons to intimidate others, and because of the attempts to forcefully anchor Lebanon to foreign axes in order to divide the Lebanese people. Such behavior may have a serious impact that threatens the unity of the state, entity and institutions.

Hariri called on all loyal citizens to unite their efforts to consolidate national unity and consecrate the state's sovereignty and power over all the Lebanese territories; a state that would respond to the aspirations of the Lebanese to preserve their free democratic system and the formula of coexistence among all Lebanese parties.

He underlined the importance of solidarity with the Arab peoples calling for freedom, particularly the Syrian people bravely confronting the military repression machine, and seeking to move into a free democratic system. He also warned against the attempts to circumvent the Arab initiative through devious methods which totally contradict the provisions of the initiative that calls for the end of the cycle of violence and of the killing of demonstrators. He also warned against evading the obligations to release the political detainees, under week pretexts that will not fool the Syrian people.

Hariri also congratulated the Libyan people on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha, praising the progress they achieved to get rid of the previous regime and their quest to establish a new phase that meets the ambitions and aspirations of all Libyans."

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved














 

Politics - Ibrahim meets French, Saudi ambassadors
 

Fri 4/11/2011 15:23

NNA - 04/11/2011 - General Security Chief, Brigadier Abbas Ibrahim, respectively met on Friday with French and Saudi Ambassadors to Lebanon, Denis Pietton and Ali Assiri, over the general situation in the country.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji discusses general situation with Zahraman, Hamdan
 

Fri 4/11/2011 15:22

NNA - 04/11/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, discussed the general situation respectively with MP Khaled Zahraman and Mourabitoun Head, retreated General Mostafa Hamdan.

The meeting was held on Friday at Kahwaji's office in Yarzeh.
P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

Politics - Qabalan hails agreement between Arab League, Syria
 

Fri 4/11/2011 15:21

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Vice Head of the Shiite Supreme Council, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, on Friday hailed an agreement reached over a plan put forth by the Arab League and accepted earlier this week by Syria to end Syrian crisis.

"This agreement is on the right track and shows good faith," he said, calling Syrian people to opt for dialogue to solve their problems.

He urged the Arab nation to cooperate to mitigate Syrian crisis as well as to endeavor for citizens' welfare.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 








 

Politics - US decision to cut off UNESCO funding earns Siniora's rebuke
 

Fri 4/11/2011 15:15

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Head of Future parliamentary bloc, MP Fouad Siniora, on Friday said the decision by the US and Israel to cut off their share in UNESCO funding dealt a blow to both Arab and world public opinion.

The US said last Monday it would cut off funding for the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, shortly after the group voted 107 to 14 to accept Palestine as a full member herein.
The cutoff deprives UNESCO of 22% of its funding.

Sidon Deputy saw that the US had best reconsider this decision as it flouts values claimed by the American people and constitutes a barefaced bias towards Israel.

"It is a clear message to the Palestinians that the US is against people's right to freedom and independence and that it is still unable to assume the honest mediator role," he said.

He called the Arab League, Arab and Islamic leaders, and friendly western states to collect amounts due on Israel and the US, in a step which he deemed as likely to foil US and Israeli pressures and intransigence.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved














 

Politics - Qortbawi meets French Ambassador, visits Palace of Justice
 

Fri 4/11/2011 14:18

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Justice Minister Shakib Qortbawi met Friday with the French Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton with whom he tackled affairs of common interest between Lebanon and France.

On another note, Minister Qortbawi had visited the Justice Palace in Baabda and toured on the pretrial detention rooms promising detainees to provide defense lawyers for them through the lawyers' syndicate.

The Minister's tour also included the general prosecution department whereby he went over the situation of prosecutors and employees.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved





 

Politics - Hashem: Anticipating to building internal peace movement
 

Fri 4/11/2011 13:44

NNA - 4/11/2011 MP Abbas Hashem urged Friday planning to build peace process on the internal level.

Following his meeting with Mufti of the Lebanese Republic Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Kabbani, Hashem addressed Lebanese people calling on them accept differences in others and reinforce inter-communication.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved




 

Politics - Rukn Abadi from Rabyeh: Iran holds documents which prove USA's support to terrorism in region
 

Fri 4/11/2011 13:30

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Change and Reform bloc Head, PM Michel Aoun, received at his Rabyeh residence Friday the Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Rukn Abadi, with whom he tackled local, regional and international developments.

The meeting was also an occasion to tackle cooperation between Iran and Lebanon.

Conferees discussed as well the allegations and accusations voiced by American and Zionistic officials against the Iranian republic.

Rukn Abadi said in this regard that the Iranian leader Ali Khamenei holds documents which prove that the USA is supporting terroristic operations executed in Iran and the region.

When asked about the cold war between Iran and the USA, Rukn Abadi affirmed that despite the economic sanctions imposed, his country managed to suffice itself, particularly in the field of technology.

As for the pressure exerted against Syria, the Ambassador confirmed that the American and Zionistic regimes are deploying huge efforts for diplomacy establishment in the region only for their personal interest.

"Their threats will be fruitless," he finally reassured.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi meets Arab Christian-Muslim dialogue group
 

Fri 4/11/2011 12:39

NNA - 4/11/2011 Maronite Patriarch Marbeshara Boutros Al-Rahi received Friday at Bkerki a delegation of the Arab Group for Muslim-Christian Dialogue.
Discussions touched on the group's activities and upcoming plans.

Rahi also met with Kataeb leader Amine Gemayel and tackled with him most recent developments on the local and regional scenes.

At another level, Rahi will be celebrating a Mass at 10:00 a.m. in Bkerki on the occasion of the Feast of sanctification and the beginning of the Liturgical year.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

 









 

Politics - Adwan accuses Cabinet of covering up assassination suspects
 

Fri 4/11/2011 11:40

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces Parliamentary bloc member deputy George Adwan lashed out at the Cabinet of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, arguing that any government which covers up for people accused of assassination is not qualified to discuss the international tribunal.

Adwan made these remarks during a dinner ceremony at Ede Sand in Byblos hosted by the president of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea and attended by deputies from March 14.

"Lebanon is an oasis of democracy in the Middle East and was the first to establish the principles of democracy and pluralism in the region and was haven for oppressed writers and intellectuals," the MP said.

He regretted that some people in Lebanon want to return Lebanon to the era of dictatorship amidst the Arab Spring.

The MP underlined the importance of Lebanon's responsibility in preserving the spirit and essence of Arab Spring.

"There are some people who want to return the clock backward and consider shutting down the electronic web sites which were the nerve news of the current revolutions," Adwan said, criticizing the National Media Council for attempting to silence some media outlets.

The MP also commented on the phenomenon of abduction of Syrian dissident figures in Lebanon, calling on authorities to end such practices.

Adwan was surprised by the manner in which the judicial authorities dealt with the issues related to democracy.

"Failing to punish the criminals will encourage them to continue their acts with complete impunity."

Adwan also blasted the government for procrastinating in discussing the tribunal funding.

"We are not engaging in the battle to finance the tribunal but rather to prevent crimes to go unpunished because it will encourage criminals to carry out more assassinations and crimes in Lebanon."

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khoury calls for reactivating dialogue
 

Fri 4/11/2011 11:15

NNA - 4/11/2011 Minister of Environment urged Friday reactivating dialogue amongst Lebanese parties, especially during prevailing severe schism.

Minister Khoury told Voice of Lebanon radio that dialogue has become needed to settle pending issues and hoped, in that respect, President Sleiman's endeavors would succeed.

Asked about the Special Tribunal for Lebanon issue, Khoury deemed consensus necessary herein for, "confronting international community will fall on all the Lebanese and not on a particular party," he said.

He hence refused to relate the 2012 Budget law draft to the issue of the STL.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 








 

Politics - Majdalani: Aoun and Hizbullah disrupt dialogue
 

Fri 4/11/2011 11:10

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Deputy Atef Majdalani accused "Change and Reform" bloc head Deputy Michel Aoun and "Hizbullah" of disrupting dialogue under the excuse of false witnesses file.

The MP stressed the necessity to continue dialogue from the point it stopped which means from Hizbullah's weapons.

Majdalani stressed on Friday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio that the Lebanese cabinet is committed to tribunal funding and in case it failed to fulfill its obligations then it would put Lebanon in confrontation with the international community and increases the debt, pointing out that "this current month is the deadline for funding".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved






 

Politics - Fatfat says Diab's decisions politicized
 

Fri 4/11/2011 10:58


NNA - 4/11/2011 MP Ahmad Fatfat expressed sorrow Friday on the educational decisions Minister Diab has been recently adopting.

In a statement he issued following his meeting with Higher Learning and Education Minister, Fatfat said it has become apparent that Minister Diab was hastily thrown, by his allies, in decisions unrelated to education.

"Such decisions are merely political and used for the settling of political scores," he said.

Fatfat called on Diab to disassociate politics from educational issues deeming it improper to realize personal interests on the account of teachers and students.

In his criticism, Fatfat was referring to the latest decisions Minister Diab adopted regarding appointments made in North Lebanon located schools.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved










 

Politics - Walid Khoury: Cabinet to decide Tribunal funding
 

Fri 4/11/2011 10:48

NNA - 4/11/2011 - Change and Reform bloc member Deputy Walid Khoury said that the cabinet is to decide tribunal funding issue regardless of the political parties' positions.

The MP pointed out that Change and Reform bloc and Hizbullah are democratic till the last drop.

Khoury refused on Friday to "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity radio to confirm if "funding would or would not happen", because it depends on the discussions that would take place in the cabinet.

Concerning the elections law, Khoury renewed the position of the bloc which "supports proportionality", hoping to reach Lebanese consensus concerning its adoption.

A.A.M

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Politics - Younan, Barzanji tackle the situation in Iraq
 

Thu 3/11/2011 21:33

NNA - 3/11/2011 Catholic Syriac Patriarch Mar Agnatius Youssef III Lahham met on Thursday at the Patriarchal seat in Mathaf, Beirut, with Iraqi Ambassador to Lebanon Omar Barzanji, where they tackled the general situation in Iraq, especially the present situation of Christians.
Iraqi Consul Amer Fatlawi and Catholic Syriac Church bishops were present during the meeting.
Barzanji thanked Younan for his visit to Iraq in the past two days along with Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi, where they partook in the first annual commemoration of Notre Dame Church massacre in Baghdad.
Barzanji stressed Iraqi government's relentless efforts in ensuring safety, peace and stability for all sectors of the Iraqi population especially for the Christians in Baghdad and Mosul.
-------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun: our opponents possess more funds than we do
 

Thu 3/11/2011 21:08

NNA - 3/11/2011 "Change and Reform" Bloc Head Michel Aoun said that the Bloc's opponents have more funds than they do, disclosing failed attempts to detach him from the Country's political life.
Deputy Aoun was speaking during the launching ceremony of "Card 0", where he disclosed futile endeavors by some to isolate him and undermine his role upon his return from Paris. In this framework, Aoun cited the great hindrances placed in the face of OTV Station's establishment. Aoun called for contributing to OTV Station and encouraging its shareholders.
"Our opponents possess more funds than we do... they attempted to isolate us but failed... They spent next one billion without managing to score success... Nothing prevents them from allocating 3 billion in year 2013", Aoun pointed out.
----------------L.Y

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Politics - Mikati meets with Cameron Monday
 

Thu 3/11/2011 19:12

NNA - 3/11/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati said that he will meet with British Prime Minister David Cameron upcoming Monday in London, to discuss the situation in the Middle East especially with respect to the Palestinian cause. Talks will also dwell on bilateral relations including British assistance to Lebanon, at the administrative, technical and military levels.
Interviewed on "BBC" TV Channel, Mikati stressed in reply to a question that the Lebanese government has adopted a neutral position regarding the situation in Syria. "We [the government] work in the aim of preserving our nation, people and land, and its civil peace", Mikati stressed, underlining the importance of sparing the Country at these difficult circumstances any matter that harms Lebanon's internal interests.
Mikati's interview on BBC Channel will be broadcasted at 7.30p.m. (Beirut local time).
On his position regarding Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), Mikati said that he will present this matter to constitutional institutions at the adequate time, uttering the necessity of full cooperation with international resolutions including #1757 related to STL establishment and its funding. "We have constitutional institutions in Lebanon... which we have to resort to", he noted.
In reply to a question whether he will present his resignation in the case of failure to fund STL, Mikati stressed that he only seeks to preserve Lebanon's stability and unity.
------------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji meets Kormachov and MPs
 

Thu 3/11/2011 18:32
NNA - 03/11/2011 - Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, met Thursday at his Yarzeh office with Russian Military Attache, Raphael Kormachov, with discussions touching on bilateral relations on the military level.

Afterwards, Kahwaji respectively met with MPs Farid Khazen and Youssef Khalil. Talks reportedly tackled the general situation.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora meets Australian Ambassador
 

Thu 3/11/2011 18:31

NNA - 3/11/2011 - Head of Future Parliamentary Bloc, MP Fouad Siniora, on Thursday met with Australian Ambassador to Lebanon, Alex Bartlem, with whom he discussed the situation at both domestic and regional scenes, in addition to the bilateral relations.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt's itinerant visitors today
 

Thu 3/11/2011 18:30

NNA - 03/11/2011 - PSP Leader MP Walid Jumblatt on Thursday met separately with Norwegian Ambassador to Lebanon, Sfein Asse, and Belgium Ambassador, Colette Taquet.

Discussions reportedly focused on the current developments.

Greek Ambassador to Lebanon, Panos Kalogeropoulos, has also been to Jumblatt's office, on a farewell visit.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Geagea: Best choice for government to resign
 

Thu 3/11/2011 17:38

NNA - 03/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea said it was better for the Mikati-led cabinet to resign as soon as possible, because its presence caused the country much catastrophe.

Interviewed by some journalists in Maarab on Thursday, Geagea said the Mikati-led cabinet did not constitute the strong factors that signalled its beneficial presence, especially on the security level with the Syrian breach of Lebanon's sovereignty.

Evoking the crisis in Syria, Geagea said the Syrian regime's accepting the Arab League's initiative was nothing but a political promotion practiced by said regime. According to him, this regime is never ready to withdraw its troops from across the streets of Damascus.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved






 

Politics - Aridi bound in Istanbul
 

Thu 3/11/2011 16:51

NNA - 3/11/2011 - Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Ghazi Aridi, on Thursday left Beirut heading to Istanbul, Turkey.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

Politics - Hezbollah weapons to be merely defensive, says Shehayeb
 

Thu 3/11/2011 16:49

NNA - 3/1/2011 - Member of Parliament Akram Shehayeb told Voice of Lebanon radio station on Thursday that [Southern] borders must be demarcated and that Hezbollah's weapons should be merely defensive.

He stressed that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon would be eventually funded and that Lebanon cannot shrug off its international commitments.

On the proposed electoral law, Mountain's Deputy said proportionality aimed at eliminating a segment of the Lebanese. "They had best lower the voting age and allow expatriates to cast ballots before venturing into an electoral law," he said.

Turning to Syria, PSP Deputy underlined "we have put a road map with the Syrian regime and we did not conciliate with the authority, yet with both the authority and people."

"We do not meddle into Syrian affairs, but we express our opinion in what is happening in Syria," he added.

He refused that Lebanon be, in any way whatsoever, a ground for any security action.

He saw that ISF Chief, Major General Ashraf Rifi, was a brave and responsible man.



R.A.H.-L.Y.R.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
















 

Politics - Charbel receives French Agency for Development senior, others
 

Thu 3/11/2011 15:52


NNA - 03/11/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister Merwan Charbel received on Thursday at his office the director of the French Agency for Development, Denise Casa, who informed the host of the agency's activities, notably those relevant to said ministry, like the administrative decentralization matter.

Amongst Charbel's visitors: Saudi Ambassador Ali Assiri; deputies Samir Jisr, Abdul Latif Zein, Ziad Qaderi and Stephan Dweihi; and the Chief of Fuel Stations Syndicate in Lebanon, Samy Brax.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Iran keen on uncovering Imam Sadr's whereabouts, says ambassador
 

Thu 3/11/2011 15:51

NNA - 3/11/2011 - Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, on Thursday avowed Iran was endeavoring to unearth the destiny of vanished Imam Moussa Sadr and his companions, who went missing in Libya in 1978.

The diplomat today visited House Speaker Nabih Berri in Ain-el-Tineh, for a meeting over most recent developments in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

Berri later met with Nazmi Ouji from the English Arab Organization.

On the other hand, the Speaker received congratulatory cables for Adha Day from his Kuwaiti and Jordanian counterparts, as well as from former Iraqi Prime Minister, and the Secretary General of the Arab Parliaments Union.


L.Y.R.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sabounjian, Armenian diplomat review ties
 

Thu 3/11/2011 15:45

NNA - 3/11/2011 - Minister of Industry, Vreij Sabounjian, and Armenian ambassador, Ashot Kosharian, on Thursday reviewed bilateral ties.

The pair also tackled the outcome of Sabounjian's visit to Armenia and the underway preparations for a cooperation agreement between both countries.

Talks touched as well on the necessity to encourage businessmen in both Lebanon and Armenia to exchange visits and set up joint projects.


L.Y.R.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qassem: resistance, reform are unseparated twins
 

Thu 3/11/2011 15:29

NNA - 03/11/2011 - Hizbullah senior Naim Qassem said the resistance and reforms are unseparated twins in Lebanon and his party would exert utmost efforts to achieve reforms much as it did on the resistance level.

Qassem's word came Thursday in the context of a graduation ceremony for "Afaq" Institute students at the Unesco Palace in Beirut.

Qassem said the warnings of sanctions to be imposed on Lebanon due to non-financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon - probing the assassination Martyr Rafic Hariri in 2005 - were fruitless for those posing these warnings.

After all, Qassem explained, Lebanon would not yield to international resolutions at the expense of its sovereignty and dignity.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman welcomes Arabs initiative towards Syria
 

Thu 3/11/2011 15:06

NNA - 03/11/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman welcomed the Arab League's initiative towards Syria, deeming it as blocking the way before any foreign interference against the country.

Sleiman considered on Thursday the Arab League to be resuming its vital role in solving the Arab problems within the one Arab house.

In another development, the President hailed the legislative session of yesterday Wednesday which ratified a number of law drafts, notably that pertaining to the return of Lebanese refugees in Israel to their homeland.

Lebanon is a country that upholds all its citizens, said the President reminding of his presidential oath in 2008.

As for his visitors, Sleiman received at Baabda Presidentail Palace the secretary general of the Lebanese Syrian Supreme Council, Nasri Khoury, and reviewed with him recent developments in Syria.

Amongst Baabda's visitors: Justice Minister Shakib Cortbawi; former Ministers Wadih Khazen and Salim Wardeh; and Beirut's Municipal head Bilal Hamad.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel meets Nigerian, Greek diplomats
 

Thu 3/11/2011 14:52


NNA - 3/11/2011 - Head of the Lebanese Kataeb Party, Amine Gemayel, on Thursday received the Nigerian ambassador to Lebanon at the Party's Central House in Saifi.

The diplomat came on a protocol visit, during which he tackled with the former President the current political situation in Lebanon.

Gemayel later met with Greek ambassador, Panos Kalogeropoulos, who came on a farewell visit upon the end of his diplomatic mission in Beirut.

The pair also dwelled on the current situation and the dangers jeopardizing the Mideast region.

Talks also touched on the current euro crisis jostling Europe and the endeavors Greece is undertaking to overcome this quandary.



R.A.H.

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Politics - French Socialist delegation visits Hezbollah
 

Thu 3/11/2011 14:45


NNA - 3/11/2011 - Hezbollah's top official Ammar Moussawi on Thursday received a delegation of the French Socialist Party, with whom he exchanged viewpoints regarding the current situation in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

Moussawi said there was an agreement over the necessity to find peaceful solutions based on dialogue to the Syrian crisis, denouncing as well foreign interference "as it only complicates matters."

"The West always acts as per double standards," he added, calling the Europeans to have a policy independent from the US towards Mideast affairs.

Moussawi later met with the Nigerian ambassador to Lebanon over bilateral ties and most recent developments on the local and regional arenas.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved











 

Politics - Qabalan receives delegation of Imam Sadr's case follow-up
 

Thu 3/11/2011 14:36


NNA - 03/11/2011 - Deputy Head of the Islamic Shiite Supreme Council, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, received on Thursday at the headquarters of said council the official delegation tasked with following up the case pertaining to the disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadr and his companions.

Later on he met with Amal Movement senior, Dr. Khalil Hamdan.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 





 

Politics - Osseiri hails Lebanese authorities' endeavors
 

Thu 3/11/2011 14:21

NNA - 3/11/2011 The Saudi Ambassador hailed Thursday Lebanese authorities and officials endeavors to handle previous offenses against Saudi citizens especially in Solidere.

During his meeting with the Interior Minister, Osseiri said such trespasses do not harmonize with Lebanese morals as they do not tell of the Lebanese-Saudi ties, a statement the Saudi embassy issued said.

Osseiri hoped efforts be continued to prevent any similar incident.


L.W.
 

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Politics - Khalil tackles Akkar hospital demands
 

Thu 3/11/2011 13:27

NNA - 3/11/2011 Health Minister took up Thursday the Akkar governmental Hospital needs of medical equipments and human medical resources, during his meeting with former Deputies Mekhayel Daher, Karim Rassi, Wajih Baarini.

Minister Khalil also engaged with his visitors in talks on the Akkar region health needs.



L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Wehbe: Syria's approval of Arab plan aims at gaining time
 

Thu 3/11/2011 10:59


NNA - 3/2/2011 MP Amine Wehbe said Thursday that Syria's approval of Arab plan to end security chaos is nothing but an attempt to gain time.

Future bloc member told Voice of Lebanon radio that a decision to cease fire would have been taken if ever the Syrian initiative were to be true.
The Syrian government has accepted several measures suggested by the Arab League aimed at halting the violence in the country, including the removal of tanks and armored vehicles from the streets, the Arab League said in a statement Wednesday.

Pertaining to yesterday's legislative session Wehbe prescribed the government as being unconscious for Finance Minister did not provide clear answers for proposed projects.

"Majority speeches were marked with leniency with collaborators and justification for Syrian oppression," he said.

The MP added that confronting Israel is not restricted with a sole military dimension.
Wehbe deemed other party's practices, planting schism in the society and demolishing constitution, to be in favor of Israel.



L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved











 

 

 


Politics - Karam: Lebanon not ready to adopt proportionality in elections
 

Thu 3/11/2011 10:53

NNA - 3/11/2011 - State Minister Salim karam stressed that he is against the adoption of proportionality in the coming parliamentary elections.

"There is difficulty in adopting proportionality since Lebanon is not ready yet for this", Karam told on Thursday Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity radio.

The minister pointed out that elections law program was the first article on the cabinet table, confirming that disagreements focused on quota, women's participation and sectarian affairs.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 


Politics - Khalil urges to adopt dialogue without preconditions
 

Thu 3/11/2011 10:38


NNA - 3/11/2011 - Deputy Anwar Khalil hoped in Thursday's statement that the political forces would adopt the whole project of national dialogue table without any preconditions.

The MP added that the rapid developments in the region force us as Lebanese to show more solidarity to guarantee stability and preserve civil peace.

The statement added that Lebanon should benefit from what is happening in the region and implement reform articles which were mentioned in Taef accord.

"It is impossible to freeze all reform articles due to a political decision", the MP stressed in his statement.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jarrah: It is known which regions off limit to state
 

Thu 3/11/2011 09:53

NNA - 3/11/2011 - "Future" bloc member Deputy Jammal Jarrah said it is known which regions off limit to the Lebanese authorities.

The MP's words came in response to Deputy Hasan Fadlallah's accusation when he described Qreitim as a security square.

Moreover, Jarrah stressed on Thursday to "Free Lebanon" radio the necessity to arrest (Wael Abbas) who planned to kidnap the seven Estonians, adding that "through investigations we could know who was behind this incident".

Concerning reviving the dialogue table, Jarrah said "dialogue is positive", adding that we cannot agree on issues on dialogue table without executing them.

On the other hand, the MP said the Arab League initiative came to halt violence in Syria which caused tens of martyrs, adding that "the Syrian regime admitted officially the existence of the opposition the moment they accepted the Arab initiative".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Jarrah: It is known which regions off limit to state
 

Thu 3/11/2011 09:53

NNA - 3/11/2011 - "Future" bloc member Deputy Jammal Jarrah said it is known which regions off limit to the Lebanese authorities.

The MP's words came in response to Deputy Hasan Fadlallah's accusation when he described Qreitim as a security square.

Moreover, Jarrah stressed on Thursday to "Free Lebanon" radio the necessity to arrest (Wael Abbas) who planned to kidnap the seven Estonians, adding that "through investigations we could know who was behind this incident".

Concerning reviving the dialogue table, Jarrah said "dialogue is positive", adding that we cannot agree on issues on dialogue table without executing them.

On the other hand, the MP said the Arab League initiative came to halt violence in Syria which caused tens of martyrs, adding that "the Syrian regime admitted officially the existence of the opposition the moment they accepted the Arab initiative".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fatfat: Credibility of dialogue is important
 

Thu 3/11/2011 09:49

NNA - 3/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Ahmed Fatfat told Voice of Lebanon that the credibility of the dialogue is very crucial, calling on all concerned parties which took part in the first dialogue to respect the earlier commitments such as the international tribunal, demarcating the Joint borders with Syria and withdrawal of weapons outside the Palestinian refugee camps as well as organize the weapons inside these camps.

"Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora is still awaiting the answers from the other party (March 8) concerning the previous decisions which were reached by national dialogue before responding to the invitation of Speaker of the House Nabih Berri to resume dialogue," Fatfat said.

The MP underlined the need to continue dialogue to discuss all controversial issues, assuring that March 14 is carrying out its duty as an opposition.

"The opposition can't accept or bow to the presence of illegal arms which is causing trouble in Lebanon." the MP said.

Fatfat reiterated demands to demarcate the joint borders between Lebanon and Syria, accusing Damascus of acting in an arrogant manner.

"The Arab League can supervise the demarcation of the border if it succeeded in saving Syria from its current predicament," the MP said.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rai presides over monthly Maronite Bishops meeting
 

Thu 3/11/2011 09:25

NNA - 3/11/2011 - Maronite Beshara Butros Rai chaired on Thursday morning at Bkirki the monthly Maronite Bishops meeting.

The schedule includes national and church affairs.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Regional - Ben Jassem: Syria accepts Arab plan
 

Wed 2/11/2011 21:27

NNA - 2/11/2011 Qatari Prime Minister Hamad Ben Jasem said the Syrian government accepted the Arab plan to halt violence and hold a national dialogue conference with all opposition segments.
Ben Jassem's words came in a statement he read out during a press conference he held on Wednesday in the wake of Arab Foreign Ministers' meeting in Cairo.
"We are happy to reach this agreement and will be happier when it is implemented", Ben jassem told journalists, stressing the importance of the Syrian side's commitment to agreement implementation.
"We hope there will be serious implementation, either with respect to halting violence or killing, release of detainees and freeing cities from any armed presence", Jassem stressed.
Jassem disclosed that if Syria fails to commit to the plan, the Arab League shall meet again and take the adequate decisions.
The plan stipulates halt of all acts of violence from any source in protection of Syrian citizens, release of detainees, removing all armed presence from cities and residential areas, and allowing concerned Arab League organizations and international and Arab media access into all Syrian territories to report on the situation.
Arab League Secretary General Nabil Arabi said the real and main objective is to present an Arab solution that conveys a clear and credible message to the Syrian people.
Arab League committee shall initiate requisite contacts and deliberations with the Syrian government and the opposition to "prepare for a national dialogue conference" within two weeks.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour partakes in Arab League extraordinary session
 

Wed 2/11/2011 21:51

NNA - 2/10/2011 Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour partook on Wednesday in Arab League extraordinary session held at the League's headquarters in Cairo, devoted to discussing the latest developments in Syria.
In an entry during the session, which convened at the level of foreign ministers, Mansour considered Arab determination and Arab joint work are the ones which achieved triumph in Arab League session, besides Syria's sincere intentions.
Syria agreed during Arab League session on Arab initiative items.
"We have always called for standing besides Syria and supporting it in overcoming its crisis", Mansour said.
----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi, Younan return from Baghdad
 

Wed 2/11/2011 20:44

NNA - 21/1/2011 Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi and Catholic Syriac Patriarch Youssef III Younan arrived in Beirut on Wednesday, winding up a two day visit to Iraq.
Rahi and Younan partook in Iraq in the first commemoration of Notre Dame Church explosion which left 47 dead and 60 wounded inside the church. Rahi and Younan also met with senior Iraqi officials where they tackled the current situation in Iraq and the region.
Greeting them at Beirut Airport have been Environment Minister Nazem Khoury representing President of the Republic, as well as Iraqi Ambassador Omar Al-Barzangi.
In response to a question about Parliament's endorsement of the project law on Wednesday related to the Lebanese who fled to the occupied territories in Israel, Rahi stressed the importance of differentiating between those who truly collaborated with the Israeli enemy and those who had to flee into the occupied territories in the wake of Israel's withdrawal from the South.
Patriarch Younan, for his part, said Iraq remains a beautiful country with the existence of Christians there. He said Iraqi officials are working to encourage the return of Iraqi refugees to their homeland.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Joumblat congratulates Palestinians on UNESCO membership
 

Wed 2/11/2011 19:41

NNA - 2/11/2011 Progressive Socialist Party Head Walid Joumblat felicitated the Palestinians on "UNESCO" membership, reiterating the Palestinian people's right to the rise of their independent state and to free from Israeli occupation.
UNESCO granted the Palestinians full membership on Monday.
"Congratulations to the Palestinian people on this new victory", Joumblat said in a statement, describing it as a great diplomatic and cultural triumph.
Joumblat also considered that the continuation of settlement expansion by Israel ultimately annuls genuine chances for the rise of two independent states.
----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati chairs meeting on oil exploration
 

Wed 2/11/2011 19:39

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati chaired the first meeting for the ministerial committee tasked with following up on the oil dossier, at the Grand Serail Wednesday.

A draft study for the mechanism proposed by Energy and Water Resources Minister, Gebran Bassil, is expected to be finalized, along with oil exploration-related regulations and activities.

Today's meeting was attended by Ministers of Public Health, Finance, State, Energy, and Justice.

Separately, Mikati met with Social Affairs Minister, Wael Abu Faour, over an array of affairs relevant to his Ministry.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel, Multazimun meet
 

Wed 2/11/2011 19:25

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Head of Kataeb Party, former President Amine Gemayel, on Wednesday met with a delegation of Multazimun Association, headed by Najib Zouein, over the current general situation.

Speaking to journalists following the meeting, Zouein said he was not upbeat about what he termed as "security shakes" along borders.

"The state is absent and has absolutely no relation to citizens," he added.

He called people to exert pressure on officials so that they bear their full responsibility, before the country is on the brinks of the abyss.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Legislative session ratifies 22 items, refers drafts to committees
 

Wed 2/11/2011 19:16

NNA - 02/11/2011 - The legislative session on Wednesday, under the chairmanship of House Speaker Nabih Berri, ratified the work agenda comprising of 22 items, and referred some draft laws to specialized commissions for re-studying.

During the session, a draft law pertaining to old age pension for Lebanese University teachers was withdrawn because, according to Prime Minister Najib Mikati's opinion, there should be reconsideration for this issue.

Also a proposal, from outside the frame of Parliament's agenda, was endorsed. The proposal pertained to opening a six billion L.L. sum credit for the rehabilitation projects of the House of Parliament.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri, Mikati meet after session
 

Wed 2/11/2011 18:01

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, dwelt on an array of affairs, among which the state budget, in a one-on-one meeting they held following the legislative session at the Parliament Wednesday.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji discusses general situation with Watkins
 

Wed 2/11/2011 17:37

NNA - 02/11/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, respectively met with acting UN Coordinator, Robert Watkins, and State Minister, Ali Qanso, over the general situation.

The meeting was held Wednesday at Kahwaji's office in Yarzeh.

Among Yarzeh visitors, Korean Ambassador to Lebanon, Kim Payong, who came on a protocol visit, and journalist Ghada Eid.
P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - N. Gemayel sees Mikati had best step down
 

Wed 2/11/2011 16:53

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Nadim Gemayel on Wednesday said Prime Minister Najib Mikati had best resign from premiership post and leave this role to someone more capable to assume it.

He recounted the government as already collapsed and resigned from all its duties, on all political, security, economic, and social levels.

"We feel as if we are living in a government-less country; it is time for this government to fall," he told journalists following his meeting with Lebanese Forces leader, Samir Geagea, in Meerab today.

On the reactivation of the national dialogue table, Ahsrafieh Deputy stressed there was not any intention for dialogue, especially among the other camp, which he held responsible for the deteriorated economic hardship.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Legislative session winds up
 

Wed 2/11/2011 16:24

NNA - 2/11/2011 - The legislative session closed on Wednesday after endorsing a 22-item agenda.

Lawmakers convened today at the Parliament at the behest of House Speaker Nabih Berri, and forwarded a number of project laws to competent commissions for further revision.

A six-billion LBP credit to resume rehabilitation works at the Parliament was also Okayed.

A project law on retirement salary for the Lebanese University's professorial corps was withdrawn, as a review of teachers' wages was underway, according to Prime Minister Najib Mikati.


R.A.H./A.B.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun follows up situation in Bahrain
 

Wed 2/11/2011 16:23

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Change and Reform bloc Head, Deputy Michel Aoun, met Wednesday at his Rabyeh residence with a delegation of the French socialist party and then with a delegation of the Bahraini opposition presided by the resigned Deputy Hassan Sultan.

Aoun and sultan went over the revolution in Bahrain with all the horror, aggressions and violations taking place there in light of the Arab league's silence.

"Sectarianism does not exist in Bahrain. There is a despotic political minority which seeks seizing power," he said, calling on his country's authority to find a solution before it is too late.

He finally incited all countries of the Gulf and the Arab League to take a clear-cut stance and play a positive role before reaching a permanent impasse.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - March 14: for Lebanese-Syrian borders demarcation
 

Wed 2/11/2011 16:22

NNA - 02/11/2011 - March 14 camp called for the demarcation of Lebanese-Syrian borders under the supervision of the Arab League, in compliance with the Taef Accord and international resolutions.

The March 14 Secretariat held its weekly meeting at its headquarters in Ashrafieh. It said the Syrian regime bore the responsibility of shaking local stability via attacking and kidnapping Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

The Secretariat eventually urged university students to vote in favor of March 14 lists so as to help spread democracy throughout universities and the country.
A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ali: Syria reads with keen eye the Arabs initiative
 

Wed 2/11/2011 15:37

NNA - 02/11/2011 - The Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali said his country read with an eye of keenness the Arab League's initiative, and the lines of understanding between Syria and said league would be declared today Wednesday in Cairo.

The Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ali Abdul Karim Ali, visited on Wednesday former Lebanese President Emil Lahoud at his Yarzeh residence and discussed with him overall developments at the local and regional scenes.

Interviewed after the visit, Ali said Syria was pioneer in the involvement of any joint effort to boost Arab solidarity and serve the Arab interest. "Syria is keen on activating the inter-Arab relations, and reinforcing joint Arab works and anything pertaining to the Arab League."

Ali said Syria's accepting the Arabs' initiative was made out Tuesday by the Algerian Foreign Minister, who is a member in the Arab League Committee - tasked with helping Syria's conflicting sides put an end to the country's crisis - , and the member's stance would be expressed today in Cairo.
The initiative, as reported by Arab diplomats Monday, calls on Syrian President Bashar Assad to release all prisoners held since February, withdraw security forces from the streets, permit the deployment of Arab League monitors and start dialogue with opposition groups at the league's headquarters in Cairo.

The ambassador said his country was relying on its public and on the course of its administrative reforms to exit the crisis it has been facing for seven months. Ali voiced optimism about any inter-Arab dialogue and awareness that admitted to Israel's hostility to Arabs and supported the resistance.

Ali said the United States could never be the source upon which the Arabs should rely to solve their crisis, as it [the United States] violated the human rights in Iraq, Lebanon and Palestine.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Audi follows up economic, judicial affairs
 

Wed 2/11/2011 14:52

NNA - 2/10/2011 - Beirut Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi on Wednesday followed up the current economic juncture in the country and the government's related orientations, with Economy and Trade Minister, Nicolas Nahas.

Talks also touched on the administrative appointments issue.

Audi later met with Beirut General Prosecutor, Judge George Karam.



R.A.H./A.B.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel tackles electoral project with Orthodox League
 

Wed 2/11/2011 14:13

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Former President Amin Gemayel met Wednesday with a delegation of the Lebanese Orthodox League which briefed him on the two projects concerning the legislative and municipal elections.

The delegation was headed by Nicolas Gholam who explained that these projects consist of two steps: first the candidate must win the election within his own community, second he must announce his official candidacy.

Separately, a delegation of the Defense Ministry visited the Kataeb Saifi headquarters to invite Gemayel to participate in the independence ceremony.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved






 

Politics - Syrian transgressions mere underestimation to Lebanese authority: Zahra
 

Wed 2/11/2011 13:39

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Parliament member Antoine Zahra said the Syrian transgressions to the Lebanese sovereignty mirror Syria's underestimation to the Lebanese authority.

The Deputy told Free Lebanon radio station Wednesday that giving no excuse to these violations is humiliating as it reflects the Syrian embassy's disrespect to Lebanon's sovereignty and the superiority prevailing over Syria's relation with Lebanon.

"The Syrian embassy's presence in Lebanon should've by now settled the sovereignty issue between the two country, putting terms to all sorts of breaches and interference in the Lebanese internal affairs," he accused, adding that what surprises him the most is the Lebanese authority's silence over these violations which are reoccurring daily.

As for the towering rate of tension between Aoun and Jumblatt, Zahra said the main reason is the former's middle position as well as his non-readiness to make things easier for Aoun to fulfill all his aspirations.

Zahra accused Aoun of willing to take over the administrative appointments affair by choosing whoever fits his ambitions.

Separately the Deputy said all the Lebanese know Samir Geagea's and the Lebanese Forces' mission is to put down all sorts of strives that Aoun and his allies are working hard to flare up along the Lebanese territories.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved














 

Politics - Aoun meets French Socialist Party Delegation
 

Wed 2/11/2011 13:32

NNA - 2/11/2011 Change and Reform bloc head received Wednesday a delegation of the French Socialist Party at his residence in Rabieh.

The meeting comes in the context of an acquaintance visit.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati, Mokheiber tackle UNCAC upshot
 

Wed 2/11/2011 13:27

NNA - 2/11/2011 Premier Mikati was briefed Wednesday on the UN Convention against Corruption (UNCAC) conference's upshot during his meeting with MP Ghassan Mokheibir.

The latter said Lebanon is fully committed to what the UNCAC stipulates however, "there is delay in implementing provisions."

Both men agreed on the need to activate cooperation between concerned committees and Ministries to combat corruption, "the scourge citizens suffer."


A delegation of participants in the Conference on Geographic Information Systems in the Middle East and Africa also visited Mikati today and informed him of the event's developments.
The conference is taking place at Habtoor hotel under the patronage of Mikati.

Also, Mikati received a delegation of the Fouad Shehab Foundation.



L.W.
 

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Politics - Sleiman meets Sehnaoui, Bahia Hariri and Qahwaji
 

Wed 2/11/2011 12:30

NNA - 2/11/2011 - President of the Republic Michel Sleiman received at Baabda Presidential Palace on Wednesday Telecom Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui and discussed current relations as well as measures adopted by the Telecom Ministry to improve cellular and internet services.

The president later received MP Bahia Hariri and discussed political affairs and other issues.

Sleiman also received the commander of the Lebanese army General Jean Qahwaji who briefed him about the latest security measures to control the borders as well as other military related topics.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 


Politics - Mansour: Arab efforts to find understanding is fruitful
 

Wed 2/11/2011 10:47

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour confirmed that Arab efforts to find understanding with the Syrian leadership became fruitful.

Mansour confirmed on Wednesday to "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity radio before heading to Cairo to take part in the Arab League meetings that he spoke with his Syrian counterpart Walid Moallem who informed to him that Syria reached an agreement which was conveyed yesterday (Tuesday) to the Arab Committee chaired by Qatari prime minister.

"Agreement occurred on what was suggested in the Arab League", Mansour said, adding that today the urgent meeting in Cairo would announce the substance of the understanding.

Mansour announced that he is heading to Cairo with an optimistic atmosphere, stressing that Syria will exit from its crisis.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


Politics - Legislative session debuted
 

Wed 2/11/2011 10:38

NNA - 2/11/2011 Parliament began Wednesday its first general legislative session aiming at discussing 22 projects and law proposals.

These proposals include settling the affair of teachers' pension, giving compensations for those freed from Syrian prisons, managing the situation of Lebanese people who had sought refuge in Israel, in addition to numerous other projects.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (UPDATED) Moukhayber criticizes delay in paying salaries of government staff
 

Wed 2/11/2011 10:21
NNA - Member of Parliament Ghassan Moukhayber criticized the delay in paying the salaries of government employees.

Speaking to Voice of Lebanon, the MP said:" Lebanon is living in a continuous humiliation and this is illustrated by failure to produce a budget for the past six years."

He supported the proposal made by the Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee which is aimed to stop the bleeding in the Finance Ministry and called on the parliament to discuss these proposals as soon as possible.

Moukhayber welcomed the early discussions on the electoral law.

The MP favored medium size electoral districts based on proportionality and to control election spending and control paid media campaign.

He also supported the idea of giving a certain quota for women in the elections and allow Lebanese expatriates to cast their votes.

"It is certain that the election law will need more time because this (proportional law) is a bit difficult. This law will produce an authority which is linked to the vital interest of political forces," the MP said.

Moukhayber said discussion inside the parliament should proceed in a faster pace, recommending one session every week to discuss all pending and crucial issues in the country.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Moukhayer criticizes delay in paying salaries of government staff
 

Wed 2/11/2011 10:09

NNA - Member of Parliament Ghassan Moukhayber criticized the delay in paying the salaries of government employees.

Speaking to Voice of Lebanon, the MP said:" Lebanon is living in a continuous humiliation and this is illustrated by failure to produce a budget for the past six years."

He supported the proposal made by the Parliamentary Budget and Finance Committee which is aimed to stop the bleeding in the Finance Ministry and called on the parliament to discuss these proposals as soon as possible.

Moukhayber welcomed the early discussions on the electoral law.

The MP favored medium size electoral districts based on proportionality and to control election spending and control paid media campaign.

He also supported the idea of giving a certain quota for women in the elections and allow Lebanese expatriates to cast their votes.

"It is certain that the election law will need more time because this (proportional law) is a bit difficult. This law will produce an authority which is linked to the vital interest of political forces," the MP said.

Moukhayber said discussion inside the parliament should proceed in a faster pace, recommending one session every week to discuss all pending and crucial issues in the country.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Toursarkissian: Stability in electoral law important
 

Wed 2/11/2011 09:33

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc member Serge Toursarkissian told Voice of Lebanon on Wednesday that it is illogical that the electoral law in Lebanon keeps changing all the time, stressing that stability in electoral laws is important for the people and constituents.

"Every time a political team comes to office, it quickly changes the rules of elections and seek to change the political crew in district where it suffered a loss in the last election," the MP argued.

Toursarkissian added that the political team which reaches office also tries to implement the proportional representation in elections just to check the rise of the rival political camp.

The MP noticed that there are several views on proportional law, reminding that any decision regarding election law must enjoy two third of votes in the Cabinet before sending it to the parliament for approval.

Toursarkissian said that some ministers apparently did not grasp yet how proportional electoral law is calculated and this illustrates the difficulty of implementing such a system in complicated country like Lebanon.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

 

 


Politics - Mansour heads to Cairo
 

Wed 2/11/2011 08:24

NNA - 2/11/2011 - Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour headed on Wednesday morning to Cairo to take part in the Arab League meetings.

Discussions will focus on the Syrian crisis and the fate of the initiative presented by the Arab League delegation to Damascus.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Future: for funding STL the soonest possible
 

Tue 1/11/2011 21:02

NNA - 01/11/2011 - The parliamentary Future Bloc said officials must implement financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon as soon as possible.

The Future Bloc held on Tuesday its weekly meeting, under the chairmanship of the head of Future Movement, former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora.

The Future said that there was no way for officials to retreat from the course of achieving justice, and so, they must cast off unclear stances in this concern and act seriously to fund the STL, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes.

The Future wondered at those claiming to fight corruption at the time of their supporting a statelet that was set up at the expense of state and law - something radically contradicting corruption fighting, according to the Bloc.

The Future hailed the Arab initiative towards Syria, hoping the latter's regime would respond to it.

As for the initiative's outcome, it called for withdrawing the Syrian military from streets, stopping public protests against the regime, giving journalists the freedom to carry on their duties in Syria, and starting negotiations between the regime and its opposition.

The Bloc ultimately condemned the United States' declared position of pulling UNESCO funding after Palestine was accepted on Monday into the UN agency as a full member.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun: Hizbullah's weapon is allowed in occupied Lebanon
 

Tue 1/11/2011 19:14
NNA - 01/11/2011 - General Michel Aoun said the question about the legal status of Hizbullah's arsenal does not stand valid in an occupied country like Lebanon.

After the regular weekly meeting of the parliamentary Reform and Change bloc members on Tuesday under the chairmanship of BRC head, Deputy Michel Aoun, in Rabieh, the latter explained so long as a country is being occupied by another it will have the right to hold weapons and defend itself.

It was not Lebanon which attacked Israel and occupied its lands but Israel which stormed into the Lebanese house that had accordingly the right to defend and liberate itself.
"The question of war and peace is not a decision in the hand of Israel, but has been in that of Israel and the United States since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948 and any person ignoring this fact must return to history," Aoun said.
As for the recent mending decree concerning withdrawing the Lebanese citizenship from nationalized persons in 1997, Aoun said it is an introductory to respecting the provisions of Shoura Council.
Aoun warned of the accumulation of the public debt and the carelessness about productive sectors like power and water, reminding of 2013 parliamentary elections as an available choice for terminating corruption.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (Update) Cabinet meets in session at Baabda
 

Tue 1/11/2011 19:05

NNA - 1/11/2011 The Cabinet listened to a review by Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel on the parliamentary electoral project law, National News Agency Correspondent reported. After primary discussions on the said project law, the Cabinet agreed on following up this matter during forthcoming sessions.
The Cabinet met in a regular session at Baabda Palace on Tuesday, to discuss 80 items on its agenda, most significant is the electoral project law.
The Cabinet session, presided over by President of the Republic Michel Sleiman and attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, was preceded by a closed meeting between Sleiman and Mikati where they tackled the latest developments.
In reply to a question upon his arrival at Baabda Palace, Information Minister Walid Daouk disclosed that a new Television of Lebanon Administration Board shall be appointed soon.
Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan expressed a likely referral of parliamentary electoral project law to a ministerial committee once the Interior Minister gives a review of the said proposed project law.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Projects included in 2011 public budget to be executed soon, says Aridi
 

Tue 1/11/2011 19:02

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Ghazi Aridi, on Tuesday avowed that his Ministry was keen to implement all projects included in 2011 state budget.

Speaking to journalists following his many meetings today with Members of Parliament and municipal and syndical delegations, Aridi said the Public Works Ministry's projects were underway, despite the delay resulting from the government formation, budget, administrative measures, and weather conditions.

On a different note, he deplored the US fresh decision to suspend the funding of UNESCO at the backdrop of its approval to Palestine's membership.

Aridi had met earlier today with Deputies Walid Khoury and Simon Abi Ramia, with talks featuring high on developmental dossiers of Jbeil district.

He later held a similar meeting with Member of Parliament, Ibrahim Kanaan.

Deputy Farid Khazen also visited Aridi for a meeting over the rehabilitation of Keserwan-Ftouh roads.

Aridi later received MP Samir Azar and former Deputies Ayman Shoucair and Jihad Samad.

Separately, the Minister discussed wages adjustment with a delegation of the Syndical Coordination Committee, headed by Nehme Mahfoud.

An array of developmental affairs later topped talks between Aridi and municipal delegations of Aadlon, Bzebdine, Aamatour, Btater, Daraya, Khiam, Kahlounieh, Ain-Enoub, Jahliyeh, Niha, and Moukhtara.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

Politics - (Update) Cabinet meets in session at Baabda
 

Tue 1/11/2011 18:42

NNA - 1/11/2011 The Cabinet listened to a review by Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel on the parliamentary electoral project law, National News Agency Correspondent reported. After primary discussions on the said project law, the Cabinet agreed on following up this matter during forthcoming sessions.
The Cabinet met in a regular session at Baabda Palace on Tuesday, to discuss 80 items on its agenda, most significant is the electoral project law.
The Cabinet session, presided over by President of the Republic Michel Sleiman and attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, was preceded by a closed meeting between Sleiman and Mikati where they tackled the latest developments.
In reply to a question upon his arrival at Baabda Palace, Information Minister Walid Daouk disclosed that a new Television of Lebanon Administration Board shall be appointed soon.
Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan expressed a likely referral of parliamentary electoral project law to a ministerial committee once the Interior Minister gives a review of the said proposed project law.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - One year after Notre Dame Church massacre, Rahi in Iraq
 

Tue 1/11/2011 18:29

NNA - 1/11/2011 - One year after the Syriac Catholic Notre Dame Church massacre in Bagdad, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rahi was bound to Iraq to reassure Iraqi Christians that their martyrs died to give a new life to the Iraqi people.

Lebanon's ambassador in Bagdad, Hazah Shreif, who received the Patriarch at the airport, said "this visit reflects Rahi's conviction about the necessity to cleave to the presence of Christians in the East."

Iraqi Prime Minister's representative, also present at the airport, underlined that Iraq's government took part in the organization of Rahi's visit.

Bagdad Syriac Archbishop, Mgr. Ephram Youssef Abba, delivering his sermon at mass service at Notre Dame Church, said attacks on Iraqi Christians were part of a scheme targeting Iraq's unity.

Rahi, for his part, compared Christ's death and resurrection to the wheat grain "which dies to bear fruit."

He also conveyed a message from the Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, voicing therein his support for the Iraqi people.

Mgr. Abba presented Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Youssef III Younan with the canonization demand of the two priests who died in the 2010 massacre.

Terrorists alleging they were from the "Islamic State of Iraq," Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda, cracked down on the Syriac Catholic Notre Dame Church in Bagdad, on October 31, 2010, leaving 47 dead and 60 wounded.

Rahi met today with Iraqi Vice President, Tarek Hashimi, and rekindled the support of Lebanon and the Maronite Church for Iraqi people.

He later met, at his stay residence, with a number of spiritual officials, among whom the Papal ambassador in Bagdad, and former Emigration Minister Pascale Warde, before chairing a mass service at Notre Dame Church.

Rahi is the first Maronite Patriarch to visit Iraq. A delegation comprised of Patriarch Youssef III and a panel of priests and bishops accompanied him on his visit.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel after his visit to the Serail: We cling to STL
 

Tue 1/11/2011 17:45

NNA - 1/11/2011 Kataeb Party Head Amine Gemayel voiced adherence to the principle of Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), saying reaching the truth and achieving justice in the Country constitute the main gateway for national unity and reconciliation.
Gemayel was speaking following his visit to Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the Grand Serail on Tuesday, where they deliberated over an array of matters, including the issue of international tribunal.
Gemayel highlighted the Lebanese distinguished role in spreading the culture of dialogue, peace and communication among all segments of society, the basis for the Lebanese formula and coexistence.
On the other hand, Premier Mikati met with former Prime Minister Selim Hoss where they saw eye to eye over current hour issues.
Mikati then met with British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher where they discussed preparations underway for Mikati's forthcoming visit to London.
Fletcher stressed on emerging on the necessity of respecting Lebanon's sovereignty by all countries.
Information Minister Walid Daouk also visited Premier Mikati at the Serail, where they discussed relevant media issues and proposed projects especially with regards to electronic information law.
Mikati also met respectively with Ukrainian Ambassador to Lebanon Vladimir kuval, and UNICEF Representative in Lebanon Ana Maria Lorini.
On the other hand, a delegation of Army Command handed Mikati an invitation to attend the military parade marking Independence Day at Chafic Wazzan Boulevard in Beirut.
---------------L.Y

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Politics - Cabinet meets in session at Baabda
 

Tue 1/11/2011 16:43
NNA - 1/11/2011 The Cabinet is currently meeting in a regular session at Baabda Palace, to discuss 80 items on its agenda, most significant is the electoral project law.
The Cabinet session, presided over by President of the Republic Michel Sleiman and attended by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, was preceded by a closed meeting between Sleiman and Mikati where they tackled the latest developments.
In reply to a question upon his arrival at Baabda Palace, Information Minister Walid Daouk disclosed that a new Television of Lebanon Administration Board shall be appointed soon.
Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan expressed a likely referral of parliamentary electoral project law to a ministerial committee once the Interior Minister gives a review of the said proposed project law.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

 

 


Politics - (UPDATE) Berri tackles developments with itinerants
 

Tue 1/11/2011 16:07

NNA - 1/11/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri tackled on Tuesday with the former Prime Minister Salim Al-Hoss latest developments in Lebanon and the region.

He also discussed the current general situation with former Minister Jean Obeid.

Afterwards, Berri chaired a meeting for the Development and Liberation Bloc.

The meeting featured high on an array of social and economic affairs.

Conferees also discussed the agenda of tomorrow's legislative session.

On another note, Berri sent a telegram to the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbad felicitating Palestine on the full membership in the UNESCO.


D.K.-R.A.H.

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Politics - Sleiman-Mikati meeting precedes cabinet session
 

Tue 1/11/2011 16:01

NNA - 1/11/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, are currently sitting in a one-on-one meeting prior to a cabinet session later this afternoon.

The ministerial council will convene today in an ordinary session at Baabda presidential palace, with the electoral draft law on top of its agenda.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 


Politics - Russia hopes Lebanon to solve STL funding quandary
 

Tue 1/11/2011 15:56

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Russian ambassador, Alexandre Zasypkin, hoped the Lebanese would eventually manage to find a solution to the funding issue of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.

He said it was dire to maintain Lebanon's independence, sovereignty, and stability, particularly amid the critical juncture currently sweeping the Mideast region.

Turning to Syria, the Russian diplomat said it was time to move from the military confrontation stage to the political operation, as well as to multiply efforts to end violence and set off dialogue between the regime and the opposition.

Zasypkin made these remarks during his meeting on Tuesday with Minister of Youth and Sports, Faysal Karame, with whom he also discussed the means to boost cooperation in sports field between Lebanon and Russia.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hariri congratulates Abbas and al-Qeeb
 

Tue 1/11/2011 15:48

NNA - 01-11-2011- Former PM Saad Hariri's Media Bureau issued on Tuesday the following press release: "Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri sent today two messages of congratulation: the first to the President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas on the occasion of Palestine's full membership in UNESCO, and the second to Dr. Abdel Rahim Al-Qeeb, on the occasion of his appointment as interim Prime minister of Libya.

Here is the text of the message addressed to President Abbas:
"The diplomatic victory achieved by Palestine yesterday, by obtaining full membership in the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization "UNESCO", constitutes the first result of the long and painful struggle of the Palestinian people, and the first step of your brave initiative last month to obtain full recognition of the State of Palestine by the United Nations, despite all the objections and risks that you faced.

There is no doubt that this great achievement clearly reflects the extent of support of most countries for the establishment of the State of Palestine with Jerusalem as its capital, regardless of the Israeli refusal, which will not succeed in the end in facing the solid will of the Palestinian people and their determination to achieve their hopes and aspirations to live in an independent, sovereign state, free from the occupation and its tyranny.

On this occasion, I offer you my heartfelt congratulations for this Palestinian, national and Arab accomplishment, which would not have been achieved without your wise leadership of the path of the Palestinian people in this difficult and delicate phase of the history of the Arab region, which is full of challenges and great hopes. We hope that you continue this path, and achieve the historic dream of the Palestinians and Arabs, which is the establishment of the full Palestinian state, as soon as possible."

Al-Qeeb

The message addressed to the new interim Prime minister of Libya Libya Abdel Rahim Al-Qeeb is the following:
"We received with great satisfaction the news of your election as head the National Transitional Council's executive council, an election that puts you directly in charge of Libya's transition to a new political stage that folds previous tragic and bitter experiences, and lays the foundations of a democratic constitutional State that meets the aspirations of the Libyan people for freedom, progress and justice.

The role played by the NTC, headed by Mustafa Abdul Jalil, constituted the focal point in liberating Libya from the era of tyranny, and it is up to you to pursue the work in the same path, and succeed in the formation of an executive council that draws a road map for Libya's future.

On behalf of all the Lebanese who expressed their solidarity with the Libyan people and its free uprising, I offer you my heartfelt congratulations, asking God Almighty to guide your path and help you with your brothers in the Transitional Council and the coming executive council to lead Libya towards progress, prosperity, stability and freedom."

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Syria overcame crisis, avows Arslan
 

Tue 1/11/2011 15:24

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Syria had overcome crisis and it will get out stronger than before, Member of Parliament Talal Arslan said in a statement after he met with the Syrian President.

The Lebanese Democratic Party chief had been to Damascus Tuesday with Minister Marwan Kheireddine and Sheikh Nasreddine Gharib, for a meeting with Bashar Assad over the situation in the Arab region.

Talks shed particular light on the foreign conspiracy designed against Syria, the statement read.

"We shared the same viewpoints on the political scene in the region, especially as to the project targeting everyone with no exception, starting with Syria for it represents the forefront Arab national defense line in face of West-backed Zionist schemes," it added.

Mountain's Deputy was also keen to highlight the importance of Bashar Assad-led Syria and the reform path.

He did not fail to hail the Syrian Druze community.



R.A.H.

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Politics - Kabalan warns from conflicts in Arab region
 

Tue 1/11/2011 14:44

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Vice Head of the Islamic Shiite Supreme Council, Sheikh Abdel Amir Kabalan, warned on Tuesday from the conflicts flaring up in the Arab region with one major target which is to spread chaos.

He also called on Christians and Muslims to open up for dialogue during his meeting with the advisor of the Emirati President for religious and judiciary affairs, Sayyed Ali Hashimi, the head of the diplomatic institution for foreign affairs, Youssef Hassan, the Secretary General of the Arab group for Islamic-Christian dialogue Riad Jarjoura and Sayyed Hassan Idris Hamadi.

The Islamic-Christian dialogue topped talks between conferees who also highlighted the importance of reactivating unity and creating fraternal ties between the two communities.

Sheikh Kabalan later met with a delegation concerned with working for boosting Lebanese-Palestinian coalition.

He insisted in this regard on ameliorating the conditions of Palestinians resident in Lebanon and granting them the right to work.
D.K.

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Politics - Qahwaji follows up military judiciary affairs
 

Tue 1/11/2011 14:28

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Qahwaji, on Tuesday followed up an array of affairs relevant to the military judiciary with Judge Saqr Saqr, the government's commissioner before the military court.

The meeting took place at Qahwaji's office in Yarze.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour: Diplomatic formations took their legal course
 

Tue 1/11/2011 14:27

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour confirmed Tuesday that the diplomatic formations have taken their legal course, in a talk with the National News Agency.

"Soon, in the next few days, the administrative formations will be introduced to the cabinet's agenda," he said.

Mansour also noted that he will be visiting Cyprus soon to discuss the sea borders issue.

The Foreign Minister will be heading to Cairo tomorrow morning to participate in the extraordinary round of the Arab league's council and tackle the mission of the Arab ministerial committee concerned with following up the developments in Syria.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora, Connelly meet
 

Tue 1/11/2011 14:19

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Head of Future parliamentary bloc, MP Fouad Siniora, on Tuesday met with US ambassador, Maura Connelly, over the headway of the situation in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

The meeting took place at Siniora's office in Sadat Tower.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kabbani tackles Christian-Islamic unity with Qassem
 

Tue 1/11/2011 14:08

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Kabbani, received Tuesday the Druze Sheikh Akel Naiim Qassem who came to check on his health condition.

The meeting was an occasion to highlight the unity amongst Muslims themselves as well as the Christian-Islamic amalgamation.

"Lebanon is one of a kind hence we must preserve this blessing," he said, noting that religious figures' duty is to spread good word and reinforce ties between citizens through prayers.

Kabbani also received a delegation of the UAE with whom he tackled religious affairs and means to reactivate Islamic-Christian conviviality.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman tackles LU conditions, heads cabinet session afternoon
 

Tue 1/11/2011 13:53

NNA - 1/11/2011 - President of the Republic Michel Sleiman will be heading this afternoon at Baabda presidential palace a cabinet session with the electoral law submitted by the Interior Ministry as a main item on its agenda.

The session will also focus on the law draft for separating between parliamentary and ministerial responsibilities.

Separately, President Sleiman had tackled with former Minister Jean obeid latest developments at the internal scene.

Also, Sleiman was informed by the head of the Lebanese University Adnan Sayyed Hussein of the university's conditions as well as of all the steps aimed at developing and reinforcing its academic and administrative levels.

Sleiman stressed in this regard on the necessity of implementing the full-time teachers' law for the sake of LU students and in a bid to reduce the need for hiring new teachers.

Eventually, Sleiman received the Gendarmerie Commander, General Salah Gebran, who briefed him on the security situation and the performance of the Gendarmerie members.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ali meets Mansour: Yes to Arab joint efforts, No to foreign schemes
 

Tue 1/11/2011 13:12

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Foreign Affairs and Expatriate Minister Adnan Mansour received Tuesday the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali who delivered a word in the wake of the meeting saying yes to the Arab common work and no to the foreign schemes.

"The meeting dwelled on the efforts of the Arab league, the joint Arab endeavors and the Syrian-Lebanese coordination at the ministerial level," Ambassador Ali said.

"We also insisted on banning the infiltration of foreign plots through the efforts of different Arab authorities among which the Arab committee," said Ali.

"Syria has always been pro common Arab efforts and with immunizing the inter-Arab solidarity," he reminded, assuring that all Arab leaderships are aware of the Israeli settlement projects and the Americans greed to divide the region.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri tackles developments with Abbas
 

Tue 1/11/2011 12:43

NNA - 1/11/2011 - House Speaker Nabih Berri tackled on Tuesday with the former Prime Minister Salim Al-Hoss latest developments in Lebanon and the region.

On another note, Berri sent a telegram to the Palestinian President Mahmud Abbad felicitating Palestine on the full membership in the UNESCO.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahraman: Charbel and Rifi's words are similar
 

Tue 1/11/2011 11:34

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Deputy Khaled Zahraman said all the words of Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel in human rights meeting are identical to Brigadier Ashraf Rifi's words.

He added that Charbel explained lots of points but some points remained unclear without any clarification.

The MP added that "calm prevailed on Monday's human rights session".

Zahraman stressed that investigations are underway concerning Jassems brothers, Joseph Sader and Oseimi issues.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hout condemns kidnapping Syrians from Lebanese territories
 

Tue 1/11/2011 11:10

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Parliament member Imad Al-Hout condemned on Tuesday the kidnapping of Syrian citizens from the Lebanese territories, accusing the government of failure to assume its duties and protect the citizens.

Hout said there's no sense of claiming that agreements and pacts signed between Lebanon and Syria allow the Syrian army to invade into the Lebanese territories under the pretext of diplomatic immunity.

The Deputy noted that these procedures are against human rights charter, calling on the Lebanese government to prove its sovereignty over the country's territories.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kanaan: STL issue turns to disruptive article
 

Tue 1/11/2011 10:53

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Deputy Ibrahim Kanaan said that STL funding article has disrupted all the remaining articles in the 2012 draft budget.

The MP stressed that "connecting illegally budget allocation in the country to STL funding aims to cause confusion".

Kannan confirmed on Tuesday to "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity radio that Speaker of the House Nabih Berri did not brief Change and Reform bloc on exits to STL funding.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hajjar calls for modern electoral law that puts Lebanon back on track
 

Tue 1/11/2011 10:44
NNA - 1/11/2011 - Deputy Muhammad Hajjar said the will of Future Movement and March 14 mainly dwells on ratifying an electoral law which preserves right representation as stipulated by the Taef agreement and the constitution.

"We seek a modern electoral law which puts Lebanon on the track of escaping the crisis he'd been going through for a long time," he said.

Hajjar considered that there his camp has no prior stance over the proportionality law.

As for funding the special tribunal for Lebanon, Hajjar said the government should do so in a bid to avoid schism between country's poles and major threats against Lebanon.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

 


 

Politics - Jisser: Interior Minister's information on abduction of Syrians not sufficient
 

Tue 1/11/2011 10:40

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Samir al Jisser on Tuesday told Voice of Lebanon "Voice of Freedom and Dignity" that the information provided by Interior Minister Marwan Charbel on the abduction of Syrian opposition figures were not sufficient.

"Charbel did not give the parliamentary committee sufficient and convincing answers about the whereabouts of some Syrian opposition figures who were abducted in Lebanon," Jisser added.

Jisser has requested the minister to provide further information about the missing Syrians.

"There is no conflict between the remarks of Minister Charbel and Brigadier General Ashraf Rifi concerning the issue of abducted Syrian nationals," the MP explained.

He stressed that the information revealed by Rifi indicates that the car which kidnapped Joseph Sader has entered the southern suburbs but without determining the direction the vehicle took.

Commenting on the protest moves by the families of prisoners, the MP said it is not proper or sound to ask for reducing the prison sentence from 30 percent to 50 percent and then request to reduce the one year prison sentence to 9 months.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Layyoun: Rapprochement points exist in elections law
 

Tue 1/11/2011 10:10

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Culture Minister Gabby Layyoun said that rapprochement points are found in elections law.

He added that from the start they asked for proportional law which takes into consideration the size of political forces.

Layyoun told on Tuesday "Voice of Lebanon" radio that "elections law will take time to be discussed and studied".

On the other hand, Layyoun stressed that "Change and Reform' bloc and "Teshnaq" party have the same opinion regarding STL funding.

Layyoun described the issue of Palestine joining UNESCO Organization as positive, praising the Arab solidarity and Lebanon's position concerning this issue.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Assad meets Arslan
 

Tue 1/11/2011 09:54

NNA - 1/11/2011 - Syrian President Bashar Assad is currently meeting with the head of Lebanese Democratic Party Talal Arslan, in presence of Minister Marwan Kheireddine and Sheikh Nasr Eddine Gharib.

Discussions are tackling latest Lebanese, Syrian and international developments.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hazim refuses transforming Orthodox to political party
 

Mon 31/10/2011 20:38

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim voiced refusing to transform the Orthodox confession to a political party, considering that there are no candidates from the Orthodox Church for administrative posts.

In an interview on L'Orient Le Jour on Monday, Hazim said he hasn't made any contact with the Syrian opposition, whose future program for the country is still anonymous with respect to him.
A.M.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kataeb: for officials to reconsider nationalization decree
 

Mon 31/10/2011 19:39

NNA - 31/10/2011 - The Kataeb party called upon Lebanese officials to thoroughly reconsider the nationalization decree of 1997 so that the government would come up with a law draft that grants the Lebanese citizenship only to persons worthy of it, and that preserves Lebanon's interest at the same time.

The political bureau of Kataeb held Monday its weekly meeting under the chairmanship of head of said Party Amine Gemayel.

The Kataeb commented on the recent mending decree, which has withdrawn back the citizenship from persons not deserving it, as insufficient. After all, the party explained, it [the mending decree] has only withdrawn the citizenship from a total of 300 persons, knowing that the original nationalization decree had randomly granted in 1997 the citizenship to almost 200 thousand persons, without respecting either law or the demographic balance in Lebanon.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour returns from Doha
 

Mon 31/10/2011 19:12

NNA - 31/10/2011 Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour returned to Beirut on Monday, coming from Doha, where he partook in the meetings by "Arab peace initiative" Committee.
Mansour gave no statement to media representatives at the Airport.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Russian, Iranian envoys meet over Mideast situation
 

Mon 31/10/2011 19:10

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Iranian ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, and Russia's ambassador, Alexandre Zasypkin, on Monday tackled the current situation and most recent political developments in the Middle East region.

The pair met at the Iranian embassy in Bir Hassan locality, Beirut.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Roknabadi: Iran rejects foreign interference in Syria's affairs
 

Mon 31/10/2011 19:08

NNA - 31/10/2011 Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon Ghazanfar Roknabadi voiced Iran's rejection of any foreign interference in Syria's internal affairs, and its support to any initiative that achieves unity in the face of Israeli occupation.
Ambassador Roknabadi was speaking in the wake of a visit to Tashnag Party headquarters on Monday, where he met with Tashnag Party Secretary General Hovic Makhtarian and Deputy Agob Pakradonian. Talks touched on the latest developments on the regional and international scene in addition to bilateral relations, a statement by Tashnag said.
Roknabadi voiced support for the reform demands in Syria, but said the Syrian people, who are calling for reforms, back the regime. Abadi considered the hammering campaign against Syria does not in fact aim at achieving reforms, democracy and human rights, but rather deal a blow to one of the resistance's supportive pillars.
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Politics - Electricity law amendment committee meets at Grand Serail
 

Mon 31/10/2011 18:57

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati chaired a meeting for the ministerial committee tasked with amending law number 462 on electricity sector's regulation, at the Grand Serail Monday.

Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Gebran Bassil, told journalists following the meeting that the committee scored a substantial progress in this field.

The committee met today for the third time, in presence of its members Ministers Bassil, Mohammad Fneish, Wael Abu Faour, Charbel Nahas, Nicolas Nahas, and Shakib Qortbawi.

Bassil expected today's meeting to be the last as the committee finalized amendments' drafting.

Separately, Mikati reviewed with Ministers Fneish, Abu Faour, and Bassil their ministries' affairs.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Lady of the Mountain Gathering issues closing statement
 

Mon 31/10/2011 17:46

NNA - 31/10/2011 - The Lady of the Mountain Gathering announced, during a news conference Monday, the modifications of the former document issued two weeks ago after their meeting in Regency Palace Hotel.

Bahjat Salameh and Charles Jabbour read the closing statement of the gathering entitled "the role of Christians in the Arab Spring" and comprising 684 Lebanese Christian personalities.

Modifications touched on the role of the Church in founding the principles and bases of Taif Accord.

A new article on peace and coexistence culture within a pluralist society was also added to the initial document.

The Lady of the Mountain Gathering today formed a follow-up committee tasked with organizing discussion panels nationwide to ponder upon the role of Christians in the Arab Spring, holding contacts with civil society's figures in preparation for a meeting on Lebanon's role in the Arab Spring, and contributing to the creation of a studies and research center on the Arab Spring culture.

The Gathering's final document capitalized three axes as follows:

"-The positions that we wish to recall, in light of the Church's stance;

-The positions that we refuse and that endanger Christians;

-The mechanisms to adopt so as to renew the role of Mideast and Lebanon's Christians."

The document reminded of the Church's role in launching "the Lebanese Spring," calling to build a modern civil state, as well as in setting Taif Accord and the coexistence concept.
It also refused to put Christians at loggerheads with the Arab Spring, based upon the values of freedom and justice.
Besides, it rejected all projects aimed to downplay the presence of Christians in the Middle East.

The document also highlighted the necessity for Christians to recuperate their historic role in the region and to contribute to launching a new "Arab rise."

Turning to Lebanon, conferees considered therein that in order to preserve internal peace, it was necessary to derive lessons from the war phase, restitute sovereignty to the state, turn over a new leaf with the Palestinians, and put term to the dark stage in the Lebanese-Syrian ties.

They did not fail to voice support for those who struggle to build a democratic state in Syria.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi leaves to Iraq on a solidarity visit
 

Mon 31/10/2011 17:14

NNA - 13/10/2011 Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi said his visit to Iraq comes to express solidarity with Iraqi people and Christian brethrens, stressing that the Maronite Church is always against violence and war.
Patriarch Rahi left Beirut on Monday afternoon heading to Iraq, to partake in the first commemoration of Notre Dame Church explosion in Baghdad that left 48 victims of worshippers a year ago inside the said church. Rahi is accompanied by Syriac Catholic Patriarch Mar Agnatius III Younan.
"Our visit is to encourage and tell our Christian brethrens to preserve their existence in Iraq", Rahi said at the Airport shortly before departure, where he was seen off by Environment Minister Nazem Khoury, representing President of the Republic Michel Sleiman.
Rahi underlined that the Church has never called for vengeance or violence, but rather has always been a caller for peace, sacrifice and giving.
Patriarch Younan, for his part, stressed that they seek with all officials to ensure a decent life for all Iraqi refugees till their return to their homeland.
--------------L.Y

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Politics - (UPDATE) Berri's various activities today
 

Mon 31/10/2011 16:04

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Monday met with the Canadian ambassador to Lebanon, Hillary Childs Adams, over most recent developments and bilateral ties.

He later received former Minister Karim Pakradouni with talks featuring high on the current situation.

Former Minister Ibrahim Dedeyan had also been to Ain-el-Tineh today to present Berri with a copy of his book, entitled "Principles and Method, Inspired by Lebanese Citizenship and Humanity."

Separately, the Speaker cabled Saudi new Crown Prince Nayef Ben Abdul Aziz.

He also cabled his Omani counterpart and congratulated him for is election.

Besides, he received congratulatory telegrams for Adha Day from his Syrian and Yemenite counterparts.

Earlier today, Berri met with a delegation of Beiruti Union headed by former Deputy Adnan Araqji, who said the meeting touched on the outcome of the Lebanese official envoy to Libya to follow up on Imam Moussa Sadr's case.

Conferees also raised the issue of national dialogue, "as it is the sole mean to pave the way for stability," as Araqji told journalists.

Other social and economic affairs as well as offshore oil and fuel resources were also on-the-table between Berri and the delegation today.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati tackles wages' increase with businessmen
 

Mon 31/10/2011 15:38

NNA - 31/10/2011 - The salaries' increase and the budget draft were the highlights of the meeting held Monday at the Grand Serial between Prime Minister Najib Mikati and a delegation of Lebanese businessmen gathering.

Fouad Moukahal who chaired the delegation confirmed that businessmen were ready to hold a dialogue session aimed at reaching a long-term and satisfying solution for salaries that matches everyone's aspiration.

"We were never against salaries' increase. We actually have a clear stance at this level: meeting the international economic criteria which state that wages' rise must lead to the least inflation damages possible," he said, explaining that the main problem in Lebanon resides in the purchasing capacity and the employers' livelihood conditions.

On another note, Mikati met with the Romanian Ambassador to Lebanon Daniel Tanasse who invited him, on behalf of the Romanian Prime Minister, to visit Romania in 2012 in a bid to discuss economic cooperation between the two countries.

Tanasse uttered as well his country's support for Mikati's government, assuring that "Lebanon will definitely find a solution for funding the special tribunal."

Moreover, the two men tackled the cultural Romanian presence at the Lebanese scene, emphasized by the Romanian participation in the "Salon du Livre Francophone de Beyrouth."

Prime Minister Mikati separately tackled with a delegation of doctors' syndicate the limitation of Medicine Faculties' number in Lebanon, as well as means to control medications' sector.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel informs Defense commission on Sadr, Ayssami, Jassem brothers' abduction
 

Mon 31/10/2011 15:37

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Marwan Charbel, on Monday informed the National Defense parliamentary commission on the affairs of Imam Moussa Sadr, Chibli Ayssami, and Jassem brothers' abduction.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji meets Hmayed, Rahhal
 

Mon 31/10/2011 15:30

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, respectively reviewed with MPs Ayoub Hmayed and Riad Rahhal the general situation, at his Yarzeh office on Monday.

P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman sees new electoral law required
 

Mon 31/10/2011 15:28

NNA - 31/10/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, on Monday said the cabinet must discuss the electoral draft law in tomorrow's session for the current law was no more suitable with the democracy concept as stated by the Constitution.

He said it was necessary to set off a modern law representing all the Lebanese categories on the basis of equality, hence paving the way for effective reforms and the establishment of a state of citizenship, justice, and law.

The President met today at Baabda palace with former Minister Nayla Mouawad over latest political developments on the local arena.

He later met with State Minister Marwan Kheireddine.

A delegation of the Lebanese-Irish Cultural Foundation had also been to Baabda today to inform Sleiman of the foundation's activities.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel transfers accusations of Nicolas before General Prosecution
 

Mon 31/10/2011 14:53

NNA - 31/10/2011 Interior Ministry said Monday that Deputy Nabil Nicolas accusations against ISF are fallacious.

The Ministry called on Nicolas to prove his claims otherwise, stop launching uncertain accusations.

Deputy Nabil Nicolas has accused earlier the Internal Security Forces of turning into a "militia" hence; the Interior Ministry issued a statement today conveying Minister Charbel's rejection herein.

"ISF officers are endowed with high level of professionalism in executing their mission to protect citizens and combat crime," the statement said.

Also, the statement added that Minister Charbel has transferred the MP's accusations before the General Prosecution office, awaiting for the latter's back up of his sayings with proves.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri's various activities today
 

Mon 31/10/2011 14:49

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Monday met with the Canadian ambassador to Lebanon, Hillary Childs Adams, over most recent developments and bilateral ties.

He later received former Minister Karim Pakradouni with talks featuring high on the current situation.

Former Minister Ibrahim Dedeyan had also been to Ain-el-Tineh today to present Berri with a copy of his book, entitled "Principles and Method, Inspired by Lebanese Citizenship and Humanity."

Separately, the Speaker cabled Saudi new Crown Prince Nayef Ben Abdul Aziz.

He also cabled his Omani counterpart and congratulated him for is election.

Besides, he received congratulatory telegrams for Adha Day from his Syrian and Yemenite counterparts.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora meets Kabbani to check on his health condition
 

Mon 31/10/2011 13:57

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Kabbani, received on Monday the Future bloc Head Fouad Siniora who came to check on his health condition.

The visit was also an occasion to discuss the general situation in the country.

The Mufti had received visits and phone calls from several Deputies and Ministers who uttered concern over his health condition.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


Politics - Khoreis: Schism between country's poles urges for dialogue
 

Mon 31/10/2011 13:23

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Parliament member Ali Khoreis said Monday that the width of the gap between the country's poles urges for immediate dialogue.

"The endeavors of House Speaker Nabih Berri and his clinging to dialogue aim at preserving national unity and internal stability," he said.

Khoreis saw that national constants and common principles between Lebanese must always be a red line.

"We cannot see Israel but as an enemy to Lebanon, the Arabs and humanity, while we must always consider Syria as a brother state with which we share a joint destiny," he pointed out.

He confirmed as well that Taef agreement should remain the ceiling for all Lebanese as it has earned a unanimous consent.

As for the livelihood affairs, Khoreis called for reconsidering the hospitalization policy as no human being should die at the hospital's door for financial reasons.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Saleh: National interest should rise above personal one
 

Mon 31/10/2011 12:45

NNA - 31/10/2011 MP Abdel Majid Saleh urged Monday for having national interest triumph over personal one.

Liberation and Development bloc member also deemed Lebanese holding on to their unity and coexistence is the sole true guarantee to preserve Lebanon.

"Linking Lebanese internal fate to the Syria developments is unacceptable for Lebanese constants ought not to be susceptible to bets," he said.

On the Imam Sader's case, Saleh said the solution herein is the key to build relations with Libya.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abbas Hashem: Jumblatt's support for tribunal funding is dangerous
 

Mon 31/10/2011 11:54

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Change and Reform Parliamentary bloc member deputy Abbas Hashem described MP Walid Jumblatt's support for funding the international tribunal as dangerous.

Speaking to Sawt al Mada, Hashem said:"Jumblatt's recent remarks that the funding of the tribunal is essential for stability is dangerous."

Hashem wondered if there is a party in Lebanon which is willing to destabilize the situation, calling on Jumblatt to clarify his remarks so it won't be an alarm bell to destabilize the situation.

The MP suggested that Jumblatt is rotating between different political camps in the country.

"Jumblatt's focus on former Maronite Patriarch Mar Nasrallah Sfeir's Mountain reconciliation in 2001 shows that the MP only supports Sfeir and the new trend of Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai."

Hashem refused to name the events in some of the Arab countries as revolutions.

"The revolutions in Europe needed hundreds of years to produce results," the MP said, stressing that the changes in the Arab world should be gradual or else these events may turn violent.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour meets his Syrian counterpart in Doha
 

Mon 31/10/2011 11:49

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour who is currently in Doha, met with his Syrian counterpart Walid Al-Moallem with whom he tackled Lebanese-Syrian ties.

Discussions also touched on the general situation in the Arab world with special emphasis on the developments in Syria in light of the meeting held between Moallem and the Arab committee.

It is to note that Mansour will be back in Beirut today Monday.

D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hoss meets Egyptian Ambassador
 

Mon 31/10/2011 11:11

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Former Prime Minister Salim Hoss met on Monday before noon at his office in Aicha Bakkar with new Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohamad Toufic and discussed current situation in the region.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jaber: Dialogue is only solution
 

Mon 31/10/2011 11:01

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Deputy Yassine Jaber called on all parties to resort imminently to internal dialogue table because it is the only solution for any crisis.

The MP said that politicians tried all other solutions which were destructive.

"The return to dialogue is the best way on national level", Jaber stressed.

Jaber's remarks came while sponsoring a graduation ceremony in Nabatiyeh vocational center.

The MP hoped that the situation in Lebanon would be stable so that the youths could be able to find job opportunities.

At the end of the ceremony Jabr distributed shields to the students.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aswad: No quick solution for STL funding
 

Mon 31/10/2011 10:32

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Deputy Ziad Aswad confirmed that no quick solution for Special Tribunal to Lebanon (STL) amid severe dispute between the two parties inside the cabinet.

The MP called on every person to lay his cards on the table and vote on STL funding issue in the cabinet.

"There is a big problem among our group, the president's group and who demands STL funding", Aswad told "Voice of Lebanon"-Dignity and Freedom radio on Monday.

Aswad stressed that "Change and Reform bloc members are with tribunal if it seeks justice".

Commenting on Deputy Walid Jumblatt's position concerning STL funding, Aswad said "Jumblatt did not leave March 14 in the first place".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahhal: Dialogue should discuss defense strategy
 

Mon 31/10/2011 09:52 NNA - 31/10/2011 - "Future" bloc member Deputy Riyad Rahhal said that any dialogue should tackle defense strategy.

The MP added that the country cannot continue amid illegal weapons, pointing out that previous round tables did not produce results.

On the other hand, Rahhal told on Monday "Voice of Lebanon" radio that the course inside the cabinet concerning STL funding is clear "Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah gave his opinion and ordered cabinet to refuse funding as if he was the prime minister".

The MP called on Prime Minister Najib Mikati to fulfill his obligations towards funding STL, reminding that the Security Council warned of sanctions and serious consequences should the cabinet fail to fund tribunal.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nicolas Nahhas: Outcome of tribunal debate to become clear before year end
 

Mon 31/10/2011 09:47

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Economy and Trade Minister Nicolas Nahhas told Voice of Lebanon that the outcome of the ongoing debate over the controversial Special Tribunal for Lebanon will be become clearer before the end of this year.

He admitted that there was a sharp debate between the ministers of Change and Reform bloc and Progressive Socialist Party ministers over the funding of the tribunal.

But he stressed that any debate will eventually lead to an understanding between the concerned parties.

"The Cabinet can issue decisions that serve the society despite the conflicting views among the ministers," Nahhas said.

The minister also acknowledged that the issue of tribunal funding is very thorny and faces lot of obstacles because each party views this matter differently.

Nahhas added that the Cabinet will review thoroughly the decision of the Shura Council which rejected the government's decision to increase salaries for public and private sector employees in order to pinpoints the flaws and try to remove them.

Nahhas denied that the issue of the wages has returned back to square one.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jarrah refuses to bypass tribunal
 

Mon 31/10/2011 09:21

NNA - 31/10/2011 - "Future" bloc member Deputy Jamal Jarrah confirmed that his party would refuse any invitation to circumvent international tribunal and its funding.

"We will refuse dialogue invitation if it is to evade tribunal", but the MP added if the invitation is to execute what they (March 14) agreed on then they would accept it.

Jarrah added on Monday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio that dialogue table reached consensual decisions and remained without execution for reasons known by March 8.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mourabi: Arabs won't give Syrian regime another chance
 

Mon 31/10/2011 09:17

NNA - 31/10/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc member Mouen al Mourabi told "Lebanon Free Radio" that the Arab countries won't give the Syrian regime another chance.

The MP hailed the remarks of Qatar's prime minister and foreign minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem who warned Syria that Damascus is at risk if it continues "cunning and maneuvering."

"The position of Sheikh Hamad is very important."

The MP stressed the natural position of MP Walid Jumblatt is in March 14, describing the comments made by Jumblatt as reflection of his inner self.

Mourabi suggested that Jumblatt altered his positions due to political and security threats.

He also criticized Speaker of the House Nabih Berri's call for the resumption of dialogue, adding that March 8 is beginning to realize that the situation in the region is changing.

But the MP added that March 14 is keen to safeguard the resistance, Hizbullah and all elements of the Lebanese society.

Mourabi expressed doubt that that the national dialogue which will discuss the defense strategy will be able to reach an understanding with Hizbullah.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun: In difficult times, solidarity remains the sole means to save the nation
 

Sun 30/10/2011 22:43

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Change and Reform Parliamentary Bloc Head, MP Michel Aoun, stressed Sunday on the importance of solidarity amongst the Lebanese, considering it as the sole means for saving the nation during the current difficult times. He urged all Lebanese citizens, especially the youth, no to renew the mandates of those who have dragged the country into the situation it is currently in; or at least to hold them accountable for whatever has become of the Lebanese State.
Aoun stressed, once again, on the importance of accountability and combating corruption. He noted that many of his allies and those who are trying to cope with his policies and strategies are not actually supportive to his corruption combating calls. He strictly voiced objection herein to any official, especially those occupying top authority ranks, to defend and cover any huge violation occurring in the state.
Aoun highlighted the need for reform and change to occur in a quiet and peaceful manner, and in an advanced way that caters to the people's dire needs. He considered it a necessity to enlighten citizens to such matters at this stage so that they can be aware that the upcoming elections of 2013 denote the last chance for reform, after which there would be total collapse! Hence, he implored all citizens to help and share in the responsibility of change and reform, since such refrom that falls to the benefit of all.
Aoun's words came during a gathering with members of the Free Patriotic Trend organized in Kfarhazir, Al-Koura Casa, which was attended by a number of prominent political figures.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Al-Rai: Hizbollah weapons' elimination is not solely in the hands of the Lebanese
 

Sun 30/10/2011 21:05

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Mar Bshara Butros Al-Rai returned to Beirut Sunday following a parish visit to the United States, which he ended by a stop in the Vatican, where he met with officials at the Apostolic Chair. Al-Rai is also expected to leave soon to Baghdad to head the mass service at "Our Lady of Rescue" Church which witnessed an explosion the past year and the falling of several victims.
Al-Rai was greeted at the Airport by Justice Minister, Shakib Qortbawi, representing President of the Republic, General Michel Sleiman, as well as Maronite General Council Head, former Minister Wadih El-Khazen, and a number of bishops and religious figures.
Responding to newsmen's questions upon his arrival, Al-Rai stated that the international community shoulders the responsibility of playing a role in solving the Lebanese-international dossier. He added the issue of eliminating Hizbollah's weapons is not in the hands of the Lebanese alone, but also the international community. He added that the latter ought to exert pressure on Israel to implement all international resolutions and ensure the return of Palestinian refugees to their land in dignity. Furthermore, he considered that providing the Lebanese Army with artillery is also another important issue since a weak army denotes that a problem exists.
Al-Rai went on to state that the Church is with all Lebanese and respects diversity in Lebanon, which reflects the beauty of the Lebanese society.
Over the possibility of visiting Syria, Al-Rai stated that it is the duty of the Patriarch to visit all parishes once every 5 years; hence, he considered that he ought to visit the parish in Jordan, Cyprus, Egypt and in the sacred lands, and later in Canada and Australia.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour meets with Qatari Prince
 

Sun 30/10/2011 19:40

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Qatari Prince, Sheikh Hamad ben Khalifah, met Sunday with Foreign and Expatriates Minister, Adnan Mansour, whereby talks touched on bilateral relations. Both men also tackled the Arab situation, in general, and the current prevailing conditions in Syria, in particular.
Minister Mansour also took part in the Arab Peace Initiative Committee's session. In his word during the meeting, he considered that the situation in Palestine calls for an Arab stand, especially that the Arab initiative has reached a dead-end amidst Israel's settlement policies, the demographic changes and its refusal to reactivate negotiations.
Mansour proposed holding an Arab meeting at the summit level, so as to adopt the right decision in the wake of the stalled peace process.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun: Hazim is a great symbol of the Eastern Church
 

Sun 30/10/2011 19:15

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Change and Reform Parliamentary Bloc Head, MP Michel Aoun, paid a visit Sunday to Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and the East, Ignatius IV Hazim, in Balamand, accompanied by a delegation including Minister Gebran Bassil and Free Patriotic Trend members.
Aoun and Hazim held a closed meeting, during which talks touched on various developments in Lebanon and the region.
On emerging, Patriarch Hazim stated that whoever works for the sake of Lebanon and the benefit of all shall not be a loser. He prayed to the Lord to bless and strengthen whoever works for the sake of Lebanon. He also called on all Lebanese to remain closely attached and feel happy for being in this country.
In turn, Aoun expressed joy for meeting with Patriarch Hazim, describing him as a great, valuable symbol and icon of the Eastern Church. He added that the encounter was a chance to review various view points regarding general prevailing conditions. He hoped that such meetings would continue on a regular basis.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun and Hazim meet behind closed doors in Balamand
 

Sun 30/10/2011 16:40

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Head of the Change and Reform Bloc, Michel Aoun, met with Greek-Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim in a behind closed doors session in Balamand. Attending were senior Bishops of the Greek-Orthodox Church and several Aounist Ministers in the Mikati cabinet.

No further disclosures as to meeting's outcome were made except that conferees boarded recent domestic and regional developments.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Information Minister launching Jeita telethon in presence of media magnets and personalities
 

Sun 30/10/2011 16:33

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Information Minister, Walid Daouk, inaugurated the Jeita telethon in presence of media magnets, artists and dignitaries from all walks of life. The intention of Jeita telethon is to gather a maximum of votes in favor of Jeita counting among Seven Wonders of the World.

Minister Daouk expressed elation at the presence of so many gifted singers and artists. He credited them with contributing to Lebanon exactly as business and economy does. He called the event an unprecedented chance that must be grabbed and welcomed all to the event.

National News Agency (NNA) Directress Laure Sleiman thanked the President who suggested a Jeita Day which is being celebrated today. She also thanked the Information Minister for putting the Grotto high on his list of priorities and well-wished veteran singer Wadih Safi good health. Sleiman also urged resident and expatriate Lebanese to vote for Jeita. She did not exclude Arab and foreign residents in Lebanon as well as friends of the country to do the same.

Veteran Lebanese singer, Wadih Safi, who attended the inauguration told Minister Daouk and NNA Directress, Laure Sleiman, that grotto symbolize beloved Lebanon for it counts among the many wonders of this country. It ranks in an honorable dignified place and it would hopefully count among the Seven Wonders of the World.

Also the folk singer Ragheb Alameh called for a heavy voting turnout in favor of the grotto saying that vote for Jeita is tantamount to a patriotic duty in support of the country's touristic and cultural achievement.

Among those attending the Jeita telethon event were, former MP Farid Khazen, the poet Henri Zgheib, Future Bloc parliamentarian Atef Majdalani, dignitaries from Minieh and Tripoli and former Beauty Queen of Lebanon, Rahaf Abdallah.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Pro and anti-Asad demonstrations in Beirut
 

Sun 30/10/2011 15:07

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Pro-Asad gathered in front of the Syrian Embassy in Hamra and chanted slogans in support of Asad and in condemnation of oppositionists and their outside supporters. Pro-Asad demonstrators also unfurled big banners with posters of father, son and Hizbullah chief, Hassan Nasrallah.

They were protected by cordons of security and army while rival demonstration of Syrian emigrant workers and Kurds chanted anti-Asad slogans at the end of the street. Both demonstrations were kept apart by army and police and reportedly passed off peacefully.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Moussawi urges unity behind his party
 

Sun 30/10/2011 14:40

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Hizbullah parliamentarian Nawaf Moussawi urged Arabs and Muslims to commit to the idea of unity of the Umma or nation solidly behind his party.

Speaking at a party meeting in the southern Lebanese village of Yater, Moussawi urged followers to cement unity of Arabs and Muslims in order to fight Israeli occupation and American hegemony.

Moussawi criticized the Syrian opposition for fighting the Asad regime on account of regime commitment to support his party against Israel.

He added that his party would press ahead with fighting occupation in spite of developments sweeping the Arab world and criticized the Arab spring for soliciting American and Nato help. He brought to attention the US pro- Israel position at the UN to veto Palestinian entry into the UN.

The Deputy disputed the idea of Syrian people's fighting for freedom and democracy since in his view toppling the Asad regime would be part of a conspiracy aimed against his party.

On the domestic scene, Moussawi demanded government allocations to deal with garbage dump in Sidon and fixing railway links between Naqoura and Beirut. Moussawi also stressed on taxing illegal littoral properties in order to bolster the treasury.
G.G./P.BC.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun to loyalist lawyers: legal system must be liberated!
 

Sun 30/10/2011 13:53

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Former Army General, Michel Aoun, called for the liberation of the Lebanese legal system from political pressures.

Addressing a group of Aounist lawyers at the annual dinner gala at Habtoor Hotel, the general reiterated refusal of what he termed as "government grey area." He added that grayness must also be eliminated from trade unions and politics all together. Trade Syndicates must also be rid off such grayness, he added.

Citing misgivings of the legal court systems, Aoun said lawsuits were piling up in tons without judges even looking at them. He also wanted to look meticulous with regards to appointments of officials to government posts saying they were dealt with in a very cursory and unacceptable fashion.

Aoun told guests that actual legislation in force need to be changed and that procedural laws must be accelerated to ensure that fairness in court reign supreme.

The general saw no fault with Lebanese justice albeit, good men must be installed in the right post in order to make justice to people and legal texts as well.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Majida Roumi: Jeita brings Lebanese together
 

Sun 30/10/2011 13:40

NNA - 30/10/2011 Lebanese singer Majida Roumi said during Jeita Grotto's telethon Sunday that all Lebanese have come together as one to help in marking their country on the global map of natural wonders.

The diva invited Arabs to join in on the voting for Jeita. "This Grotto is for everyone, residents and expatriates."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt's speech at the PSP General Assembly/Alay
 

Sun 30/10/2011 13:34

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Druze leader Walid Jumblatt, inaugurated his Socialist Progressive Party (PSP) General Assembly in Alay Mount Lebanon in presence of 509 party deputies, officials and religious leaders.

Jumblatt announced his last term of party leadership (for this time only) exclaiming that hereditary principles are no more in his party process. He however decided to retain Jumblatt family tenure of Mukhtara arguing that it remains to be an exclusive family fiefdom.

The Druze leader stressed that STL funding remains to be a basic principle of his party's and necessary prelude for political stability in the country. Jumblatt condemned the kidnapping of old Baathist veteran Chebli Aysami at the hands of whom he called hoodlums and that similar future abduction from the mountain are deemed unacceptable by Druze and Socialists alike.

Jumblatt demanded a minute of silence in honor of martyrs of the Arab revolution including those of Syria's. He condemned in most strong terms Arab tyranny signaling the end of "Arab hereditary republics."

He accused Arab official tyranny of assassinating his late father Kamal Jumblatt and that the Druze have always been victims of so-called "game of nations." He referred to some ideas forwarded by him on al-Manar TV station to deal with the current Syrian unrest and concluded that they coincided well with the Arab initiative in Doha.

While condemning the slaughtering of peaceful Syrian demonstrators, Jumblatt said shooting soldiers of the regime by armed men is not good either.

G.G./P.BC.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Radio Liban Director: Vote for Jeita online, via SMS
 

Sun 30/10/2011 13:17

NNA - 30/10/2011 Head of state run Radio Liban, Mohammad Ibrahim, turned out at Jeita Grotto during Sunday's televised Telethon, prompting all to vote extensively via SMS and online.

"We began three days ago preparing for this issue on air at Radio Liban," announced Ibrahim, "and I believe that from now till November 11 our only concern will be Jeita Grotto because it is one of the prestigious cites for tourism in Lebanon."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qobeissy opts for dialogue
 

Sun 30/10/2011 12:58

NNA - 30/10/2011 Amal Movement MP Hani Qobeissy preached dialogue as the only way out of sectarian strife and international conspiracy against Syria, during the Movement's speech at a funeral Sunday in Saksakiyeh village, South Lebanon.

He praised the Arab League for choosing dialogue as an approach to solving the Syrian conundrum. Qobeissy explained that Syria was being targeted by an international plot due to its support and protection of the resistance.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora attacking Aoun, Hizbullah and Mikati
 

Sun 30/10/2011 12:47

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora, attacked Deputy Michel Aoun accusing him of imposing himself politically by insisting on calling people bad names. He accused him of blocking reform programs advocated by the Hariri Future Bloc when they were in power.

Speaking to interlocutors coming to see him today at his Hlaliyeh office/ Saida he exposed Aounist double dealing when it comes to pro-Israeli agents in their midst. With reference to Fayez Karam, (the alleged Israeli spy) Siniora insisted that all Israeli agents must be fairly tried before the Court of Law regardless of their party belonging.

He challenged Hizbullah to condemn Fayez publically as a spy who betrayed his country rather than covering up for him and Aoun. Using the yardstick of the STL to figure out who is who in Lebanese politics, he added that they become enemies and adversaries as a consequence of their position towards the International Tribunal.

The former Prime Minister warned against non-funding of the STL saying such attitude puts Lebanon at logger-heads with the whole international community. He duly advised Prime Minister Mikati to abandon what he termed as the grey area in which he stands on the STL and related issues. Siniora concluded that the Prime Minister must make his position precise and clear to spare Lebanon further trouble with the international community.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - March in support of Gaza/ al-Jalil camp
 

Sun 30/10/2011 12:27

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Lebanese-Islamic Jihadists staged a demonstration in the Baalbek refugee camp of al-Jalil in support of nine of their comrades slain by Israel during an air raid on Rafah last night. Demonstrators raised pictures of victims and vowed to avenge them soon.

Taking the word, local Jihadists and Hamas commanders, Izzat Mansour, Khaled Outhman and Ata Sahwil spoke in the same vein of liberating Palestinian soil from the river to the sea. They also called for the liberation of remaining detainees in Israeli jails.

Fateh Commander Khaled Outhman, however, contended himself with a mini Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank with East Jerusalem as its capital.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - NNA Director: Jeita Lebanon's beautiful fascia
 

Sun 30/10/2011 12:22

NNA - 30/10/2011 Director of the National News Agency Laure Sleiman promoted touristic journalism while supporting Sunday's Telethon for Jeita Grotto, describing tourism as the petrol of Lebanon.

The day-long Telethon in support of Jeita Grotto as one of the new seven wonders of the natural world drew in large numbers of public and political figures who came together as Lebanese to promote the beauty of their country. The NNA was present with its Director heading a delegation of journalists and reporters.

"Media outlets must cover tourism in Lebanon," said Sleiman, "we, as media figures, are accustomed to keeping up with political and security developments in the country. But today, we added touristic journalism to our activities." NNA Director contended that tourism was vital for Lebanon, calling it the country's beautiful facade. "Arab countries benefit from their oil, as for us, we have tourism and we must make the best out of it."

Sleiman called upon Lebanese expatriates and Arab friends to vote heavily. "Jeita Grotto may not win in the poll due to the small number of Lebanese, but it is truly one of the wonders of the world."

R.Z.

Politics - Charbel: Jeita miracle unifying Lebanese
 

Sun 30/10/2011 12:12

NNA - 30/10/2011 - Having toured Jeita Grotto with his family today, Minister of the Interior and Municipal Affairs, Marwan Charbel, prodded all Lebanese to turn out heavily and vote in favor of Jeita as one of the World Seven Wonders.

The Minister duly instructed all municipalities and security forces to vote in favor of Jeita Grotto trusting that all of them already did. He hoped that Jeita's winning would realize a further miracle prone to ingather Lebanese and unify them.

He concluded that voting in Jeita's favor would temporarily make people forget their political divisions.


G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk: Put aside political disputes, vote for Jeita Grotto
 

Sun 30/10/2011 11:48

NNA - 30/10/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk prodded all Lebanese to vote for Jeita Grotto, urging them to put political discord aside and give priority to Lebanon, during Telethon on Tele Liban Sunday.

New 7 Wonders of Nature is a contemporary effort to create a list of seven natural wonders chosen by people through a global poll.

"Jeita truly is one of the wonders of the world, and it is evident for anyone who has visited it," said the Minister, adding that succeeding in the poll would have a great outcome on the country's economy and politics, placing Lebanon on the political and global map.

"Every citizen ought to vote more than once," Daouk invited, "let's forget March 8 and 14 today and become 11/11/2011."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kenaan: No cabinet solidarity takes precedence over the law
 

Sun 30/10/2011 11:22


NNA - 30/10/2011 MP Ibrahim Kenaan affirmed that the lamentations of the past era are over, and the focus now was solely on realizing citizens' ambitions, during a tour of Jourit Ballout and Broumana Sunday.

He reiterated that, "There is no cabinet solidarity that can take over the Constitution and the law and no agreement in the shadow of attacks on its citizens or any violation of their rights."

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics- Mikati invites citizens to vote extensively for Jeita Grotto
 

Sun 30/10/2011 11:06


NNA- 30/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati called on Lebanese to vote massively for the Jeita Grotto so that it is ranked among the seven wonders of the world.

In a statement to Tele Liban (State run TV) at the telethon dedicated for Jeita Grotto, Mikati said, "We are facing an opportunity that should highlight the excellence of our homeland. Along these lines, I call on all citizens to vote in great numbers."

In response to a question, the PM said that one of the most important goals of this government is the establishment of stability since it is the key to the execution of all projects proposed for implementing reforms, as well as economic recovery, which consequently leads to further investments. "Tourism is one of the components of economic prosperity, and it needs a stable environment."

He stressed that all Western diplomats he has met felt that Lebanon is now one of the most secure countries in the region.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel returns to Beirut
 

Sun 30/10/2011 10:27

NNA - 30/10/2011 President Amine Gemayel arrived to Beirut Saturday night after a visit to Turkey.

The veteran politician met numerous Turkish officials with whom he discussed the situation in Lebanon and the region.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel meets with Turkish Foreign Minister
 

Sat 29/10/2011 19:42

NNA - 29/10/2011 - During his two-day visit to Turkey, Kataeb Party Head, President Amine Gemayel, held work sessions with Turkish Prime Minister, Ahmad Daoud Ouglo. Gemayel explained his vision regarding the incidents taking place in the Arab world and the need for these revolutions to be followed up by democratic regimes and constitutions that respect equality, human rights, liberties and diversity. Gemayel also briefed Ouglo on his initiative which he had discussed with officials in Cairo, centering on laying foundation laws for the new Arab regimes in countries that have witnessed revolutions.
The Turkish Minister welcomed Gemayel's suggestions and expressed readiness to provide any support or assistance for the sake of implementing said initiative.
Following the encounter, both Gemayel and Ouglo held a joint press conference during which they outlined the nature of their talks and the issues they tackled.
Ouglo stated that Lebanon's stability is of utmost importance to Turkey; especially regarding the lessons that can be derived from the painful civil war in Lebanon, so that such incidents would never re-occur. He pointed to two important ideas raised by Gemayel, namely activating dialogue between various religions in the region and supporting the "Arab Spring" by a new "human rights declaration". Ouglo indicated that he informed President Gemayel of Turkey's support to both ideas. He also highlighted the need for playing a positive role during the current democratic transition period in the region.
In turn, Gemayel called for active and practical moves that would serve stability, coexistence, security and peace in the region. He added that discussions with PM Ouglo touched on ways to spread democratic vision and freedom, so that they do not remain mere mottoes but would be implemented on the ground.
On the other hand, Gemayel seized the chance to express deepest condolences to the Turkish people for their lost victims as a result of the earth quake that hit Turkey and the recent security incident that led to fallen martyrs.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt meets with Papandreou in Greece
 

Sat 29/10/2011 18:40

NNA - 29/10/2011 - Progressive Socialist Party Head, MP Walid Jumblatt, returned to Beirut Saturday following a visit to the Greek Island of Crete, where he took part in the works of the International Socialist Arab World Committee. Jumblatt gave a political word reflecting his vision regarding the "Arab Spring" developments and the changes in the region.
At the sidelines of the Committee meeting, Jumblatt met with Greek Prime Minister, George Papandreou, with whom he raised recent developments in the Middle East and Arab region. Jumblatt also held a series of meetings with International Socialist delegations.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qortbawi Visitors Today
 

Sat 29/10/2011 17:22

NNA - 29/10/2011 - Canadian ambassadress Hillary Adams conferred with Labour minister Shakeeb Qurtbawi at his office today with no immediate as to meeting's outcome.
Swiss ambassadress Ross Guerer reportedly discussed with the minister matters of bilateral Lebanese-Swiss concern.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour Bound for Doha Conference
 

Sat 29/10/2011 16:50

NNA - 29/10/2011 - Foreign Affairs' minister Adnan Mansour arrived in the Qatari capital Doha on head of a delegation of ministry officials to partake in the Arab Commission for Peace Conference.

Twelve Arab delegations representing respective Arab nations and head of the Arab League Ahmad al-Arabi are due to take up the so-called Arab peace Initiative, Palestinian membership to the U.N.

Upon departure, minister Mansour defended before a group of newsmen Palestine's joining of UNESCO saying it harms nobody since it is a purely cultural body. He disclosed intensive contacts taking place with the Libyan officials in order to find out from them about the vanished Shiite imam Mousa Sadr.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Karami/Albert de Monaco's shared sports' interests
 

Sat 29/10/2011 15:35

NNA - 29/10/2011 - Youth and Sports Minister Faysal Karami met with Prince Albert de Monaco during his visit to Monte Carlo where he attended the "Peace and Sports Conference." Both men reportedly upheld common sports interests by agreeing on promoting sports links as part of bilateral Lebanese and Monte Carlo ties in areas of sports.

During his stay, Minister Karami met with 70 representatives from different nations attending the conference of "Peace and Sports."

Karami and representatives stressed common interest in sports as an activity for promoting world peace.

He agreed to sign cooperation protocols between Lebanon and Monte Carlo pertaining to the promotion of sports between them.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati convenes with number of visitors, cables Saudi Crown Prince
 

Sat 29/10/2011 14:25

NNA - 29/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati met Saturday at the Grand Serail with a number of high profile visitors.

The first meeting for the committee in charge of studying notes of State Shoura Council was held at the Serail. The main focus was on assigning the minimum wage in light of increase in living costs.

The PM also headed a meeting for the Ministerial Economic Committee.

Afterwards, Mikati met with Health Minister Ali Hassan Khalil.

In Tripoli, a delegation of Lebanese University professors, headed by Dr. Hamid Hakam visited the PM. Hakam confirmed that a reform project was underway, with the first major step being the ratification of salaries of university professors.

Finally, Saudi Crown Prince Nayef bin Abed al Aziz received a congratulatory cable from the Prime Minister.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

 

 

 


Politics - Sleiman convenes with visitors at Baabda
 

Sat 29/10/2011 13:58

NNA - 29/10/2011 President Michel Sleiman reviewed domestic and regional developments with former P.M. Salim Hoss during his courtesy visit to Baabda palace Saturday.

The president also saw Foreign and Expatriate Affairs' minister Adnan Mansour over an array of diplomatic files bearing on Lebanon's international standing today. President and Foreign Minister reportedly focused on the need for reactivating accredited Lebanese diplomatic missions abroad.

Yarzeh-based army command extended an invitation to the president to attend the traditional military parade falling on November 22 in commemoration of Independence Day.

Retired army general William Mouijalli and head of "Fares Foundation" thanked the president for his condolences at the passing away of his mother during his stop-over at Bkirki today.
G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabbani congratulates Saudi Monarch on new Crown Prince
 

Sat 29/10/2011 12:59

NNA - 29/10/2011 Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, felicitated King of Saudi Arabia on the new Crown Prince.

The passing of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abed al Aziz al Saoud demanded the naming of another successor. Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz was chosen as new Crown Prince.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - MP Kanaan for the implementation of law only!
 

Sat 29/10/2011 12:38

NNA - 29/10/2011 - Secretary-General of the Change and Reform bloc, MP Ibrahim Kanaan, asserted the Current's pursuing of the implementation of the law.

Interviewed by a local newspaper, Kanaan denied waging battles against Mikati, the President or anybody else. He reiterated Aoun's persistence in applying the law and accused others within the government of picking up a fight with the Trend.

He sounded the alarm as to the gravity of the situation in and that Aounsits would find themselves compelled in no way to compromise their principles.

He also vowed to keep Christians fairly represented within government and state institutions.
Kanaan challenged his critics to the fact that his dismay with government performance is not in itself negative.

He argued that bringing the government to a standstill has never been the objective of his Trend. "We could have left the government all together, but we didn't" Kanaan exclaimed.

As a Christian, his Trend wants to stick to "hope and resurrection" rather than keep on fighting with government partners. He vowed to pursue the trend's Change and Reform impetus till the very end.

With respect to STL funding, MP Kanaan insisted that it goes through proper Institutional channels.

Again, he concluded that funding must take placce in accordance with rules, laws and bylaws inforce.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mandjian: Sleiman Blocks Officers' Promotion!
 

Sat 29/10/2011 12:20

NNA - 29/10/2011 - Minister of State without portfolio Panos Mandjian, disclosed that president Michel Sleiman is responsible for blocking the promotion of police colonels on grounds of refusing to sign what he termed as a faulty decree marred by myriad violations! The minister briskly made the connection between the president's refusal to sign and Colonel Wissam Hassan whom he deemed unfit for promotion under the law.

Interviewed on Voice of Lebanon radio station, Mandjian envisaged in cabinet vote-taking a feasible way out for funding or not of the S.T.L. He likened minister Safadi's proposed annual budget to that of Sinyora's or Rayya Hasan's.

He asserted Tashnag party's autonomy vis-a-vis Aounist ministers albeit, the Armenian party harbours no design neither to topple the Makati government nor to distance itself from the Aounists on board the cabinet.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt returns to Beirut as Rifi leaves to Vietnam
 

Sat 29/10/2011 11:30

NNA - 29/10/2011 MP Walid Jumblatt arrived to Beirut Friday night aboard his private jet after a few hour visit to Greece.

ISF Director General, Brigadier Ashraf Rifi, left Lebanon Saturday heading to Hanoi, Vietnam.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahra condemns abduction of Syrian activists
 

Sat 29/10/2011 10:54

NNA - 29/10/2011 MP Antoine Zahra cautioned that continued abduction of Syrian oppositionists in Lebanon proves corroboration of Lebanese authorities with Syrian regime, he said Saturday during a press interview.

Brothers Yassine and Mustafa Sahn along with their friend Issa Saleh (Syrian nationals) were kidnapped Thursday from their residence in Bir Hassan area in Beirut and taken to an unknown destination. The three men were known activists against Bashar Assad regime.

"There are concerns that these kidnappings would persist if Lebanese security authorities did not take action to apprehend the abductors," Zahra said.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Condolences continue to Assiri
 

Fri 28/10/2011 21:34

NNA - 28/10/2011 Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia received Friday condolences on the passing of Prince Sultan bin Abed al Aziz.

Among the consolers were representative of President Michel Sleiman, Director General of the Presidential Palace Antoine Skaff, and ambassadors of the US, Venezuela and Paraguay. Lebanese deputies and political leaders also paid tribute to the former Crown Prince.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - EU Commissioner wraps up visit to Lebanon
 

Fri 28/10/2011 20:59

NNA - 28/10/2011 European Union Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fule, was certain that Lebanese cabinet would find a way to respect its international commitments, in a statement issued Friday.

"The changes in the Arab world are offering a chance to advance also our cooperation with Lebanon," Commissioner Stefan Fule said during his first visit to Beirut. On Thursday and Friday he met President Michel Sleiman, House Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnan Mansur and other members of the government.

In the discussions Fule stressed the willingness of the European Union to strengthen relations based on values and progress in the necessary reforms as well as on meeting the international obligations. "I am confident that the Lebanese government will find the way to respect and honor its international commitments including the financing of the Special tribunal for Lebanon (STL)," Commissioner Fule told his partners in Beirut.

In the context of the ongoing transformation in the region he noted that Lebanon should take advantage of the changes in its wider neighborhood to the benefit of all people in country. He also stated that these regional changes would need to be reflected also in the relations between the EU and Lebanon. "We can't have business as usual; we need to adapt our cooperation to new circumstances in the region. There are changes and challenges and we have to turn them into opportunities."

The Commissioner explained that the revised European neighborhood policy (ENP) reflects this new situation; focuses on reforms; and provides European assistance and support based on the progress achieved in line with the principle "more for more." In this regard Fule discussed the new action plan which is the basis for EU-Lebanon cooperation. The current action plan expires next spring and its revision will provide opportunity to define areas where results could be realistically achieved. "This new action plan should be based on the needs and priorities of Lebanon and aimed at deepening reforms and democracy," he said.

Fule also met representatives of the local NGOs to whom he outlined the new instruments and approach the EU is using in the framework of the revised ENP to support the civil society as an important stakeholder in the democratic transition.

Together with President of the Lebanese-Palestinian Dialogue Committee, Abdel Majid Kassir, and Director of UNRWA Affairs in Lebanon, Salvatore Lombardo, Fule visited the Palestinian refugee camp of Bourj Barajneh where he inspected the newly constructed water-supply and sewage system funded by the European Union with a grant of 4 million Euros and serving the population of 28,000. He also had the opportunity to meet with several families who will soon be benefiting from the rehabilitation of their homes under a new EU-funded project of Euro 12 million. The Commissioner's visit to the camp coincided with the award of 75 new university scholarships for the Palestinian students, bringing the total number of Palestinians benefitting from the financial support of the EU Scholarship Fund to 341. The EU's ongoing support to Palestinian refugees in Lebanon amounts to over 40 million Euros.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aridi espouses rightful promotions
 

Fri 28/10/2011 19:13

NNA - 28/10/2011 Minister Ghazi Aridi objected Friday to unfair delay in promoting officials of state apparatuses, calling all political factions to rally around the state and its institutions, during his field visit to various villages in West Bekaa and Rashayya.

A holdup in promotions, particularly within the Internal Security Forces (ISF) led to rumors of turmoil within Lebanese administration. The main subject of dispute was the elevation of Col. Wissam al-Hasan, head of ISF Information Branch, to a higher rank.

"Our only guarantee is the state," said Public Works and Transportation Minister, "it is unacceptable to halt the promotion of any state official." Aridi called for an end to this injustice by promoting all personnel who deserved it.

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (Corrected) Gemayel sees new initiative required
amid current unrest
 

Fri 28/10/2011 18:51

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Former President Amine Gemayel said there must be new initiatives amid this very critical stage so as to face looming perils.

He considered that the current unrest in the Arab world was relatively befogged and that fears might spark accordingly over the future "if we do not cooperate and draw visions able to unite and proof us."

Gemayel visited on Friday Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Ignace IV Hazim, in Balamand.

He made clear that he had major concern over the situation of Christians in the East, especially amidst present uprisings sweeping the Mideast region.

Kataeb Party's Head will be leaving to Turkey today, after he had met with Al-Azhar Sheikh and Coptic Pope in Cairo yesterday.

"Today I am consulting Patriarch Hazim prior to my meeting with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi, for it is essential to [coordinate] with all these leaderships," he said.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Layyoun returns to Beirut, coming from Paris
 

Fri 28/10/2011 18:24

NNA - 28/10/2011 Culture Minister Gaby Layyoun returned to Beirut on Friday afternoon, coming from the French capital Paris.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - European Commissioner winds up visit to Beirut
 

Fri 28/10/2011 18:21

NNA - 28/10/2011 The European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Stefan Fule left Beirut on Friday afternoon, winding up a visit to Lebanon where he met with senior Lebanese officials.
Fule headed to Frankfurt.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sami Gemayel heads to Paris
 

Fri 28/10/2011 18:13


NNA - 28/10/2011 Deputy Sami Gemayel left Beirut on Friday, heading to the French capital Paris.
------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fatfat: I don't think Mikati will fight for STL funding
 

Fri 28/10/2011 18:03

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Deputy Ahmad Fatfat said Prime Minister Najib Mikati would ultimately yield to Hizbullah's ministerial majority that might vote against funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

Fatfat, from the Future bloc, told ANB TV on Friday that Hizbullah leader Sayed Hassan Nasrallah was clear enough in his latest interview when he said there was currently no resignation of the present cabinet.

Fatfat explained that Nasrallah mastered the resignation order, and so, Mikati would not be able to foil Hizbullah's ministerial majority's decision in present cabinet, hence he would not fight for funding the STL, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel sees new initiative required amid current unrest
 

Fri 28/10/2011 17:46

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Former President Amine Gemayel said there must be new initiatives amid this very critical stage so as to face looming perils.

He considered that the current unrest in the Arab world was relatively befogged and that fears might spark accordingly over the future "if we do not cooperate and draw visions able to unite and proof us."

Gemayel visited on Friday Greek Orthodox Patriarch, Ignace III Hazim, in Balamand.

He made clear that he had major concern over the situation of Christians in the East, especially amidst present uprisings sweeping the Mideast region.

Kataeb Party's Head will be leaving to Turkey today, after he had met with Al-Azhar Sheikh and Coptic Pope in Cairo yesterday.

"Today I am consulting Patriarch Hazim prior to my meeting with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi, for it is essential to [coordinate] with all these leaderships," he said.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Sader tackle Shoura Council recent decision
 

Fri 28/10/2011 17:43

NNA - 28/10/2011 President of the Republic General Michel Sleiman met at Baabda palace on Friday with State Shoura Council Head Shukri Sader who briefed him on the Council's work and the considerations of recent Council decision regarding Cabinet decree on wages adjustment and minimum wage increases.
On the other hand, President Sleiman met with former Minister Khalil Hrawi where they boarded current political developments.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (CORRECTED) Regional developments feature on talks between Berri, Qandil
 

Fri 28/10/2011 17:14

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, received on Friday at his residence in Ain Tineh former Deputy Nasser Qandil, with talks featuring high on recent developments at the local and regional scene, notably in Syria.

Interviewed after the visit, Qandil assured that Syria is on the verge of totally restoring its security after the crisis hitting it several months ago.

Qandil also pointed out that the dialogue course in Syria is still on track to reach complete administrative reforms and a diversity of political representation.

Those politicians in the interior of Lebanon who want to exacerbate the Syrian crisis will find themselves outside the circle of politics as soon as Syria will surpass the crisis, said Qandil.

Separately, Berri received a delegation of the Lebanese University Full-Time Teachers league, headed by Dr. Charbel Kfoury.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Government at stake, says Jisr
 

Fri 28/10/2011 16:27

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Samir Jisr said the government was on stake as it might reach a compromise over funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Nonetheless, he ruled out that the divisive STL funding issue would "explode" the Mikati-led cabinet.

Interviewed on Voice of Lebanon radio station Friday, the Future bloc member said MP Walid Jumblatt was aware of Lebanon's capability to confront the international community.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 


Politics - Regional developments feature on talks between Berri, Qandil
 

Fri 28/10/2011 16:22

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, received on Friday at his residence in Ain Tineh former Deputy Nasser Qandil, with talks featuring high on recent developments at the local and regional scene, notably in Syria.

Interviewed after the visit, Qandil assured that Syria is on the verge of totally restoring its security after the crisis hitting it several months ago.

Qandil also pointed out that the dialogue course in Syria is still on track to reach complete administrative reforms and a diversity of political representation.

Those politicians in the interior of Lebanon who want to exacerbate the Syrian crisis will find themselves outside the circle of politics as soon as Syria will exceed the crisis, said Qandil.

Separately, Berri received a delegation of the Lebanese University Full-Time Teachers league, headed by Dr. Charbel Kfoury.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Eddeh sees Arab uprisings advantageous for Christians
 

Fri 28/10/2011 16:21

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Roger Eddeh, Head of As-Salam Party, said the democratic revolution for freedoms sweeping the Arab world would eventually allow Christians to partake in power.

He explained that the democratic electoral process would no longer render them [Christians] a "tool" for corruption, just like in Syria, as he termed.

He said democracy helps minorities to be efficient and protected, while dictatorship does not.

Eddeh made these remarks following his meeting with Lebanese Forces Head, Samir Geagea, in Meerab Friday.

Geagea had met earlier with a delegation of Multazimun Association, headed by Najib Zouein, who highlighted the obligation to respect UN Security Council's resolutions.

He said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was a national, official, and popular demand, for it was the sole mean to unearth the identity of those responsible for the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Eddeh sees Arab uprisings advantageous for Christians
 

Fri 28/10/2011 16:21

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Roger Eddeh, Head of As-Salam Party, said the democratic revolution for freedoms sweeping the Arab world would eventually allow Christians to partake in power.

He explained that the democratic electoral process would no longer render them [Christians] a "tool" for corruption, just like in Syria, as he termed.

He said democracy helps minorities to be efficient and protected, while dictatorship does not.

Eddeh made these remarks following his meeting with Lebanese Forces Head, Samir Geagea, in Meerab Friday.

Geagea had met earlier with a delegation of Multazimun Association, headed by Najib Zouein, who highlighted the obligation to respect UN Security Council's resolutions.

He said the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was a national, official, and popular demand, for it was the sole mean to unearth the identity of those responsible for the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel receives Nassour, others
 

Fri 28/10/2011 15:30

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister, Merwan Charbel, received on Friday at his office chief of the Pharmacists Syndicate, Ziad Nassour, and discussed with him the violations against pharmacies, especially during night, when persons storm into pharmacies demanding pills for the nervous system.
Both stressed on the necessity of prohibiting the delivery of medicines by motorcycles.

Separately, Charbel received head of the administrative council of the Public Institution for the Mayors Cooperative Fund, Bechara Ghoulam. Both engaged in talks relevant to activating works of said institution.

Charbel met with Beirut Airport's Security Apparatus head, General Elie Obeid, and later on met with Mr. Massoud Achkar, reviewing with him developmental affairs relevant to Ashrafieh.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qahwaji, Syrian diplomat meet over situation
 

Fri 28/10/2011 15:15

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Qahwaji, on Friday reviewed the current general situation with Syria's ambassador, Ali Abdul Karim Ali.

Qahwaji had met earlier today at his office in Yarze with State Minister Marwan Kheireddine.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fule visits Bassil
 

Fri 28/10/2011 15:13

NNA - 28/10/2011 - EU's top official Stefan Fule on Friday visited Minister of Energy and Water Resources, Gebran Bassil, at the latter's ministerial office.

The European Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy was heading a delegation, which also included the EU ambassador to Lebanon, Angelina Eichhorst.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Raad from Rabieh: FPM and Hizbullah always together
 

Fri 28/10/2011 14:33

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Deputy Mohammad Raad denied any alienation between the Free Patriotic Movement and Hizbullah, saying both are one team in face of current challenges.

Heading a delegation of the Loyalty to Resistance Bloc, Deputy Muhammad Raad visited on Friday head of the Bloc of Reform and Change, General Michel Aoun, at the latter's residence in Rabieh. Both reportedly discussed overall developments at the local and regional scenes.

Commenting on the U.S. Ambassador's warning against Lebanon if Mikati-led cabinet were not to finance the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes, Raad said this warning is a sort of intimidation aiming to strike truth and justice.

Raad added that there is a foreign attempt, via STL, to grab Lebanon's sovereignty on the levels of justice, security and economy.
A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora, Jamaa Islamiyah meet
 

Fri 28/10/2011 14:23

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Head of Future parliamentary bloc, MP Fouad Siniora, on Friday met with a delegation of Jamaa Islamiyah over the general situation in the country and most recent developments on the local, regional, and international scenes.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel bound to France
 

Fri 28/10/2011 14:21

 

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Kataeb central committee coordinator, MP Sami Gemayel, left on Friday to France to hold a series of meetings with French officials tackling latest developments in the region.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Sleiman to participate in "connect Arab states" summit next March
 

Fri 28/10/2011 14:12

NNA - 28/10/2011 - President of the Republic Michel Sleiman received an invitation on Friday from the Qatari Ambassador Saad Mahanadi on behalf of the Qatari Prince, Sheikh Hamad Ben Khalifa Al-Thani, to participate in the "connect Arab states" summit to be held in Doha next March with the participation of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Arab League.

Separately Sleiman met former Deputy House Speaker Elie Ferezli with whom he tackled current developments at the internal scene.

Amongst Baabda's visitors were also former Deputies Mohammad Youssef baydoun and Jihad Samad.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - # Sleiman signs officers' promotion decree
 

Fri 28/10/2011 11:32

NNA - 28/10/2011 Lebanese President signed Friday the decree to promote police officers, the National News Agency correspondent reported.

Also, Sleiman signed the decree to cancel out Nationality of those who did not earn it.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


Politics - Nahhas: Judicial opinion put matters to perspective
 

Fri 28/10/2011 11:20

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Labor Minister Charbel Nahhas told "Al Mada Radio" the opinion of the State Shura Council was reflective.

"The decision of the council is not the issue of approval or opposition but rather was based on studies of a number of basic issues. All decisions to raise the minimum wage should be in accordance with the rise of consumer prices," the minister said.

Nahhas stressed that the natural course is through the price index committee without stopping on the behavior of the General Labor Confederation.

The minister suggested that any attempt to find a solution without the consent of the price index committee is considered as an attack on the prerogatives of the minister.

"The judicial opinion has put things in perspective and has justified the state as a sponsor for social relations in the country."

Nahhas explained that the Cabinet will base its new decision to increase salaries on the average cost of living which is issued by the price index committee, adding that the increase should be a lump sum and this will be applied to all salary scales.

The minister refused the unjustified rise in prices every time there is a salary adjustment.

"The Cabinet will take a decision on salary increase in five to 10 days."

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Zahra: STL topples cabinet
 

Fri 28/10/2011 10:13

NNA - 28/10/2011 - Deputy Antoine Zahra confirmed that Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issue would topple the cabinet from inside.

The MP added that this cabinet cannot continue for too long since it was formed quickly by regional and local parties.

"This cabinet was formed for the interest of Hizbullah and Syria", Zahra said on Friday to "Voice of Lebanon".

On the other hand, Zahra commented on the wage increase, saying "if the cabinet heeds the advice of the General Labor Confederation, then we will face an economic crisis", stressing that the opposition won't exploit any opportunity to turn on the table.

The MP announced that Speaker of the House Nabih Berri will call next month for a question and answer parliamentary session for the cabinet, confirming the good relation with Berri in terms of the parliament's performance.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Farid Khazen: No one has interest to disrupt Cabinet
 

Fri 28/10/2011 10:06

NNA - 29/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Farid Khazen told Voice of Lebanon that no one has any interest in disrupting the work of the government.

He added that the ties between Free Patriotic Movement and Hizbullah is a sustained relationship based on strong foundation, adding that this relation were clear from the first day.

"Each party has different views on some issues. These relations are not in jeopardy and will not lead to discord,' Khazen said.

He stressed that the divergence of views confirms that each party in the Cabinet has its own approach on some matters.

"The challenge is to find a common ground and the most important thing is that these differences will not disrupt the performance of the Cabinet," the MP said.

Commenting on the social and economic file, the MP indicated the Cabinet is dealing with thorny and complicated issues.

"These files have been lingering for the past 20 years and for this reason tackling these issues will be complicated and requires broad discussion."

He emphasized that the Change and Reform bloc treat these issue very seriously in order to justify the workers and hammer out a comprehensive economic plan that would lead to real economic growth.

In his opinion, the Shura Council is putting matters on the right track.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Cabinet shall re-study minimum wage project decree
 

Thu 27/10/2011 22:53


NNA - 27/10/2011 The Cabinet decided on Thursday to re-study the project decree on wages adjustment and minimum wage increase, following the decision by State Shoura Council in this regards. The Cabinet tasked a committee comprised of Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Ministers Mohamed Safadi, Nicholas Nahhas and Charbel Nahhas, to study the remarks put forward by State Shoura Council on wages adjustment project decree.
The Cabinet met in an ordinary session on Thursday afternoon in Baabda palace, under the chairmanship of Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, with 87 items on its agenda.
The Cabinet also approved Lebanese University instructors' wages adjustment project law.
On the other hand, President Michel Sleiman called during the session for according importance to the electoral project law put forward by Interior and Municipalities Minister, placing it on upcoming Cabinet session's agenda.
President Sleiman opened up today's Cabinet session by offering condolences to Saudi King, government and people, on the passing away of crown prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz.
On State Shoura Council decision, Premier Mikati said that they shall re-study the decree with Labor Minister and concerned sides, since as he said "our concern [the government] is to reach a formula that matches with laws and achieves workers' demands and employers' potentials".
Speaking to media representatives in the wake of Cabinet meeting, Information Minister Walid Daouk relayed the Premier as saying that the government respects State Shoura Council decision content, and shall study feasible solutions to reach a decree that achieves justice and pragmatism.
On the other hand, Sleiman and Mikati took up the general situation and most recent developments in a one-on-one meeting they held prior to the cabinet session.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun underlines students' role in nation continuity
 

Thu 27/10/2011 21:12

NNA - 27/10/2011 "Free Patriotic Movement" (FPM) Head Michel Aoun underlined the important role of students generation in maintaining nation's continuity, saying "they [students generation] carry on with the message and constitute the hope of the future".
Deputy Aoun was speaking during a ceremony for launching FPM Students' Policy Charter, where he stressed the importance of the building of the State for its sustainability.
"As we gained independence, we can lose it if we don't preserve it.... Students are the power of change", Aoun said, highlighting the necessity of the young generation's commitment to public life, as a condition for a society's continuity.
Aoun, "Change and Reform" Bloc Head, also disclosed that they are currently witnessing a 'difficult situation' due to their confrontation with all corrupts in the country.
--------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sidon celebrates cornerstone laying of maritime barricade
 

Thu 27/10/2011 19:13

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Sidon municipality on Thursday celebrated the cornerstone laying of the maritime barricade aimed to separate the waste dump from the sea, with a 20-million-dollar Saudi donation.

Member of Parliament and Sidon Deputy Fouad Siniora said this project was the stepping-stone to discard the city's coast from the long-aged garbage dump jam.

He said this step was expected to attract various cultural, tourism, economic, educational, professional, and health-related projects.

He explained that this project would be also useful to benefit from recyclable materials in terrains' filling up operations, which would grant Sidon a new 550-thousand-square-meter span of lands.

Minister of Environment, Nazem Khoury, and of Public Works and Transportation, Ghazi Aridi, as well as Saudi ambassador Ali Asseiri, Head of the Development and Construction Board, Nabil Jisr, and Head of Sidon municipality, Mohammad Saoudi, also participated in the event today.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Lebanon not to compromise over sovereignty, says Fayad
 

Thu 27/10/2011 17:59

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Ali Fayad on Thursday said Lebanon paid a steep price for its sovereignty and it shall not compromise over it.

He called West-made warnings of likely sever repercussions on Lebanon as "sheer intimidation."

Speaking during a Hezbollah ceremony at the Antonine University today, the Loyalty to the Resistance bloc member reminded that the Lebanese had many long experiences in facing international pressures, which have always been to no avail before the Lebanese will and defense of national welfare and interests.

Turning to the Mideast situation, South Deputy recognized the Arab peoples' right to claim reforms, but he cautioned against western attempts to turn this right into a sect-based divisive quandary and a tribal spar.

"Western interferences will push reform-aimed efforts off track," he said.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fule anticipates Lebanon will cooperate with STL
 

Thu 27/10/2011 17:47

NNA - 27/10/2011 - The EU senior Stefen Fule anticipated that Mikati-led cabinet would cooperate with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and carry on its reform course.

Fule, the EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighboring Policy, met on Thursday with Prime Minister Najib Mikati at the Grand Serail. Fule expressed satisfaction that the ministerial policy statement of the present cabinet comprised a clear sign of boosting cooperation between Lebanon and the EU.

Fule anticipated that Lebanon would fulfill its international obligations, in terms of cooperation with the STL, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes.

Accordingly, the guest said that the government must provide a secure ambience for UNIFIL's peacekeeping mission in the country.

Separately, Displaced Persons Minister Aladdine Terro visited the Grand Serail. Terro said Mikati is right in his stance of abiding by international resolutions, like financing the STL. And so, Terro added, an exit should be found for the pending STL funding issue, in order to safeguard Lebanon from bad repercussions in this concern.

Amongst Grand Serail's visitors: former Deputy Karim Rassi; head of Baalbeck International Festivals Committee May Arida; the Greek Ambassador Panos Kalogeropoulos; a delegation of the International Civil Aviation Organization; and others.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Cabinet convenes in Baabda
 

Thu 27/10/2011 17:10

NNA - 27/10/2011 - The cabinet is currently meeting in an ordinary session in Baabda palace, under the chairmanship of Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, with 87 items on its agenda.

Minister of Education and Higher Learning, Hassan Diab, said earlier that he would lay bare the middle solution he had reached with the Lebanese University full-time teachers' league.

For his part, Minister of Labor, Charbel Nahas, said it was up to the cabinet to take what it deems necessary in light of the fresh decision by the State Council rejecting the project decree on wages adjustment and minimum wage increase. He also revealed that he had relevant propositions.

Sleiman and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, took up the general situation and most recent developments in a one-on-one meeting they held prior to the cabinet session.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Syrian unrest, STL on Qanso-Christensen's table
 

Thu 27/10/2011 16:41


NNA - 27/10/2011 - Minister of State, Ali Qanso, on Thursday demanded that EU governments decline to provide cover for armed groups and thugs sabotaging Syria under the label of "opposition."

Qanso met today with Danish ambassador Jan Top Christensen who spoke about what he termed as "extremism trends in the region."

The pair also raised the issue of funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a UN-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.

Both parties agreed to carry on meetings in view of a more objective European approach of Mideast affairs, a final statement by SSNP media bureau mentioned.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - (corrected) Sleiman, Mikati in closed meeting
 

Thu 27/10/2011 16:41

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, are currently in a one-on-one meeting in Baabda palace, before the cabinet convenes later this afternoon.

The pair is reportedly taking up the current general situation and most recent developments.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 


Politics - Sleiman, Mikati in close meeting
 

Thu 27/10/2011 16:29

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, are currently in a one-on-one meeting in Baabda palace, before the cabinet convenes later this afternoon.

The pair is reportedly taking up the current general situation and most recent developments.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 


Politics - Berri follows up array of local, regional affairs
 

Thu 27/10/2011 15:13

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Thursday met with European Union's Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Stefan Fule, and the EU ambassador, Angelina Eichhorst, over most recent developments in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

Talks also touched on bilateral ties between Lebanon and the European Union.

Berri later followed up on a number of educational affairs with the Minister of Education and Higher Learning, Hassan Diab.

Member of Parliament Ali Bazzi, also Berri's political aid, and media advisor Ali Hamdan attended the meeting.

Hezbollah Deputies Mohammad Raad and Nawwar Sahili had also been to Ain-el-Yineh today to inform Berri of the outcomes of the Loyalty to the Resistance delegation's recent visit in Moscow.

Separately, the Parliament office committee today ratified the agenda of the legislative session on forthcoming Wednesday.

The committee met today under the chairmanship of Speaker Berri and in presence of MPs Marwan Hamade, Antoine Zahra, Ahmed Fatfat, Michel Moussa, and Serge Terserkissian, as well as the Parliament's Secretary General, Adnan Daher.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qahwaji's itinerants today
 

Thu 27/10/2011 14:58

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Qahwaji, on Thursday met with UNIFIL commander, General Alberto Asarta, over the security situation in borderline regions and the means to boost field measures to anchor stability and security therein.

Qahwaji later met at his Yarze office with Egypt's ambassador to Lebanon, Mustafa Tawfiq, with talks featuring high on cooperation between both the Lebanese and Egyptian armies.

Member of Parliament Qassem Abdul Azizi also visited Qahwaji today and tackled with him the current general situation.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Russia sees Lebanon must abide by international legitimacy
 

Thu 27/10/2011 14:54

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Russian ambassador, Alexandre Zasypkin, said it is mandatory to refer to international legitimacy as settling on issues must rely on one unified standard.

He evoked Russia's "primary" position from the Special Tribunal from Lebanon (STL), a UN-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.

"Russia supported STL for it is a mechanism of international legitimacy; we want it to realize the goals stated by the UNSC related resolution," he said.

The ambassador had been today to the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities for a meeting with Minister Marwan Charbel over the general situation and the perspectives of bilateral cooperation.

Speaking to journalists afterwards, he relayed his country's cleaving to Lebanon's sovereignty and independence.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hazim: Church cannot assume passive position regarding crisis

 

Thu 27/10/2011 14:25

NNA - 27/10/2011 - The Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim said Christians cannot assume a passive position with regards to the crisis running throughout regional countries.

The Assembly of Greek Orthodox Bishops convened on Thursday, under the chairmanship of Patriarch Hazim, at Balamand Notre Dame Church. Hazim said the church should remain the conscience for all faithful people and must never remain a mere bystander concerning the oppression and discrimination suffered by the people.

He called for achieving prosperity and equality in the Arab societies after the political changes invading the region.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abi Ramia: Lasa dossier solely real estate related dispute
 

Thu 27/10/2011 14:23

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Deputy Simon Abi Ramia said Thursday that Lasa dossier is nothing but a dispute over real estates, having no political or sectarian background whatsoever.

Abi Ramia accused some political poles of provoking the Lebanese by shallowly tackling this issue without digging into details and understanding all the facts behind the reoccurring incidents.

"Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rahi hoped for not raising this subject in media resources yet unfortunately some politicians kept doing so for provocative purposes," he said.

Accordingly, Abi Ramia praised the efforts of Interior Minister Marwan Charbel who gathered the concerned people all together to tackle this controversial subject appropriately.

"Thanks to Minister Charbel's efforts, the conflict now took its natural legal course," he concluded.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman heads cabinet session afternoon, tackles EU's support for Lebanon
 

Thu 27/10/2011 13:31


NNA - 27/10/2011 - President of the Republic Michel Sleiman will be heading this afternoon the cabinet session with 87 administrative and financial items on its agenda.

Separately, Sleiman received Thursday the European Union's Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy, Stefan F�le, in presence of the EU Ambassador to Lebanon, Angelina Eichhorst, with talks featuring high on boosting ties between Lebanon and the European Union.

A new policy will be adopted by the EU aimed at providing support to the countries which introduce reforms and apply democracy the most.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 


Politics - Lebanese official delegation pursues its visit to Libya
 

Thu 27/10/2011 13:13

NNA - 27/10/2011 - The Lebanese official delegation followed up on Thursday its visit to Tripoli, Libya to tackle the cause of Imam Moussa Al-Sadr and his companions.

The delegation is currently pursuing its contacts with Libyan officials, holding meetings with some of them, and briefing them on the Lebanese activity at this level.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour meets Fuele
 

Thu 27/10/2011 12:12

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour met on Thursday before noon with European Commissioner for European politics Stefan Fuele accompanied by head of European commission to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst.

Fuele left the meeting without any comments.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Walles leaves Beirut
 

Thu 27/10/2011 11:36

NNA - 27/10/2011 - U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Jacob Walles left Beirut on Thursday after visiting Lebanon for couples of days and conducting discussions with Lebanese officials.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nahhas: STL subject should not hinder Budget project
 

Thu 27/10/2011 10:18

NNA - 27/10/2011 Labor Minister regarded Thursday as unacceptable to freeze-off Budget project and bar from attention citizens' interests on account of the STL issue.

Nahhas told Voice of Lebanon Radio station that it is time to take heed to citizens' daily needs through applying full coverage law and proceeding with pension salary plan.

"When it was first established, social security was supposed to develop via several stages," Nahhas said and indicated that, ever since 15 years and until today, only the first stage was developed.

On topic of raise on salaries, Nahhas said the State Advisory Council is the sole legal place to handle such issue.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Janjian: Cabinet is not serious in STL funding
 

Thu 27/10/2011 10:14

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Deputy Chant Janjian said that the way the cabinet is dealing with STL funding issue inside the cabinet is not serious.

He pointed out that tossing the ball inside the cabinet from one party to the other might delay reaching an appropriate solution.

"Prime Minister Najib Mikati promised to commit to international resolutions concerning STL funding", the MP told on Thursday to "Voice of Lebanon.

The MP warned of grave consequences if Lebanon failed to comply with STL funding issue, adding "western diplomats have conveyed such warnings to Lebanese officials".

Janjian expected to reach a result as soon as possible.

Concerning the opposition's position on Speaker of the House Nabih Berri's proposal to re-activate dialogue, the MP said, that there are issues which were agreed upon in previous cabinets, like the international tribunal, which could not be discussed again.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nicolas Nahhas: Cabinet to take decision on tribunal funding
 

Thu 27/10/2011 10:06

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Economy Minister Nicolas Nahhas said that the Cabinet is the one which will take a decision on whether to fund the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Speaking to Voice of Lebanon, the minister said this file will be tackled in different ways in order to reach a sound decision.

Nahhas explained that this issue has not been officially discussed by the Cabinet.

"The Cabinet is seeking the best method to preserve the unity of the Lebanese and stability of Lebanon."

He underlined the importance of studying any exit to the tribunal funding, warning at the same time that any uncalculated move will put Lebanon in trouble.

Commenting on the demands of the Lebanese University professors, Nahhas hoped to reach a logical solution for this matter.

But he cautioned that there are things the treasury cannot bear.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kanaan: No Cabinet above constitution and law
 

Thu 27/10/2011 09:11

NNA - 27/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Ibrahim Kanaan said that no Cabinet is above constitution and law and there is no Cabinet solidarity on void and right.

"Any Cabinet should remain and function under the ceiling of the law," Kanaan said.

The MP made these remarks during a ceremony in his honor organized by Jdaydeh-Boushreyeh municipality.

"Let things be clear. We are from a school which considers the republic, law, constitution and the citizen's rights as priorities. We do not condone any attempt to undermine the authority in any Lebanese area," Kanaan added.

The MP was also rejected any illegal installation of landline phones on the international network, in clear allusion to the incident which took place the town of Tarshish.

He stressed that the MP should first work for the welfare of his area.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hariri, Siniora offer condolences in Riyadh
 

Wed 26/10/2011 21:38

NNA - 26/10/2011 - A large Lebanese delegation, headed by former Prime Ministers Saad Hariri and Fouad Siniora, comprising of MPs and politicians representing "March 14" forces as well as a number of sheikhs and economic and media figures, offered condolences today to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz and the Saudi leadership, upon the loss of Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz.

Earlier, Premier Hariri hosted in his residence in Riyadh a lunch in honor of the delegation. It was an occasion to discuss the political situation and the developments on the Arab scene. Hariri underlined the importance of solidarity to face challenges, especially concerning Lebanon and the obligations of the Lebanese state towards the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, stressing that the assassination of former Prime minister Rafik Hariri, like other political assassinations that targeted many Lebanese symbols and leaders, is an issue that concerns all the Lebanese and not only one political group or one community. He added that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon was established to achieve truth and justice, to put an end to political assassinations in Lebanon, and to end the era of the forceful imposition of political choices and of terrorism as a mean to punish political opponents.

Hariri also lauded the role played by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, led by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, in support of Lebanon. He said: "Our presence together here to offer condolences on the passing of Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz, aims to express the deep links that exist between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, and pay tribute to the great deceased, who loved Lebanon and was very attached to its stability and to the unity of its citizens".
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hezbollah felicitates Tunisia with high elections turnout
 

Wed 26/10/2011 21:34

NNA - 26/10/2011 - Hezbollah felicitated on Tuesday the people of Tunisia for their high balloting turnout during the foundational council elections.

"The rebellious people of Tunisia have accomplished a major and decisive achievement in the history of Tunisia," a statement issued by Hezbollah read.

The statement considered said wide participation a clear evidence that Tunisians look forward to an honorable life in which they get the chance to decide their own destiny.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hajj Hassan heads to Milano
 

Wed 26/10/2011 18:20

NNA - 26/10/2011 Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan left Beirut on Wednesday afternoon, heading to Milano.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati visits Saudi Embassy for condolences
 

Wed 26/10/2011 18:17

NNA - 26/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati paid a visit on Wednesday to Saudi Embassy in Beirut, to offer condolences to Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Awad Assiri and Embassy senior staff on the passing away of crown prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz.
Prince Sultan passed away last Saturday following years of ailment.
-------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nahhas returns from Paris
 

Wed 26/10/2011 17:51

NNA - 26/10/2011 Trade and Economy Minister Nicholas Nahhas returned on Wednesday afternoon to Beirut, coming from the French capital Paris.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Safadi, Salameh head to Paris
 

Wed 26/10/2011 17:49

NNA - 26/10/2011 Finance Minister Mohamed Safadi left Beirut on Wednesday heading to the French capital Paris.
Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh also headed on Wednesday to Paris.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Joumblat heads to Saudi Arabia for condolences
 

Wed 26/10/2011 17:42

NNA - 26/10/2011 "National Struggle" Front Head Walid Joumblat left Beirut on Wednesday, heading to Riyadh on board a private plane, to offer condolences on the passing away of Saudi crown prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz.
Prince Sultan passed away last Saturday following a long ailment.
Deputy Joumblat is accompanied by Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour, and MPs Elie Aoun and Akram Shuhayyeb.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk, Mahfouz tackle media issues
 

Wed 26/10/2011 17:13


NNA - 26/10/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk met on Wednesday with Audio-Visual Information National Council Abdel Hadi Mahfouz, where they tackled media affairs and liberties protection. Daouk and Mahfouz saw eye to eye over current proposed issues.
Information Ministry Director General Hassan Falha was present during the meeting.
Mahfouz voiced support for the electronic proposal, currently under preparation by Minister Daouk, to record electronic websites in Lebanon.
Mahfouz disclosed that websites' recording shall start as of Oct 1, 2011, through an index called forth by Audio-Visual Information National Council.

---------------L.Y
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 

 


Politics - Future bloc MPs headed by Siniora leave to KSA
 

Wed 26/10/2011 16:53

NNA - 26/10/2011 - Future bloc member Fouad Siniora left Beirut on Wednesday heading to KSA on top of a delegation of the bloc's Deputies to offer condolences on the death of Crown Prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Kahwaji/Walles discuss general matters
 

Wed 26/10/2011 15:31

NNA - 26/10/2011 - Army Commader, General Jean Kahwaji, discussed on Wednesday the general situation with Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jake Walles, at his Yarzeh office.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - DAS Jake Walles Visits Lebanon
 

Wed 26/10/2011 15:30

NNA - 26/10/2011 - U.S. embassy in Lebanon issued on Wednesday the following press release: "Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jake Walles, completed his visit to Lebanon during which he met with senior officials to discuss the political, security, and economic situation in Lebanon, as well as the current situation in Syria. This is Mr. Walles' second visit to Lebanon as Deputy Assistant Secretary.
Today, Mr. Walles met with Lebanese Armed Forces Commander General Jean Kahwagi.
On October 25, he had met with President Michel Sleiman, Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Bank of Lebanon Governor Riad Salameh, and former Minister of Finance Mohammad Chatah.
In his meetings, Mr. Walles underscored the need for Lebanon to meet all of its international obligations, including cooperating with and funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon. He also reiterated the U.S. view that it is important to ensure that the current instability in Syria does not create tension in Lebanon. He renewed the commitment of the United States to a stable, sovereign and independent Lebanon."

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

 


Politics - Berri commends Christians 'historic' role
 

Wed 26/10/2011 15:29

NNA - 26/10/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, highlighted the importance of the imminent conference on Christians' future in the Middle East and extolled the "historic" role of this community in the region.

USEK is hosting on forthcoming November 18 and 19 a conference on the future of the Christians, at the behest of EU Parliament's members and a number of Mideast Parliaments.

The Speaker is to task a parliamentary delegation to partake in the conference's proceedings.

Berri made these remarks during the periodic weekly meeting with Wednesday Deputies at the Parliament.

The meeting also took up an array of current affairs in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

The Speaker did not fail to avow that reforms were on track in neighboring Syria. He said he reckoned on the Arab committee's visit in Damascus to discuss the Syrian crisis with President Assad.

Turning to Palestine, Berri cautioned against designed schemes aimed to turn the Palestinian Cause into a "monster statelet" which does not comply with the Palestinian people's aspirations and right to build and independent state with Jerusalem as its capital.

On a different note, Berri called for a general legislative session next Wednesday.

Separately, he contacted by phone the Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, to check on his health.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati, Fletcher tackle upcoming encounter with UK Premier
 

Wed 26/10/2011 15:04

NNA - 26/10/2011 Premier Mikati hashed out Wednesday about his upcoming visit to the UK to meet the British Premier David Cameroon on November 7, during his encounter with Ambassador Tom Fletcher at the Grand Serail.

Both men also engaged in talks concerning bilateral ties, developments in the region, and the STL issue.
Fletcher uttered confidence that Lebanese officials shall be taking on the right decision in favor of the whole nation and not for individual purposes.

Mikati convened afterwards with Deputy Simon Abi Ramia who hoped the Premier would place asphalting the Beer El Hayt_Qartaba highway on the Cabinet's agenda.

Rabab-El-Sader, along with Sader Eddine Sader, visited Mikati today with talks featuring high on the issue of disappeared Imam Moussa-El-Sader.
She relayed the conviction of Lebanese President, House Speaker, and Premier that the Imam and his companions are sound.

"We are observing situation in Libya," she said hoping for their return safe and sound.

Among Grand Serail visitors today were also a delegation of the "Zero Waste" Lebanese coalition, and the Tripoli Youth Network.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khoreis: Dialogue's best way for rebuilding ties between country's poles
 

Wed 26/10/2011 14:14

NNA - 26/10/2011 - Liberation and Development bloc member, MP Ali Khoreis, said dialogue will always be the best way towards rebuilding ties between Lebanese poles and filling the ever-growing gap between them.

"Lebanon's interest can only be preserved through clinging to national constants and straying away from external outbids," he said.

The Deputy noted that House Speaker Nabih Berri has always been working for the persistence of dialogue between all country's political poles, assuring that he will keep doing so for the sake of Lebanon.

He accordingly called for respecting the Taef agreement and implementing it strictly.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Habib attacks Aoun's defensive stances of Hezbollah
 

Wed 26/10/2011 12:57

NNA - 26/10/2011 MP Farid Habib blasted Wednesday Change and Reform bloc head's standpoints uttered in defense of Hezbollah.

Habib said, in a statement, that Aoun's threats of a "new May 7" are recognizable and predictable considering the latter's background and culture.

"Promoting supportive stances to Hezbollah jeopardizes Lebanon especially Christians more than fanatic and terrorist groups do," he said.


Aoun said earlier, following his bloc's weekly gathering, that previous attempts to dismantle Hezbollah's private telecom network might have triggered May 2008 Street fighting in Beirut.

L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (updated) Sleiman, Daouk take up general developments
 

Wed 26/10/2011 12:35

NNA - 26/10/2011 Lebanese President Michel Sleiman has been meeting Wednesday since 10:30 a.m. with the Information Minister Walid Daouk.

Both men are tackling most recent up-to-dates as well as ministerial affairs.

Also, conferees held talks about the Information Ministry's assumed steps to ease escalating political speeches.

L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman bound to KSA
 

Wed 26/10/2011 12:33

NNA - 26/10/2011 Lebanese President Michel Sleiman will be leaving Beirut Wednesday afternoon heading to Saudi Arabia so as to pay condolences for the Saudi King on the demise of Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun meets Belgium Ambassador
 

Wed 26/10/2011 12:29

NNA - 26/10/2011 MP Michel Aoun received Wednesday the newly appointed Belgium Ambassador, Colette Taquet, within an acquaintance visit.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri, Kanaan tackle Budget law draft
 

Wed 26/10/2011 12:27

NNA - 26/10/2011 House Speaker tackled Wednesday affairs related to current budget law draft during his meeting with MP Ibrahim Kanaan.

Separately, Berri cabled the Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner and congratulated her for being re-elected.

Berri also received a letter from his Spanish counterpart, Jose Martinez.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Defense Office assigns duty counsel to ensure the rights of the accused
 

Wed 26/10/2011 12:25

Leidschendam: The Head of Defense Office assigned a primary duty counsel and a co-counsel to each of the accused, pursuant to the Trial Chamber's scheduling order of 20 October 2011. The purpose of these assignments is to ensure that the rights and interests of the accused are individually protected while the Trial Chamber considers whether to initiate in absentia proceedings.
The Head of Defense Office made the following assignments:
For Salim Jamil AYYASH: as lead counsel Mr. Eugene O'SULLIVAN, a Canadian national admitted to the Law Society of British Columbia; and as co-counsel Mr. Emile AOUN, a Lebanese national admitted to the Beirut Bar
For Mustafa Amine BADREDDINE: as lead counsel Mr. Antoine KORKMAZ, a Lebanese and French national admitted to the Paris Bar; and as co-counsel Mr. John JONES a British national admitted to the Bar of England and Wales
For Hussein Hassan ONEISSI: as lead counsel Mr. Vincent COURCELLE-LABROUSSE, a French national admitted to the Paris Bar, and as co-counsel Mr. Yasser HASSAN, an Egyptian national admitted to the Egyptian Bar
For Assad Hassan SABRA: as lead counsel Mr. David YOUNG, a British national admitted to the Bar of England and Wales, and as co-counsel Dr. Gu�na�l METTRAUX, a Swiss national practicing before the International Criminal Court and the International Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia
The assignment of duty counsel is a temporary assignment. The eight duty counsel have been selected based on their relevant experience, skills and competences, including experience in Lebanon, terrorism cases, or international tribunals as well as their language abilities. The selection of the Lead counsel was done by the Defense Office, with no involvement from any of the four accused. The co-counsel are appointed in consultation with the Lead counsel.
Should the Trial Chamber decide to initiate in absentia proceedings, the Defense Office will be requested to assign defense counsel for the remainder of the proceedings. Should the Trial Chamber decide not to initiate in absentia proceedings, duty counsel may be withdrawn. The duty counsel shall also be withdrawn if the accused decide to participate in the proceedings, for example by designating their own counsel. The assigned counsels are paid in accordance with the Defense Legal Aid Policy.
For further information, please contact Mr. Joeri Maas, Chef de Cabinet of the Defense Office,
Office number: +31 (0) 70 800 3454, Email: maas@un.org
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Tomeh: Christians ought to prove they are not a minority
 

Wed 26/10/2011 11:59

NNA - 26/10/2011 MP Nidal Tomeh said Wednesday that Christians ought to prove, through daily conduct and stances, that they are not a minority as they do have a valuable role in the Mideast.

In a chat with the press, Future bloc member urged Christians to be more realistic in interpreting political developments and changes.
"Being part of Arab causes as of Arab spring revolutions does not eliminate the privacy of Christian existence," he said.

On the topic of "the "Lady of the Mountain" meeting, Tomeh said it aimed not at criticizing Maronite Patriarch's stances for, he added, fears Maronite Patriarch tackled are applicable on both Christians and Muslims.
"Fanaticism enemies are moderation and coexistence," he said denying any conflict with the Patriarch herein.

A gathering of Lebanese Christians, known as "the Lady of the Mountain," met in Adma Sunday with the aim of mapping out the role Middle East Christians should play in the "Arab Spring."


Pertaining to the Hezbollah established telecom network in Tarshish, Tomeh called for turning this matter into a national cause to control Hezbollah actions and penalize security offenders.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (corrected) Sleiman, Daouk take up general developments
 

Wed 26/10/2011 11:59

NNA - 26/10/2011 Lebanese President Michel Sleiman has been meeting Wednesday since 10:30 a.m. with the Information Minister Walid Daouk.

Both men are tackling most recent up-to-dates as well as ministerial affairs.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Tomeh: Christians ought to prove they are not a minority
 

Wed 26/10/2011 11:36

NNA - 25/10/2011 MP Nidal Tomeh said Wednesday that Christians ought to prove, through daily conduct and stances, that they are not a minority as they do have a valuable role in the Mideast.

In a chat with the press, Future bloc member urged Christians to be more realistic in interpreting political developments and changes.
"Being part of Arab causes as of Arab spring revolutions does not eliminate the privacy of Christian existence," he said.

On the topic of "the "Lady of the Mountain" meeting, Tomeh said it aimed not at criticizing Maronite Patriarch's stances for, he added, fears Maronite Patriarch tackled are applicable on both Christians and Muslims.
"Fanaticism enemies are moderation and coexistence," he said denying any conflict with the Patriarch herein.

A gathering of Lebanese Christians, known as "the Lady of the Mountain," met in Adma Sunday with the aim of mapping out the role Middle East Christians should play in the "Arab Spring."


Pertaining to the Hezbollah established telecom network in Tarshish, Tomeh called for turning this matter into a national cause to control Hezbollah actions and penalize security offenders.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Marouni: Mikati must fulfill Lebanon's international obligations
 

Wed 26/10/2011 11:29

NNA - 26/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Elie Marouni told "Al Sharq Radio" the Phalange Party held a meeting in the town of Tarshish to show solidarity with the town's residents and protect public properties from the domination of Hizbullah mini- state on the Lebanese.

Responding to remarks made by MP Michel Aoun who warned of November 7 events, Marouni said: "The wooden language which Aoun talks about has been used by the Syrian regime and it seems that Aoun is applying the same method."

He stressed that certain groups accuse anyone who talk about security incidents and land encroachment in Lassa of conspiring against the resistance and bowing to international pressure.

He called on the state to end violations in Tarshish town although "we are not pinning high hopes on this matter."

The MP asked behind the purpose of the phone installations in Tarshish and if it had boundaries with Tel Aviv.

Marouni said there are reports of similar installations in Kessrouan.

He also commented on the Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri's call to resume dialogue.

"We support any dialogue which we hope will be constructive. But we don't want a dialogue of the deft. We want dialogue that will lead to implementable decisions."

Marouni was not surprised by Hizbullah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's rejection of any funding for the international tribunal.

"Nasrallah gave his instruction to the ministers not to accept the funding of the tribunal and Hizbullah's spokesman Aoun has exploited this opportunity to continue his campaign against the tribunal."

He urged Prime Minister Najib Mikati to exercise his power and not allow them to blackmail him and confront all attempts to disengage Lebanon from the international community.

The MP accused Hizbullah and its allies of resorting to power to isolate Lebanon internationally and eventually link it to Syria and Iran.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Daouk take up general developments
 

Wed 26/10/2011 10:25

NNA - 25/10/2011 Lebanese President Michel Sleiman has been meeting Wednesday since 10:30 a.m. with the Information Minister Walid Daouk.

Both men are tackling most recent up-to-dates as well as ministerial affairs.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Manjian calls for vote on STL funding
 

Wed 26/10/2011 09:30

NNA - 26/10/2011 - State Minister Panos Manjian called on all sides to put STL funding for voting.

The Minister said that if we want to achieve democracy there should be a solution (like voting) amid the refusal of some sides to tribunal funding, pointing out that linking STL funding issue to budget might torpedo the budget.

"Differences in opinions inside the cabinet proof that this is not Hizbullah's cabinet but a coalition one", Manjian added on Wednesday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio.

On the other hand, Manjian said that there might be two cabinet sessions next week before Adha Holiday, pointing out that "the agenda has 86 articles in the coming session".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Majdalani calls for dialogue over Hizbullah's weapons
 

Wed 26/10/2011 09:25

NNA - 26/10/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc member Atef Majdalani told Voice of Lebanon that his team favors a round table discussion on Hizbullah's weapons and under the supervision of the Arab League.

Commenting on Speaker of the House Nabih Berri's call for dialogue, the MP reminded that March 14 was not the one which boycotted the dialogue which was initiated by President of the Republic Michel Sleiman.

"I think it was MP Michel Aoun and his allies who stopped the dialogue when they stipulated the trial of the false witnesses as a condition to resume the discussion," Majdalani said.

As for STL funding, the MP said it was obvious that Hizbullah, which is protecting the accused and rejecting STL funding, is putting all of Lebanon in the face of the international community," he said.

Majdalani denied any tension between Prime Minister Najib Mikati and former Prime Minister Saad Hariri.

"However, Mikati committed treason when he accepted to become the prime minister."

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahraman urges to settle STL funding through advanced payment
 

Wed 26/10/2011 08:56

NNA - 26/10/2011 - Deputy Khaled Zahraman stressed the necessity to settle funding Special Tribunal to Lebanon issue through treasury bills advanced payment.

Moreover, he asked President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati to discuss funding tribunal issue on cabinet table.

The MP told on Wednesday "Voice of Lebanon" radio concerning Deputy Michel Aoun's words on Tuesday "his words hold lots of contradictions", when he said he is with the tribunal but against funding it.

"Funding STL is not an alternative but a debt on Lebanon", Zahraman stressed.

Commenting on Speaker of the House Nabih Berri's call to activate dialogue, the MP said "we have always called for dialogue but regarding funding STL there are no options for dialogue".

Finally, he called on the cabinet to resign if it failed to commit to funding STL.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Pieton bound to Paris
 

Tue 25/10/2011 21:47

NNA - 25/10/2011 French Ambassador Denis Pieton left Beirut on Tuesday eve and headed to Paris.

L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - S.Gemayyel: Telecom Ministry has exclusive right to establish networks
 

Tue 25/10/2011 21:46

NNA - 25/10/2011 MP Sami Gemayel laid emphasis Tuesday on the Telecommunications Ministry exclusive right to set up telecom networks on Lebanese territories.

Addressing the government, Gemayel drew attention to the recrudescent violation of law and of citizens' safety through the installation of Hezbollah's private telecom network.

Kataeb member Sami Gemayel spoke during chairing the bloc's weekly gathering held on Tuesday exceptionally in Tarshish town.

"What we would like to convey is that we shall not accept but a sole army (the Lebanese army), a sole telecom network (the Lebanese network), a sole law (the Lebanese law), and a sole constitution (the Lebanese constitution)," Gemayel said.

Telecom Minister ought to fulfill his obligation and apply ministerial law which prevents anyone from establishing a private network; Gemayel said and urged Sehnaoui to implement laws not merely in Tarshish town but in every Lebanese territory.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Future bloc: Hezbollah's stance on funding STL violates consensual dialogue
 

Tue 25/10/2011 21:19

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Future bloc members said Tuesday, that "the position of Hezbollah on funding the Special Court for Lebanon (STL) undermines the principle of consensual dialogue."

Members said "the condemning position of Hezbollah confirms its insistence to confront the Lebanese and the international community and proves willingness to implicate the country in fights perilous on numerous levels."

Future bloc urged the government, and notably Premier Mikati, to clearly avow what stance it shall adopt on funding STL and not stick to utter vain and meaningless promises in that respect.

With further criticism to Hezbollah alleged illegal practices, the bloc highlighted the party's harmful performances damaging Lebanon, and reminded herein of the Tarshish network installation and the armed members' road blocking that took place last Sunday following security forces' control of Lassa town breaches.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati returns to Beirut, coming from Saudi Arabia
 

Tue 25/10/2011 21:10

NNA - 25/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati arrived in Beirut on Tuesday evening coming from Riyadh, on board a private plane.
Mikati partook in the funeral of late crown prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz in the Saudi city of Riyadh, on top of an official delegation.
Mikati and his accompanying delegation offered condolences to Saudi King and Saudi royal family on the passing away of prince Sultan.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun: Hezbollah telecoms network ages 10 years
 

Tue 25/10/2011 20:51


NNA - 25/10/2011 MP Michel Aoun said Tuesday that the Hezbollah telecom network in Tarshish town ages 10 years and that Solidere, the Lebanese Company for the Development and Reconstruction of Beirut City, also has its own network.

Aoun said during his chairing to the Change and Reform bloc meeting, that everyone is aware of the network's existence and attempts to dismantle this private telecoms network in May 2008 sparked street fighting in Beirut.

"By legal and legitimate norms, no one possesses the right to establish a private network, but is everyone conscious that the Solidere network for internal and external communication purposes has been on for 15 years?" Aoun interrogated and said ironically that Resistance members cannot "whistle to one another" but they need a private network for communications intentions.

On the STL issue, Aoun reiterated rejection over funding issue deeming it as an unjustified deed.
"We are with the Tribunal only if it was done by constitutional means," he said.

Also, during the meeting, Aoun severely criticized 2012 Budget law draft and said that it is one loaded with flaws.

Asked about the Syrian opponents kidnapping on Lebanese territories and about the violations to the Lebanese borders, Aoun said we do possess armed forces; the ISF, the Lebanese Army forces, and the general security units, that are constantly monitoring borders.



L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel: Coexistence in Jbeil outweighs real estate conflicts
 

Tue 25/10/2011 19:51

NNA - 25/10/2011 Interior Minister said Tuesday that coexistence in Jbeil is more valuable than any other conflict over real estate issues.

Chairing a meeting at the Ministry to square up Lassa issue, Charbel urged cooperation to work for achieving sought solutions and stressed the need to disengage this dossier from political investments.

"We have set, for the first time, a mechanism upon which we shall determine land owners," Charbel said reminding of the legal follow up on this matter.

Parties agreed to meet on Saturday with concerned judge so as to proceed with designating a competent surveyor to archive documents and objections from all parties, the Minister stated.
"Documents will then be sent to the judge who will, in turn, study all available data and give each his right," Charbel said.


At another level, Minister Charbel convened today at his office with Deputies Qassem Hashem, Simon Abi Ramia, and Ziad Aswad.

Later on, Charbel engaged with talks on the expatriates voting process while meeting with the Mexican Ambassador Jorge Alvarez.

The EU Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, also visited Charbel today and tackled with him the upcoming visit of the EU commissioner in Beirut in terms of signing a cooperation agreement with the Lebanese government.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - F.Ghosn/Russian delegation discuss energy production
 

Tue 25/10/2011 19:59

NNA - Minister of Defense, Fayez Ghosn, valued on Tuesday, Russia's support for Lebanon and hoped joint cooperation on all levels would be reactivated.
Ghosn stances came after receiving a delegation of Russian Energy Production Factories, who conveyed desire for joint cooperation regarding power generation projects.

Ghosn also discussed current developments at domestic and regional scenes with Swiss Ambassador to Lebanon, Ruth Filnet. Talks also featured on ways of reinforcing and reactivating bilateral relations.

Among itinerant visitors today, was also Korean Ambassador to Lebanon, Byung-Ji Kim, who discussed with Ghosn bilateral cooperation enhancement.

R.K.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi arrives in Rome on a one week visit
 

Tue 25/10/2011 18:21

NNA - 25/10/2011 Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi arrived on Tuesday in Rome, on a one-week visit, after winding up a pastoral visit to the USA.
Shortly upon arrival, Patriarch Rahi officiated "Thanksgiving" prayers at Saint Maroun Church, profoundly asking for peace in the Middle East and for the welfare of Lebanon.
Rahi then held a series of meetings with a number of priests and nuns and Lebanese community members. Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karami, currently in Roum on top of a delegation to partake in a conference on sports, also visited the Patriarch.
This evening, Rahi met with Eastern Churches Gathering Head Cardinal Leonardo Sandri.
On the other hand, Rahi contacted Saudi Embassy in Rome, offering condolences on the passing away of crown prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz.

--------------L.Y
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Walles discuss bilateral ties
 

Tue 25/10/2011 17:49

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Bilateral ties between Lebanon and the United States featured high on Tuesday on the talks between Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Jake Walles, at Baabda Presidential Palace.

Both tackled regional developments and Walles's tour in a number of neighboring countries.

Among the President's visitors: the Director of Tripoli's Day Free of Cars project, Hala Fadel, who extended to the host an invitation to partake in the Environmental Day for Tripoli on November 13; Mrs. Rabab Sadr, who invited the President to partake in annual Sawa' Conference that is organized by Imam Moussa Sadr Foundations; and former Deputy Hassan Yaacoub.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - EU Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy visits Lebanon Thursday
 

Tue 25/10/2011 17:46

NNA - 25/10/2011 In a press release by European Union Mission Media Bureau, it said "The European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighborhood Policy Stefan F�le will visit Lebanon on 27 and 28 October. It will be his first visit in the country and his discussions with Lebanese partners will focus on strengthening the relations between the European Union and Lebanon as well as supporting the reform process there through the revised European Neighborhood Policy (ENP)."
"Lebanon is a crucial partner and neighbor for the European Union. Strengthening our partnership would greatly benefit both our societies and the stability of the region as a whole," Mr F�le said before the visit.
"Of course, the increased EU support will be linked to Lebanon's commitment to reforms. The more and faster Lebanon progresses in its internal reforms, the more support it will get from the EU," Mr F�le added, recalling the new approach adopted in the framework of the reviewed ENP. He repeated the EU�s expectation that Lebanon would live up to its international obligations.
Released added "In Beirut Commissioner F�le will meet with the President of the Republic Michel Sleiman, Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Nagib Mikati, Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnan Mansour and other members of the government as well as representatives of the civil society."
"During his meetings with the Lebanese officials, Commissioner F�le will seek to push forward the implementation of reforms jointly agreed under the European Neighborhood Policy (ENP) Action Plan", release concluded.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati partakes in late prince Sultan's funeral
 

Tue 25/10/2011 17:14

NNA - 25/10/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati partook Tuesday in the funeral of late crown prince Sultan Ben Abdel Aziz in the Saudi city of Riyadh.
Mikati arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday afternoon, accompanied by an official delegation comprising of Ministers: Mohammed Safadi, Adnan Mansour, Ahmad Karami, Walid Daouk and Ghazi Aridi, in addition to Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Mohammed Rashid Qabbani's representative Sheikh Khalil Mais, and Mufti of Tripoli and the North Sheikh Malek Shaar.
Mikati and his accompanying delegation attended prayers on the soul of the late prince that took place at Imam Turki Ben Abdullah Mosque-Downtown Riyadh, and then offered condolences to Saudi King Abdullah Ben Abdel Aziz, Vice Prime Minister Prince Nayef Ben Abdel Aziz, the late prince's family and royal family members.
Mikati and his accompanying delegation then left Riyadh, heading to Beirut.
Speaking in Riyadh, Mikati eulogized the late prince Sultan, saying he was amongst the pioneering men in the Arab and Islamic nation and constituted a pier of Saudi Arabia's pillars contributing to its uprising and development.
"He [the late prince] has always been a defender and supportive of Lebanon and its just causes at the international, regional and Arab podiums", Mikati said about the late prince.
---------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora, Chamoun tackle current developments
 

Tue 25/10/2011 16:35

NNA - 25/10/2011 "Future" Bloc Head Fouad Siniora met on Tuesday at his Sadet Tower office with "National Liberals" Party Head, Deputy Dori Chamoun where they tackled the current situation in Lebanon and developments on the international and regional scene.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri discuses developments with visitors
 

Tue 25/10/2011 16:20

NNA - 25/10/2011 - House Speaker, Nabih Berri, met on Tuesday at his office in Ain Teeneh, with the Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, Jake Walles and his political attach�, Robert McCutcheon and U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly. Discussions reportedly focused on domestic and regional developments.

Separately, Speaker Berri discussed with the British Ambassador to Lebanon, Tom Fletcher, major developments in Lebanon and the region.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Karami, Rahi stress on unity, stability
 

Tue 25/10/2011 15:47

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Sports and Youth Minister Faysal Karami met on Tuesday with the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi in Vatican. Both discussed overall developments at the local and regional scenes, and stressed upon the necessity of boosting the Lebanese national unity in face of regional developments, and the local stability ambience.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Shukr: Lady of the Mountain meeting aims at Rahi's trend
 

Tue 25/10/2011 15:25

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Baath Party head Fayez Shukr said the upcoming recommendations of the Lady of the Mountain meeting on October 27 are aiming against the trend of Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rahi, who is adopting a local policy of salvation to which all the Lebanese must commit.

Shukr's remark came on Tuesday upon his visiting head of the Bloc of Reform and Change, General Michel Aoun, at the latter's residence in Rabieh.

Evoking the financing issue pertaining to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes, Shukr said the tribunal by itself is illegal as it has not been endorsed by either the parliamentary council or the presidency. Accordingly, Shukr voiced rejection to financing the STL.

Separately, former House Speaker Deputy Elie Ferzli visited Aoun and highlighted the importance of endorsing a good election law that safeguards the country from any confessional or sectarian strife and provides a good representation of confessions in the country.
A.M>

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hariri tackles bilateral ties with Egyptian Ambassador
 

Tue 25/10/2011 15:12

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Parliament member Bahia Hariri tackled on Tuesday means to activate ties between Egypt and Lebanon during her meeting with the Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon Muhammad Toufic who came on a protocol visit.

Discussions also touched on general affairs at both local and regional levels.

Cultural dimensions and relations were the highlights of the meeting between Hariri and Toufic particularly that the region is going through a crucial stage which promises of new visions and policies for the Arab world.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji meets Abboud
 

Tue 25/10/2011 15:09

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Army Commander General Jean Kahwaji discussed on Tuesday with Minister of Tourism Fadi Abboud general situation at domestic and regional scenes.
R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Baabda visitors tackle developments
 

Tue 25/10/2011 14:04

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman on Tuesday tackled most recent political developments in Lebanon and the region with Environment Minister Nazem Khouri who visited him at Baabda Palace.

Former Minister Jihad Azour also had his share of talks with President Sleiman today. Both men tackled the country's general situation and economic affairs.

Later, Civil Defense General Director Brigadier Raymond Khatar visited the President and briefed him on means of augmenting and further activating the role of the civil defense.

On the other hand, cooperation between Lebanon's Civil Aviation and the International Aviation Organization topped talks between Sleiman and Mr. Assaad Kteit, the Honorary President of the International Aviation Organization, who visited him in the company of the General Director of the Lebanon's Civil Aviation, Mr. Daniel Al-Hibi.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahra: Nasrallah's speech aims against international community
 

Tue 25/10/2011 12:19

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Lebanese Forces Parliamentary bloc member Antoine Zahra said the last remarks made by Hizbullah's Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah was aimed at the international community.

The MP sarcastically asked if Hizbullah made any contribution to the treasury or paid any tax to the state so they can show concern about the public finance and refuse to allow the government to pay the country's share in the international tribunal.

He added that Hizbullah is giving the impression that the Prime Minister is not allowed to resign even if he could not secure funds for the tribunal.

"How can one Lebanese party drag the entire country, Lebanese cabinet and constitutional institutions to positions that are tailored to suit this particular party," the MP asked.

He stressed that Prime Minister Najib Mikati must stop acting as a surrogate for Hizbullah and must also stop covering its projects.

"The Lebanese must demonstrate that they are not submissive. They also must resist politically and democratically the status quo which was imposed by Hizbullah."

Zahra hailed the meeting of the "Lady of the Mountain" which gathered Christian figures who voiced support to the Arab Spring in many Arab states.

He reminded that this was the 8th meeting for this Christian gathering, adding that statement issued by this gathering was similar to the one issued by Maronite Bishops in September 20, 2000.
The MP argued that Hassan Nasrallah does not believe that Lebanon is his cause.

Zahra also expressed doubt that Syrian president Bashar Assad will proceed with path of reforms and change, adding that tyrants usually never learn from history.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati holds talks with U.S. Wallas, hosts 7th colloquium officials
 

Tue 25/10/2011 12:09

NNA - 25/10/ 2011 - U.S.-Lebanese bilateral relations and regional developments featured Tuesday on discussions between Prime Minister Najib Mikati and visiting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Egypt and the Levant in the Bureau of Middle Eastern Affairs, Jacob Walles, who met him in the company of the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon Maura Connelly.

On another level, Prime Minister Mikati held a dinner banquet in honor of Arab officials taking part in the 7th Colloquium of the Union of Arab Constitutional Courts and Councils.

"We look forward to activate the role of the Constitutional Council in line with boosting the independence of the Lebanese judicial system," Mikati said. He expressed belief that the Constitutional Council was one of the essential pillars of the Lebanese ruling system, not to mention in charge of following up legislations deemed necessary to preserve justice and balance.

"With the approaching electoral deadline, all the Lebanese pin great hopes on the Constitutional Council to be the watchful eye the ensures an electoral process which reflects the Lebanese people's expectations of an honest parliamentary representation," Mikati added.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati heads to Saudi Arabia to take part in crown prince funeral
 

Tue 25/10/2011 11:28

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati headed on Tuesday before noon to Saudi Arabia accompanied by an official delegation to take part in the funeral of Saudi crown prince Sultan bin Abdel Aziz Al Saoud.

The delegation includes ministers: Mohamad Safadi, Adnan Mansour, Ahmad Karami, Walid Daouk, Ghazi Aridi, representing Mufti of the Republic Sheikh Mohamad Rashid Qabbani, Sheikh Khalil el Meiss and Mufti of Tripoli and the north Sheikh Malek Shaar.

It is worth noting that Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Marwan Zein will join the official delegation.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea tackles developments with Mashnouq
 

Tue 25/10/2011 11:21

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Lebanese Forces executive body Head Samir Geagea tackled Tuesday with the member of Future bloc, MP Nuhad Al-Mashnouq, latest developments at both local and regional scenes.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fatfat holds Hizbullah responsible for any harm befalls on him
 

Tue 25/10/2011 10:56

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Deputy Ahmad Fatfat held Hizbullah responsible in case any harm befalls on him after Deputy Ali Ammar made threats before tens of deputies during human rights committee session.

The MP explained on Tuesday to "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity that the
row was triggered after March 14 MPs responded to a statement by Deputy Nawwaf Mousaoui, adding that "they acted this way to abort the session".

On the other hand, the MP denied that Brigadier Ashraf Rifi has dismissed the existence of Jasem brothers file during the human rights committee session.

"Brigadier Rifi has a complete file on Jasem family and judge Mirza confirmed this issue", Fatfat added.

Fatfat pointed out that Brigadier Rifi said that former Syrian vice president Shibli Oseimi's case is similar to Jasem's but "ISF is still investigating this case".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Saleh: To pull STL funding out of media scene
 

Tue 25/10/2011 10:50

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Member of Parliament Abdul Majid Saleh suggested on Tuesday pulling STL funding negotiations out of the media scene.

In an interview to the Voice of Lebanon radio station, the "Liberation and Development" bloc MP sounded worried about escalating tension being witnessed at the Lebanese domestic scene, tackling Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

"The Liberation and Development bloc has not taken a final decision from the STL funding yet," he said, calling on all concerned sides to try to alleviate tension discussing the matter.

Saleh, however, disclosed huge discrepancy in opinion pertaining to the STL funding. "We ask of God to have mercy on our nation and government," he said.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Houry: Justice preserves future of political life
 

Tue 25/10/2011 09:47

NNA - 25/10/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc member Ammar Houry told Voice of Lebanon that the future of political life in Lebanon can be preserved through truth and justice.

"Are they (March 8) committed to this path? Or are they trying to distract the Lebanese with the funding of the tribunal and with minor details about the protocol and sometimes with threats to open old papers?" the MP added.

He added that all these details are from the past following the issuance of resolution 1757 under chapter 7 and for this reason there should be a clear position on this issue.

Houry dismissed the threats by Prime Minister Najib Mikati to resign in case the Cabinet failed to fund the tribunal as an attempt to dodge responsibility.

He stressed that there is no third option on the tribunal funding: "either they are with it against it."

In his view, Secretary General of Hizbullah Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah did not offer anything new in his last TV appearance.

"Nasrallah is saying the Arab Spring is very promising in all the Middle East with the exception of Syria. He has sided with the Syrian regime against its people."

"As for the tribunal, Nasrallah did not offer anything new. He argued that each side in the Cabinet will present its argument. But at the end the final decision is in the hand of Hizbullah."

Houry rejected the attempts by some quarters in Lebanon to review the protocol on the tribunal.

"But we all say that these things are details. The basic issue is whether Mikati and the Cabinet will show commitment to the tribunal or will they evade this issue?"

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 


News from 4 October 2011 till 15 October 2011  -----   News from 15 October till 24 October 2011