Politics - MP Gemayel confers with a French Deputy
 

Tue 22/11/2011 20:25

NNA - 22/11/2011 - Kataeb Party Central Committee Coordinator, MP Sami Gemayel, conferred Tuesday with French Parliament Member Kristian Vanest, who visited him in Bikfaya. Talks centered on the latest developments in the region.
Following the encounter, MP Gemayel indicated that discussiond tackled the developments in the region, especially the incidents taking place in Syria. Gemayel welcomed the statement by the Syrian National Council, in which it declared about the regime it intends to put into effect after taking on the rule in Syria and its demand for a civil and diverse society that respects the rights of minorities. Gemayel considered such a step as being greatly positive and can only be viewed from a positive perspective.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel visits Al-Rahi in Bkirki
 

Tue 22/11/2011 19:54

NNA - 22/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Mar Bshara Butros Al-Rahi met Tuesday evening with Kataeb Party Head, Amine Gemayel, who visited him in Bkirki to thank him for delegating a representative at Martyr Pierre Gemayel's commemoration service. The encounter was a chance to deliberate over various developments on the local scene.
Following the meeting, President Gemayel touched on the current circumstances prevailing in Lebanon and the region, whereby he considered that Lebanon is before important challenges at this juncture. Gemayel referred herein to the International Tribunal, noting that Lebanon ought to express clearly its commitment to the Tribunal and the International Community; especially that the Lebanese government, with all its constituents, was the one to demand for the Tribunal in the first place, he added. Hence, Gemayel warned against failing to commit to the Tribunal, which shall have negative reflections on the internal scene, he noted.
Over the regional incidents, Gemayel considered that Lebanon ought to remain cautious and aware vis-�-vis all that is going on around, especially in Syria, in order to safeguard and fortify its internal scene in the face of all repercussions that could result from said incidents. He added that Lebanon ought to focus on its own interests and avoid anything that serves not its national unity and internal stability. Hence, he stressed the dire need for fortifying the Lebanese internal scene in the face of any threats to the country's unity and stability.
Regarding the reactivation of the dialogue round table, Gemayel noted that what is needed is a real dialogue table for the sake of an effective dialogue and not one of disputes and clashes.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea congratulates President Sleiman on Independence Day
 

Tue 22/11/2011 19:23

NNA - 22/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces Party Head, Samir Geagea, contacted Tuesday President of the Republic, General Michel Sleiman, congratulating him on Independence Day.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hizbullah congratulating Lebanese on Independence Day
 

Tue 22/11/2011 16:50

NNA - 22/11/2011 - Hizbullah acknowledged the absolute significance of Independence Day for the Lebanese due to events' symbolic meanings and sacrifices of a steadfast people struggling for the liberation of its land, restoration of its sovereignty and safeguarding its independence.

Marking the event, Hizbullah recalled its own victories in 2002 and 2006 saying that the trio of party, army and people helped achieve this divine triumph five years ago.

The Party of God also urged the Lebanese to unite and fully commit to the "trio" because through such commitment the country could only forestall looming domestic and regional threats.

Party concluded on a warning about enemy conspiracies targeting Lebanese dignity, liberty, glory, national sovereignty and independence.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji lays wreaths in military cemetery
 

Tue 22/11/2011 16:36

NNA - 22/11/2011 - Marking the 68th anniversary of Lebanese Independence, Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, laid wreaths on fallen soldiers' tombs at the military cemetery in Yarzeh. He reportedly commended them for their sacrifice and courage in defense of their country.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Northern MPs demand firm army action
 

Tue 22/11/2011 16:32

NNA - 22/11/2011 - Reacting to the Ersal shootout between the Army and presumed local clansmen, a group of northern deputies met at Mohammad Kabbara's home in Tripoli to voice their indignation. They comprised MPs Khaled Daher and Mouin Mere'ebi. A number of local Sunni clergymen were also invited to put their name to a public statement.

The undersigned, described Ersal as a land willfully taken over by armed gangs. They demanded firm action by the Lebanese Military who suffered the consequences of lawlessness in that part of Lebanon. The least they could accept is an army investigation into today's firefight.

They accused whom they termed as Hizbullah-armed gangsters who terrorized the local people and abducted a Syrian national from the Karkouz family. Their version of the story is that local villagers pelted Hizbullah gunmen with stones and sticks when they came to kidnap the Syrian. They added that villagers never attacked Lebanese army personnel who never left a local dignitary's home.

Deputies and clergy also blamed Army Intelligence of working hand-in-hand against the local people with the help of the Syrians and Hizbullah. They warned against any future Syrian-Hizbullah reprisals against the people of Ersal and that to the contrary, they must do their utmost to protect them.

They equally held President, PM, and Army Commander responsible for the safety and security of the people of Ersal.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Wreath-laid at Moawwad's Assassination site
 

Tue 22/11/2011 15:09

NNA - 22/11/2011 - Minister of Information Walid Daouk, laid a wreath at the site of slain president Rene Mouawwad at the behest of himself and all 3 presidents Sleiman, Berri and Mikati with all accompanying pomp and solemnity.

The Minister was accompanied by leading March 14 deputies of the House and members of Moawwad's family.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Lebanese President Sleiman leads Independence Day festivities
 

Tue 22/11/2011 14:48

NNA - 22/11/2011 - All three presidents Sleiman, Berri and Mikati were present at the Central podium where they were saluted by army detachments filing by.
Also invited were Brazilian guest of honor vice President Michel Temer, former PMs, House Speakers, accredited foreign diplomatic stuff members and audio-visual media representatives. Leading business and Finance magnets were also invited.

President Sleiman, Defense Minister and Army Chiefs of Staff laid wreaths on the cenotaph of the Army Fallen.

The military parade featured old US-made helicopter gunships, French-made puma helicopters and other air force units. Parade also featured ISF detachments, Special Forces, paratroops, armored vehicles, mounted and drawn artillery pieces and naval forces.
Following the parade, the President shook hands with well-wishers at the May 25 reception hall, Baabda.

On his side were PM Najib Mikati and House Speaker Nabih Berri.
Same celebrities attending the central military parade in addition to leading religious clerics made their appearance at Baabda Palace where they well-wished all 3 presidents many happy returns of the day.

Among Independence Day well-wishers have been Pope Benedict XVI and a number of Arab and Foreign heads of State who cabled the President on Lebanon's 68th anniversary.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Arslan, Charbel convene on Independence Day
 

Tue 22/11/2011 14:40


NNA - 22/11/2011 MP Talal Arslan met with Minister of Interior Tuesday at the latter's residence, with both men agreeing on the importance of preserving the state, security and independence.

Minister Marwan Charbel lauded the Arslan family, dubbing it one of the pillars of the country's independence. He told reporters who gathered at Arslan's Khaldeh home, in outskirts of Beirut, that he was satisfied with the work of security forces in light of increasing violent crimes.

"The ministry is doing its duties to the fullest, and latest results were satisfactory to me, the ministry and the citizen alike."

Charbel also promised to better the situation of prisoners. "Today we have closed the prison and opened a school."

In his turn, MP Arslan warned against sabotaging the national charter which was established on the basis of democracy and accepting the other. "There is no hope for the resurrection of Lebanon from underneath the ruins of the civil war, unless we activate the state."

Arslan finally congratulated all Lebanese and the army on Independence Day.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi manages Patriarchal affairs, meets Iraqi delegation
 

Tue 22/11/2011 14:20

NNA - 22/11/2011 Patriarch Rahi discussed Tuesday future of Christians in the region with a delegation from Iraqi parliament headed by representatives of the People's Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Council.

The delegation presented Maronite Patriarch Mar Beshara Boutros Rahi with Christians' need for stability in their regions, as well as a personal status law that assured the continuity of their identify, traditions and rights.

Rahi also chaired a series of administrative meetings pertaining to organizing affairs of departments of the patriarchate.

Although the Patriarch did not personally attended Independence Day military parade, he sent Bishops Roland Abou Jaoude and Bolous Sayah to Baabda palace to felicitate the President Michel Sleiman, PM and House Speaker on his behalf.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ghosn places wreath on statue of Prince Fakhr al-Din
 

Tue 22/11/2011 14:03

NNA - 22/11/2011 National Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn represented the three presidents Tuesday in placing a garland on the cenotaph of Prince Fakhr al-Din at the entrance of his Ministry.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Houry: No need to hold festival to overthrow cabinet
 

Tue 22/11/2011 13:02

NNA - 22/11/2011 Future Bloc MP Aamar Houry denied Tuesday during a radio interview that goal behind Bloc's festival in North is to topple government, contending that such a cabinet didn't need a festival for that to be accomplished.

The pro-Hariri parliamentary Bloc planned a festival to be held in North of the country upcoming Sunday to celebrate the national constants agreed upon in Taef accord.

"We must support the logic of a government, as well as the army and security apparatuses cause no one can protect us but the state," said the MP.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Majdalani to Sleiman, Mikati: abide by STL or resign
 

Tue 22/11/2011 11:09

NNA - 22/11/2011 Future Bloc MP Aatef Majdalani gave Tuesday an ultimatum for President Michel Sleiman and PM Najib Mikati to either commit to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) or resign, while interviewed by Voice of Lebanon radio station.

In 2005 the assassination of PM Rafic Hariri along with 22 other victims culminated in a Special Tribunal (STL) which accused 4 members of Hezbollah in the crime. Dispute spurred among pro Hariri March 14 Camp, and pro Hezbollah March 8 camp, with the former abiding by the STL while the latter accusing it of politicization and bias.

"Failing to abide by the STL means alienating Lebanon from the United Nations and taking the side of rouge countries," said Majdalani who warned that dire repercussions will befall the Lebanese in case that happened.

"We are a constructive opposition, our mission is to topple the cabinet, because we do not believe that it has an economic vision, or any vision for that matter, evidently it is a paralyzed government existing only on paper."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman welcomes felicitators on Independence Day
 

Tue 22/11/2011 10:56

NNA - 22/11/2011 Baabda Presidential Palace opened its doors to visitors and felicitators who flocked to greet President Michel Sleiman on the country's Independence Day.

Prime Minister Najib Mikati and House Speaker Nabih Berri were present by the President's side as political, military, social and judicial personalities made their way to the Palace.

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt phones A.Gemayle from Paris, consoles him on son's martyrdom anniversary
 

Tue 22/11/2011 10:52

NNA - 22/11/2011 MP Walid Jumblatt called President Amine Gemayel Tuesday from France to offer his support on the anniversary of Pierre Gemayel's martyrdom, a statement by Progressive Socialist Party said.
Pierre Gemayel was a Lebanese politician in the Kataeb Party, and a vocal critic of Syria's military presence in and political domination of Lebanon. On November 21, 2006, the day before Lebanon's Independence Day, three to four gunmen opened fire at close range on Gemayel with five different types of silenced automatic weapons after ramming his car from the front in the Jdeideh suburb of Beirut. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he was declared dead.

Jumblatt expressed solidarity with Amine Gemayel on this sad anniversary and confirmed long standing relation with the Gemayel family. PSP leader expressed keenness on preserving said good relations in the future.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Iran unfazed by new sanctions
 

Tue 22/11/2011 10:38

NNA - 22/11/2011 Iran dubs Tuesday new sanctions against it announced by the United States, Britain and Canada as "ineffective."

A report by the United Nations atomic energy watchdog suggesting Tehran was researching nuclear weapons prompted the three Western countries to level additional sanctions on Iran's financial sector. However, the Persian state remained unfazed.

"These actions show the hostility of these countries towards our people. They are reprehensible and ineffective," Foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast commented to media, adding that it was mere "propaganda and psychological warfare."

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea: Lebanon's independence entrusted onto Lebanese
 

Tue 22/11/2011 10:28

NNA - 22/11/2011 On the 68 Independence Day, Head of Lebanese Forces (LF) Samir Geagea felicitated the Lebanese and reminded them that this day of liberation was in their care to look after and preserve.

Lebanese Independence Day celebrates the country's liberation from French Mandate on November 22, 1943, after 23 years of French rule.

"Unity [of Lebanese] is guarantee for the survival of Lebanon, and Lebanese must preserve the independence of their country by safeguarding one another," said Geagea.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Military parade wraps up
 

Tue 22/11/2011 10:14

NNA - 22/11/2011 The military parade celebrating 68 anniversary of Lebanon's independence concluded from Shafiq Wazzan boulevard in Down Town Beirut.

Military units took part in the parade attended by President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and House Speaker Nabih Berri. Vice President of Brazil, Michel Tamer, along with a throng of political and security personalities were also present at the ceremony.

Upon the conclusion of the celebration, Sleiman headed to Baabda Palace with the Speaker and PM to receive felicitators.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Independence Eve: Sleiman restates commitment to STL, dialogue, right of return
 

Mon 21/11/2011 21:54

NNA - 21/11/2011 - President of the Republic Michel Sleiman on Monday emphasized the importance of national unity, deeming it the best means to preserve Lebanon's 68th Independence.

Speaking to the Lebanese from the fortress of Rashaya on the eve of Independence Day, President Sleiman delivered an overview on local and regional political developments. He underlined Lebanon's primary interest at the international commitments level: "the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)."

"We must not give the blind eye to things which had been approved at the dialogue table," Sleiman said, affirming Lebanon's continued respect to international resolutions, namely the STL. Moreover, the President underlined the essential need to enforce the law on illegitimate arms owners, especially on those owned by Palestinian refugees. He also reminded that this had also been agreed upon at the dialogue table.

"The Lebanese should stay away from anything that might adversely affect civil peace by adopting the principle of dialogue and equity", the President said in his address to Lebanese citizens.

Furthermore, the President listed the main steps that paved the way for today's independence. He hailed the will of the people who gave Lebanon its Independence and who vowed to safeguard the national accord.

The President also capitalized on the critical phase Lebanon and the region endured, starting with non-stop Israeli violations of Lebanon, Arab-Israeli conflict, the Palestinian cause and revolutions rocking in the region.

Finally, the President urged the Lebanese remain on the alert coping with regional developments, underscoring the importance of preserving diplomatic relations with Syria and snubbing any attempt at naturalizing Palestinians in Lebanon.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Jumblatt restates National Struggle Front's constants
 

Mon 21/11/2011 20:56

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Walid Jumblatt reiterated on Monday the National Struggle Front's utter refusal to expose Lebanon before Israel, highlighting the defensive magnitude of the Resistance arms.

The National Struggle Front Leader's words came in his regular stance accorded to the Progressive Socialist Party's (PSP) Al- Anbaa weekly, in which he restated the Front's political constants, in light of local and regional developments.

"We look forward to the resumption of national dialogue so as to discuss the national defense strategy," Jumblatt said, casting away any intention to rid national institutions of their role.

Moreover, Jumblatt sounded the alarm over the highly sensitive situation Lebanon is currently witnessing. "This entails maximum governmental solidarity, in a bid to avoid being bogged down in a state of void," Jumblatt warned.

Touching on Syria's unrest in the wake of Syrian President Bashar Assad's speech which he delivered on Sunday in line with the Syrian National Council's pledges of reform, Jumblatt made clear that his party still refused all sorts of foreign intervention in Syria's affairs.

Jumblatt also asserted that his party supported the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), seeing in this Lebanon's best national interest. "It is best for Hezbollah to positively cooperate with this issue to alleviate internal tension."
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - State of democracy prelude to genuine spring: Kataeb
 

Mon 21/11/2011 20:05

NNA - 21/11/2011 - A state of law coupled with a democratic system which guarantees individual and mass freedom is the only power capable of bringing about a real Arab spring which paves the way towards a new era of progress, development and peace before Arab civilizations, Kataeb Party said in a statement issued following its weekly meeting on Monday.

Kataeb political Bureau members held their weekly meeting today presided by party leader Amine Gemayel, with talks featuring high on latest developments at the local and regional scenes.

"Lebanon is still searching today, more than ever, for the true meaning of independence within the confines of unachieved justice, lacking equity, exposed country, stricken people, and absent state," Kataeb conferees agreed in their statement, issued on the eve of Lebanon's 68th Independence Day.

As for the political agenda which had been declared yesterday by the Syrian National Council, Kataeb positively evaluated its intention to build a civil democratic state within a Parliamentary Republican system.

Marking the commemoration of late Minister Pierre Amine Gemayel and Samir Chartouni, conferees expressed hope this memory would set incentive for all the Lebanese "to follow the footstep and dreams of Pierre who had always dreamed of a free and just Lebanon."
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kanaan: no accurate financial accounts by Siniora since 1993
 

Mon 21/11/2011 19:34

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Deputy Ibrahim Kanaan criticized former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora's financial performance which had never been accurate and proper and abided by the legal and constitutional norms since 1993.

Kanaan's stance came on Monday after March 14 Deputies left a session for the Budget and Finance Commission, in a backlash at what they termed as "slander" by the commission's head, Kanaan, against Siniora.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - A. Gemayel, French Deputy discuss future of Christians in Middle East
 

Mon 21/11/2011 19:14

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Former President Amine Gemayel discussed the future of the Christians in the Middle East and ways of preserving the balance in Lebanon as well as the political situation in the country with French deputy of the Union of a Popular Movement (UPM), Christian Vanneste.

Vanneste, who visited Kataeb Party's head on Monday at his residence in Bikfaya, indicated that France should reactivate relations with Lebanese Christians in order to uphold those in the Middle East.

"I am reassured over the future of Christians in Lebanon since it is the country of a minority governed by consensus and mutual respect," Vanneste added, pointing out that "the situation in Lebanon will remain good as long as the country is away from foreign interference."

The visiting deputy noted that the situation in the Arab countries, like Egypt and Iraq, was different from that in Lebanon, "as Christians in neighboring regions are threatened of disappearance; that's why we are intervening via politics, yet respecting these countries."

Vanneste concluded that the presence of Christians was deemed necessary for Muslims, because it provided the equilibrium paramount to bolster democracy.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Orthodox League offers electoral project law
 

Mon 21/11/2011 18:55

NNA - 21/11/2011 Lebanese Greek Orthodox League put forward its electoral project law that ensures true representation by all sects, based on a study by the League's Legal Affairs Committee.
The League proclaimed its new project law during a press conference it held at Press Syndicate headquarters on Monday afternoon, in presence of a number of political and social dignitaries.
"This proposal is based on holding parliamentary elections on two consecutive stages, after dividing Lebanon into several provinces and departments", League Head Nicholas Gholam said during the press conference.
-------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora meets Saudi, Russian diplomats
 

Mon 21/11/2011 18:28

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Head of Future parliamentary bloc, MP Fouad Siniora, on Monday met with Saudi ambassador, Ali Assiri, over bilateral ties and most recent political developments in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

He later reviewed the current general situation on both local and regional arenas with Russian ambassador to Lebanon, Alexandre Zasypkin.

Siniora had earlier visited Brazilian Vice President, Michel Tamer, at his staying residence in Phoenicia Hotel.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji meets a delegation of Baalbeck-Hermel Bloc
 

Mon 21/11/2011 18:16

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, met a delegation of Baalbeck-Hermel Bloc comprised of MPs Ghazi Zeaiter, Ali Mekdad, Kamel Rifaii, and Nawar Sahili, who congratulated him on Independence Day.

The meeting was held in Yarzeh office on Monday with talks featuring high on the security situation in Baalbeck.

Later, Kahwaji respectively received a delegation of Denniyeh municipalities presided by Mohammad Abdul Salam Saadieh, and a delegation of Hamas Movement headed by Ali Barakeh. Discussions reportedly focused on the condition of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and the role of the Lebanese army in anchoring security and stability nationwide.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati expects more entrenched ties between Lebanon, Brazil
 

Mon 21/11/2011 18:13

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, on Monday said the visit of Brazilian Vice President, Michel Tamer, to Lebanon highlighted the consistency of bilateral ties and the necessity to bolster them on all diplomatic, parliamentary, and trade levels.

Brazil's top official had been to the Grand Serail today, for a meeting with the Prime Minister over relations between the two countries.

Mikati did not fail to shed light on the substantial capacities and potential that both Lebanon and Brazil have.

"The very vital and active private sector in both countries must be looking for new investment markets (...) We ought to frame this matter through [inking] two-pronged agreements, noting that raw materials, and human and energy resources abound in our regions," said the Prime Minister.

He also exhorted Brazil to put pressure on Israel to compel it to fully implement international resolutions, on top of which 1701.

For his part, Tamer revealed many economic projects were en route to being put forth between Lebanon and Brazil, particularly the opening of a branch of the Brazilian Bank in Beirut and the offer of expertise by a Brazilian oil company to assist in building water dams.

Talks also ventured into the possibility to open a direct airline between Brazil and Lebanon.

Earlier today, Mikati had respectively met at the Grand Serail with State Minister, Panos Manjian, the ambassador of Malta's Knights organization, Patrick Reno, a delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and a delegation of the detainees and prisoners' families.

Minister of Justice, Shakib Qortbawi, also visited Mikati today at the Grand Serail, for a meeting over affairs relevant to his Ministry.

The Prime Minister later broached an array of local and regional affairs, in light of the current developments socking the Arab region, with former Deputy Nassib Lahoud.

On the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri, Lahoud hailed Premier Mikati's related position. "The cause is not merely that of Lebanon's commitment to the resolutions it had taken in the past, it is rather a matter of justice and avoiding that political assassination becomes part of the political game," he said.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mkari after meeting Geagea: for funding international tribunal
 

Mon 21/11/2011 17:53

NNA - 21/11/2011 Vice House Speaker Farid Mkari called for funding Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) to chastise those who killed Lebanon's martyrs. Lebanon marked on Sunday the martyrdom commemoration of late martyr Pierre Gemayel.
Mkari was speaking after his meeting with Lebanese Forces Chief Samir Geagea, whereby he voiced March 14 sticking to STL and its continuance whether funded by Lebanon or not.
STL is a UN-backed court probing the assassination of late statesman Rafic Hariri and related crimes.
"STL funding is a national obligation towards fallen martyrs and pledge towards international society", Mkari said, pointing out that funding deadline is getting closer.
In response to a question whether March 14 shall work on toppling the government in the case the latter fails to meet STL funding, Mkari said the government shall fall by itself, thus no need for such a step.
On the Syrian affair, Mkari ruled out the occurrence of civil war in Syria, contrary to some statements by political officials that fall in this regards.
Mkari pointed out that the Syrian regime might attempt to incite some troubles in Lebanon to divert attention from what is currently taking place in Syria. "However, the Lebanese people are aware of this matter and it is the State's duty to prevent the occurrence of any internal strife", Mkari said, calling on the State to place Lebanon's interest on top of its priorities.
-----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abi Ramia: FPM deals with STL in accordance with Constitution
 

Mon 21/11/2011 17:32

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Deputy Simon Abi Ramia said the Free Patriotic Movement would deal with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issue in accordance with the Constitution.

Abi Ramia's stance came in the context of an interview on LBCI. He explained that nothing would legally oblige Lebanon to fund a tribunal attempting to flare up a civil warfare in the country.

The STL was set up in Hague in 2009 to probe the assassination of martyr statesman Rafic Hariri and other related crimes.

Abi Ramia said Lebanon should not interfere in the Syrian interior. "We dream of democracy in the Arab World, yet the current situation in some countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya shows a sort of hostility among the public," he added.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Abi Ramia: FPM deals with STL in accordance with Constitution
 

Mon 21/11/2011 17:32

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Deputy Simon Abi Ramia said the Free Patriotic Movement would deal with the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) issue in accordance with the Constitution.

Abi Ramia's stance came in the context of an interview on LBCI. He explained that nothing would legally oblige Lebanon to fund a tribunal attempting to flare up a civil warfare in the country.

The STL was set up in Hague in 2009 to probe the assassination of martyr statesman Rafic Hariri and other related crimes.

Abi Ramia said Lebanon should not interfere in the Syrian interior. "We dream of democracy in the Arab World, yet the current situation in some countries like Egypt, Tunisia and Libya shows a sort of hostility among the public," he added.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri congratulates NTC on catching Seif al-Islam Gaddafi
 

Mon 21/11/2011 17:12


NNA - 21/11/2011 - Speaker of the House Nabih Berri sent on Monday the head of the National Transitional Council (NTC), Moustafa Abdul Jalil, a letter congratulating him on arresting a number of the major figures of the former Libyan regime, like Seif al-Islam Gaddafi and others.

Berri hoped investigations with these arrested would uncover the truth beyond the crimes in Libya, on top of which the disappearance of Imam Moussa Sadr and his companions.

Separately, Berri received phone calls from each of Mufti Muhammad Rachid Qabbani, Druze Sheikh Akl Naim Hassan, and the Eritrean President, who congratulated him on the Independence Day.

In another development, the House Speaker received at his residence in Ain Tineh head of the Ittihad Party, former Minister Abdul Rahim Murad, and discussed with him developmental matters relevant to Bekaa region.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved












 

Politics - Ghosn says calm rhetoric, dialogue required
 

Mon 21/11/2011 17:08

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Minister of National Defense, Fayez Ghosn, on Monday avowed that it was mandatory to return to dialogue and to adopt a calm political rhetoric.

As congratulating the Lebanese upon the 68th commemoration of the Independence Day, the Minister hoped this occasion would be crowned with the recuperation of the Lebanese territories' integrity.

"This year's commemoration comes amid a critical time in Lebanon, in the wake of the many developments in the Arab region," he said, cautioning against likely challenges and dangers.

He called the Lebanese parties to reconsider their political positions upon the basis of national general welfare and interest.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved








 

Politics - Hajj Hassan: Mansour's stance in Arab League conforms to Taef
 

Mon 21/11/2011 16:25

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Agriculture Minister Hussein Hajj Hassan said Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour's recent position in the Arab League meeting on November 12 conformed to Taef Accord and all the Syrian-Lebanese agreements.

Hajj Hassan's stance came Monday in the context of his patronizing a graduation ceremony for the Islamic Foundation for Education and Learning.

Hajj Hassan explained that the crisis in Syria could be solved via dialogue, not confessional incitations that could lead to strife and bloodshed.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mufti calls for joint work to nip strife
 

Mon 21/11/2011 15:47

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, on Monday capitalized the necessity to join efforts so as to enhance independence and vigilance to face rift and strife.

He contacted today by phone President Michel Sleiman, House Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Defense Minister Fayez Ghosn, and Army Chief General Jean Qahwaji, to whom he relayed congratulations for the Independence Day occasion.

"Lebanon headed the Arab world in achieving the Lebanese spring, one day before the Independence Day commemoration, through consensus and coexistence," he said.

The Mufti had met earlier with former Deputy Talal Merhebi over an array of local, regional, and international affairs.

He later received a delegation of Kfarshouba locality.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Future Movement gives government little time to settle STL funding issue, threatens to overthrow it
 

Mon 21/11/2011 15:39

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Future Movement held Monday its second general assembly in Akkar in presence of Deputies Riad Rahal, Nidal Tohmeh and Khodr Habib who all threatened of overthrowing Mikati's government if it failed to fund the Special tribunal as the latter had promised.

First was Future's General Coordinator Issam Abdel Qader who listed the assembly's goals particularly in light of the Arab spring as well as the changes and revolutions against dictator regimes starting from Tunisia and ending with Yemen and Syria.

"We ought to be ready to buttress these people by all means," he said.

Deputy Rahal said in his word that "it is imperative to boycott the government and all the parliamentary sessions, hence to boycott Premier Najib Mikati," confirming that March 14 forces, particularly the Future Movement, should always be ready for going to the street and causing the downfall of the government.

The Deputy highlighted in this regard the importance of unifying ranks and waiting for the special tribunal's verdicts to bring justice and truth, hence stability to the country.

Rahal called for giving Mikati's government a certain period of time to settle the STL funding issue, put it on the cabinet's agenda and request advance from the treasury to pay the state's dues to the special tribunal.

"Mikati is being 'manipulated' by Hezbollah in face of the international community and the majority of the Lebanese people," the MP regretted.

"We are with dialogue as long as it includes the ultimate request which is to demolish Hezbollah's weapons," he added, calling upon the government to issue a decision that bans all sorts of armed manifestations on the Lebanese territories.

Parliament member Tohmeh, for his part, regretted the fact that some are trying to threaten us with the Arab unrest, claiming that the regime [Syria] they are supporting is the protector of Christians.

"What links Christians' presence to this orient will never be a person or a regime, especially that this same regime has always been known as dictatorial." "This country cannot be ruled but with the existence of moderate Christians who believe in a free, sovereign and independent state," added the Deputy.

Accordingly, Tohmeh reassured the Syrian brother people, who is being aggressed and displaced on daily basis, that Akkar inhabitants will always be there to offer all the help needed.

"This technique of Lebanese isolation paves the way for a soon governmental defeat," he said, assuring that if it doesn't his camp will be there to overthrow it itself.

MP Khodr Habib was the third to deliver a word during this general assembly, saying that forming the government was ignited by Syria and Hezbollah; therefore Premier Mikati cannot act decisively over the STL's funding, thus disregarding the opinion of those who brought him to power.

"Mikati stands before two options: either he resigns, either he funds the STL," Habib reminded, putting the Premier's credibility at stake.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - March 14 withdraws from budget commission session
 

Mon 21/11/2011 15:13

NNA - 21/11/2011 - March 14 Deputies left a session for the budget and finance commission Monday, in a backlash at what they termed as "slander" by the commission's head, MP Ibrahim Kanaan, against his fellow Fouad Siniora.

Future bloc member, Jamal Jarrah, vowed that Deputies would boycott the sessions if Kanaan did not apologize.

He told journalists at the Parliament that Kanaan was using the "dais" of the commission to libel and vilify Siniora, in a bid to mislead public opinion.

The Change and Reform bloc has frequently cast doubts over Siniora's performance and seniority as a Finance Minister in office for many terms, holding him accountable for the towering debt ratios.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Pietton: for Lebanon to stay impartial regarding region's crisis
 

Mon 21/11/2011 14:42

NNA - 21/11/2011 - The French Ambassador Denis Pietton said it was necessary for Lebanon to adopt the policy of impartiality, in regard to the crisis in the Arab countries, explaining that Lebanon must take on the necessary procedures that would keep it aside from the turmoil running throughout the countries.

Pietton's stance came amidst his meeting with the Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour at the latter's office. Pietton conveyed France's support for the Arab League's stances.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

Politics - Sleiman heads Brazilian frigate delivery to UNIFIL
 

Mon 21/11/2011 14:40

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman headed on Monday at Beirut seaport a ceremony for delivering the Brazilian frigate ship to the UNIFIL.

Sleiman was received at the naval base, where held the ceremony, by the deputy President of Brazil Michel Tamer. Both unveiled the curtains over a memorial monument in this concern and signed the golden record.

Separately, the President received at Baabda Presidential Palace the ALFA Company director Marwan Hayek, who briefed the host over the G3 internet system.

The President had already attended yesterday with his wife the traditional dinner ceremony for the Maronite General Council at Phoenicia hotel in Beirut. The event was also joined by Prime Minister Najib Mikati, House Speaker Nabih Berri, Maronite Patriarch Bechara Arahi, Papal Ambassador Gabriel Cacchia and other ranking dignitaries.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 


 


Politics - Fadlallah refuses turning Lebanese scene into source of conspiracies against Syria
 

Mon 21/11/2011 14:20

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Loyalty to the Resistance bloc member, Deputy Hassan Fadlallah, refused turning the Lebanese scene into a field of conspiracies and interference in the Syrian internal affairs.

"Some poles' attempts to drag Lebanon into this crisis tamper with the Lebanese interest," he regretted, assuring that it only serves for incitation and mobilization.

The Deputy hoped Syria would escape the current crisis. He ruled out the possibility of any military move or western attempt to launch a war against Syria, as they did in Libya.

As for the internal situation, Fadlallah stressed that provocative and sectarian rhetoric is a dangerous weapon which might turn on those who are adopting it now.

"Flaring up confessional tension brings harm to everyone," he said, conveying Hezbollah's viewpoint.

Also, the Deputy affirmed that Lebanon's government will persist despite all the rumors about the Prime Minister's resignation.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fayad: no one will be exempt from Syrian repercussions
 

Mon 21/11/2011 13:24

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Loyalty to the Resistance bloc member, Deputy Ali Fayad, estimated Monday that no one will be exempt from the repercussions of the developments in Syria, during a ceremony held in South Lebanon.
The Deputy explained that the unrest in Syria is different from the revolutions which flared up in other Arab countries. "These are not popular riots," he assured.

"They are foreign interferences aimed at spreading chaos in Syria," Fayad noted, assuring that this anarchy will definitely shake the overall region.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nahhas, Belgium Ambassador tackle bilateral economic ties
 

Mon 21/11/2011 12:48

NNA - 21/11/2011 Economy and Trade Minister tackled Monday trade and economic ties' reinforcement during his meeting with the Belgium Ambassador to Lebanon Colette Taquet.

Nahhas also met with the newly appointed British Ambassador to Lebanon Tom Fletcher with whom he went over bilateral relations.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea tackles new traffic law with "Roads for Life" association
 

Mon 21/11/2011 12:17

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces party Head, Samir Geagea, met Monday with a delegation of the association "Roads for Life" headed by Zeina Al-Qassar Qassem in the frame of the official visits paid by said association's members to Lebanese leaderships.

Qassem, whose son have been killed in a car accident almost a year ago, briefed Geagea on the association's activities aimed at ratifying a new traffic law. The visit mainly focused on earning the support of the Lebanese Forces bloc and its allies in the Parliament regarding this subject.

Discussions also touched on the misimplementation of laws and regulations, as well as the negligence of traffic safety measures to which the Lebanese are paying their lives as a dear price.

Geagea promised the delegation that the LF media resources will be at service of "Road for Life" campaign.

"Traffic law and citizens' safety is a national non political cause," Qassem said, calling on the country's leaderships to disregard their political disputes and ratify the new traffic law for the best of Lebanon and the Lebanese.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk returns to Beirut, hopes stability lingers in Lebanon
 

Mon 21/11/2011 12:14

NNA - 21/11/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk hoped Monday the government would be able to execute Cabinet Policy Statement and stability would reign over Lebanon.

Minister Daouk returned today to Beirut following a ten-day visit in Australia during which he patronized the inauguration of the National News Agency office there in presence of NNA director Laure Sleiman Saab.

Daouk met with several Australian senior officials with whom he tackled bilateral media cooperation.
"I have engaged in talks on developing electronic media issue with the Australian Federal Minister," he said.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Raad: Syrian regime forbids war
 

Mon 21/11/2011 11:50

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Head of Loyalty to Resistance bloc Deputy Mohamad Raad said that the Syrian regime forbids war to cut off the road to internationalization.

Raad said that the west wants civil war in Syria so that all countries would be affected if war happened.

The MP said during a political meeting held by Hizbullah in Nabatiyeh in presence of dignitaries that the Syrian regime has lots of cards because it's strong and the army is cohesive and these factors help Syria to confront all the conspiracies.

He pointed out that the Russian and Chinese veto at the Security Council was meant to send a message to the entire world that no one should contemplate a military action against Syria because this country enjoys international immunity.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Marouni: Mikati trying to escape pledges
 

Mon 21/11/2011 11:44

NNA - 21/11/2011 MP Elie Marouni said Monday tackling STL issue during Cabinet is a way out for Prime Minister to escape pledges he took before international and Arab forums.

Marouni, currently in Canada, told Al-Sharek radio that this government belongs to Hezbollah and Syria and thus is against funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

"This issue might subject Lebanon to facing economic and political crises that could be avoided," he said.

Also, the MP urged Premier Mikati to execute his commitments otherwise; it is preferable that he resigns.

On the occasion of Lebanon's Independence Day, Marouni reiterated Lebanese holding on to their sovereignty, freedom, and Cedars' revolution principles.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rai calls for preserving sovereignty of country
 

Mon 21/11/2011 11:23

NNA - The Catholic bishops and archbishops opened the 45th meeting at Bkirki to discuss the role of the youth and their position in the life and message of the church.

Maronite Patriarch Mar Behshara Rai, who presided over the meeting which was attended by a number of prominent Christian religious figures, underscored the need to preserve Lebanon's sovereignty and called on politicians and political parties to train the new generation to be loyal to Lebanon.

He added that it is imperative that Lebanese practice democracy in a proper manner and to encourage the youth to enroll to the Lebanese army, security forces and public administrations.

Rai also highlighted the need to accept political and religious pluralism and condone the opinions, culture and religion of all Lebanese.

Repeating his slogan "partnership and love", Rai stressed that the church is stretching its hand to the state in order to work together to provide a better future for the youth and pay more attention to their energy and who are the country's real wealth.

The patriarch said it is of utmost importance to secure jobs for the Lebanese youths and capitalize on their huge resources and knowledge.

Rai also commented on the events taking place in some of the Arab countries.

He also said that this meeting will discuss other religious matters that concern all Christian sects in Lebanon.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jisr: Arab Spring starts from Lebanon
 

Mon 21/11/2011 10:06

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Deputy Samir Jisr stressed that the Arab Spring started from Lebanon.

Jisr said that Independence Day has a special flavor this year amid the ongoing developments in the Arab region.

On the other hand, the MP hoped on Monday to "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity radio that Deputy Saad Hariri will return to Lebanon soon, adding that "he is the one who determines the timing of his return".

Jisr said that Tripoli's rally next Sunday will be a mass rally, pointing out to the deadline of STL funding, stressing that President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati pledged before the international community to fund the STL.

The exit exists because STL funding was endorsed in previous cabinets", the MP stressed.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fatfat: STL funding will not pass in cabinet
 

Mon 21/11/2011 09:58

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Deputy Ahmad Fatfat said that tribunal funding issue would fail to secure enough votes in cabinet.

Fatfat considered on Monday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio that the exceptional positions of President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Deputy Walid Jumblatt are not enough to change the course of voting in the cabinet.

"All what we are witnessing today concerning STL funding is to gain more time", the MP added.

Fatfat ruled out that the cabinet would endorse Tribunal funding issue, pointing out that differences inside the cabinet do not lead to its resignation.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Araji: Mikati should quit cabinet if he fails to fund tribunal
 

Mon 21/11/2011 09:40


NNA - 21/11/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc member Issam Araji told Lebanon free radio that Prime Minister Najib Mikati should submit his resignation if he fails to persuade the cabinet to finance the international tribunal.

He reminded that Mikati has in several occasions pledged to secure funds for the international tribunal.

"If Mikati fails to secure funding for the tribunal then he should resign from the cabinet to preserve his dignity and pride. The hour of truth has finally come and Mikati can no longer walk between the lines," the MP said.

He stressed that if funding for the tribunal was not secured then this proves that this cabinet is nothing more than Hezbollah government and Mikati has no power over it.

Araji added that the Syrian regime is in deep predicament due the internal events in the country.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khalil: Syria can overcome its crisis
 

Mon 21/11/2011 09:32

NNA - 21/11/2011 - Health Minister Ali Hasan Khalil stressed that Syria is strong despite all the challenges and can overcome its crisis.

Khalil added that Syria and Lebanon's stability are connected to each other.

On the other hand, the minister stressed during the inauguration of Nabatiye Hospital Oncology and Hematology department that division in Lebanon is not the Lebanese fate but their coexistence, calling on all politicians to support and work to achieve this.

"We are prudent that the opposition will exercise its role in the framework of institution away from challenges", he said.

He stressed that priority is to defend the state and respect it in a democratic way away from vengeance to be able to confront all the unfolding developments in the Arab countries.

Khalil called for dialogue among all parties to protect ourselves from the surrounding storms, adding that Israel still exists and wants to destroy Lebanon's unity, "for this reason we should fortify our national speech in face of such challenges".

The Minister stressed that the government course faces some obstacles but it still has the capabilities and common points to be productive on the administrative, economic and social level.

"The cabinet should hold responsibility in handling all issues", Khalil urged.

On the other hand, Khalil, who represented Speaker of the House Nabih Berri in this ceremony, stressed the necessity to have such a department in Nabatiyeh Government Hospital, praising the development of this hospital.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hashem: Any negative development in Syria will affect Lebanon
 

Mon 21/11/2011 08:34

NNA - 21/11/2011 - The Development and Liberation Member of Parliament Qassem Hashem warned that any negative development in Syria will surely have dire effects on Lebanon in general.

The MP, who made these remarks during a tour of the border area with Israel, also blasted the position of the Arab League towards Syria, adding that the league has turned into a mere tool for the U.S. administration.

"The Arab League is not seeking the interest of their Arab nations but rather are only concerned to appease the U.S. administration," Hashem said.

He argued that the recent Arab League decision to suspend the membership of Syria in the league runs contrary to all rules and norms that were set by the league members themselves.

The MP stressed that Syria is being targeted by the U.S. and its allies because the regime defended the rights and identities of the Arab people, adding that the Arab rulers who are collaborating with the U.S. are in living in illusion if they think that their position will protect their thrones and positions.

"It is regrettable that that some people in Lebanon are wagering on negative changes in Syria so that they can seize power. But these people are gambling in the fate of Lebanon and Lebanese and not only Syria."

He remained confident that Syria will overcome its crisis.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - A solidarity day with Syria in Al-Qseir
 

Sun 20/11/2011 21:55

NNA - 20/11/2011 - Civil associations and the independent development gathering in the Beqaa organized a "solidarity day" with Syria Sunday, under the headline of refusing the Arab League's decision to freeze Syria's membership while supporting the path of reform led by Syrian President, Bashar El-Asad. The solidarity day took place in the region of Al-Qseir at the borders, in which students and dignitaries took part.
Head of the Development Gathering, Ali Qanso, delivered a word in support of Syrian leadership in the face conspiracy and sabotage targeting its security and stability, so that it can pursue its protection of resistance movements in Lebanon and Palestine.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kataeb Party marks Martyr Pierre Gemayel's commemoration
 

Sun 20/11/2011 20:46

NNA - 20/11/2011 - Lebanese Kataeb Party marked Sunday the commemoration of its Martyr Pierre Gemayel in a mass service held in the afternoon at Saint Anthony's Church in Jdeidet El-Metn, in presence of President of the Republic, General Michel Sleiman, represented by Vice Prime Minister, Samir Mokbel. House Speaker, Nabih Berry, was also represented by MP Ali Bazzi and Prime Minister, Najib Meqati, by Minister Ncoula Nahhas. A number of deputies, cabinet members and political and diplomatic figures also attended the mass service.
Beirut Maronite Parish Bishop Boulos Mattar headed the religious mass representing Patriarch Mar Bchara Butros Al-Rai. In his sermon, Bishop Mattar hailed the huge national sacrifice of the late Pierre Gemayel, whose assassination came due to his aspirations for peace and reconciliation, and his struggle for a Lebanon of diversity, coexistence, liberty and coexistence, he noted.
Mattar went on to consider that Lebanon is victorious through the power of its courageous martyrs. He stressed that Lebanon is the basic launching point for the current "Arab Spring" and is the condition for the success of such a 'Spring" with its flourishing branches, in respecting the values of liberty, partnership and equality.
In a word by the late Gemayel's eldest son, Amin, he paid tribute to the memory of his father and to the meaning of his martyrdom and the great loss he has left behind in the heart of his family. He prayed to the Lord to bless him and his brother with the ability to follow in the path of their late father, Pierre; a path of sacrifice, courage and faithfulness, raising the flag of a free and independent Lebanon up high.
In turn, President Amin Gemayel delivered a word in which he expressed gratitude to Patriarch Al-Rai for heading the mass service commemorating the late Martyr Gemayel, represented by Bishop Mattar. He also thanked the presence of President Sleiman, Speaker Berry and PM Meqati through their representatives at the religious mass, as well as all other prominent figures and friends who took part in the commemoration service Sunday.
Gemayel indicated that despite the huge tragedy and the greater wound of losing Pierre, marking his martyrdom commemoration remains an incentive for everyone due to its great meaning. He considered that as much as one is capable of understanding the meaning of martyrdom, as much as one would be able to preserve the nation and continue in the path of the principles and values for which the late Pierre sacrificed his life.
Gemayel went on to indicate that martyrdom has yielded liberation, and shall also yield justice. He added that "Lebanon's Spring" shall continue so that Lebanon remains a nation of dignity. R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt heads to Paris
 

Sun 20/11/2011 19:14

NNA - 20/11/2011 - Progressive Socialist Party Head, MP Walid Jumblatt, left Beirut Sunday, heading to the French Capital, Paris.
R.Sh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hariri Marking Pierre Gemayyel's fifth Assassination Anniversary
 

Sun 20/11/2011 16:47

NNA - 20/11/2011 - Hariri media bureau issued the following statement: "On the occasion of the fifth commemoration of the assassination of MP Pierre Amin Gemayel, Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri issued the following statement:
When the criminal killers succeeded in assassinating Pierre Amin Gemayel five years ago, they knew that they were directing a strong blow to the independence movement in Lebanon, and they were betting on hitting the leadership of this movement in order to crush it. I indeed felt the sturdiness of this blow and the magnitude of the loss inflicted by the criminals to our ranks, due to the role played by Martyr Pierre on the level of the March 14 leadership, and due to the tasks that he carried on the level of the party and the country and enabled him to occupy advanced positions in defending the freedom of the Lebanese people and their independent national decision.

Pierre Amin Gemayel was not just a brother, a friend, or a constant partner in the follow up of the daily track of the March 14 Movement, but he represented the dreams and hopes that we shared in order to draft the new future of Lebanon. Other martyrs of freedom and independence also fell for the same dreams, however the tools of killing and terrorism haven�t been able to extinguish their flames.

The dreams of Pierre Amin Gemayel are renewed in us every day. And as the Lebanese bet on his logic, vitality and strong will, today they bet on the young generation who grew up with Pierre and became the strong base to confront the projects of armed dominance that seek to hinder the Lebanese national decision, and to save Lebanon from the policies that seek to divert its democratic identity.

Martyr Pierre was a special flower in the garden of Lebanon�s spring. His name will remain a milestone in this spring which shone in March 14, presenting the civilized example of the Arab spring and of the movement of the people aspiring for freedom, democracy and dignity. Today, just as in all commemorations of martyrdom in Lebanon, we stress to Pierre Amin Gemayel that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon continues its work to hold the killers accountable, achieve justice and end the era of organized political crime, at a time when the people of the region are on their way to end the era of killing, tyranny and terrorism.

Rest in peace Pierre, my brother, friend and companion of the difficult days, because justice will surely prevail."


 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Yazbek: Targeting Resistance rather than Assad!
 

Sun 20/11/2011 15:39

N.N.A. Nov. 20, 2011 Special Khamenai representative to Lebanon cleric Mohammad YAZBEK, stressed before supporters that the Syrian president is not the one who's being practically targeted rather than "the Hezbollah anti-occupation resistance and all those saying no to supremacists."

Yazbek's utterance came during a Baalbek funeral ceremony of a party member attended by pro-Hezbollah deputies and dignitaries.

He accused Lebanese oppositionists of plotting against Hezbollah, discarding Israel and focusing on Iran; the embodiment, and spearhead of the anti-imperial project.

The cleric lashed out at the Americans, their Gulf prot�g�s and the Turks who wish to see international pressure coming to bear heavily on the Syrian regime. He concluded that their lusting for power and prestige and failure to draw lessons of the Iran/Afghanistan fiasco would cast them into their garbage-bin of History.
G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk, Sleiman wind up Australian visit
 

Sun 20/11/2011 14:38

NNA - 20/11/2011 - Minister of Information Walid Daouk, wrapped up his Australian tour on a banquet given in his honor by head of the Lebanese Cultural University in the World, Antoine Ghanem. Invited was Lebanese Ambassador and leading Australians of Lebanese extraction.

In his welcoming address, Ghanem delivered three messages to the Lebanese Cultural University recognizing it as a sole legitimate representative of Lebanese expatriates in the world. He agreed with his interlocutors on leaving aside domestic conflicts along with combating corruption at home.

Minister Daouk preferred to leave the issue of the Cultural University to Villa Boustros to deal with, because it lies under the Jurisdiction of the Foreign Ministry. He ended on a positive note regarding his enjoyment of his stay in Sidney, Melbourne and Canberra despite divisions afflicting Lebanese Communities there.

Head of the Beirut Hellenic Bank in Australia James Wakim, gave a banquet in honor of Minister Daouk and NNA Directoress Laure Sleiman in presence of leading expat figures in Australia.

In his welcoming address, Wakim commended Central Bank Governor, Riyad Salameh for overcoming looming financial crisis in Lebanon.

Minister Daouk for his part, agreed with his host over the solidity of the financial situation in Lebanon saying "there is no need to worry about the Lebanese economy."

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabalan supports Syrian regime, censures Bahraini authorities
 

Sun 20/11/2011 14:32

NNA - 20/11/2011 Vice President of the Higher Islamic Shiite Council Qabalan called on Lebanese to stand by Assad's regime, advising Syrian opposition to think of the higher interest of their country while he fully supported protestors in Bahrain, shaming the regime for injustice against its people.

The Arab Spring took the region by surprise, as one dictatorship after the other fell in Tunisia, Egypt and most recently Libya. Demands of social justice and freedom stretched out to Syria and Bahrain as people took to the streets.

"[Syrian] opposition must follow reasonable and constructive dialogue for the sake of Syria and its people," said Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, "as we should safeguard Syria, its people and regime so that it remains the fortress of Resistance."

Qabalan urged Lebanese to stand by the rule of Bashar Assad, dubbing him as the savior against "Zionist plans."

Commenting on the uprising in Bahrain, Qabalan explained, "What is happening in Bahrain is oppression against mistreated citizens who are resisting the iniquitous rule."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hajj Hassan's Invincible Resistance!
 

Sun 20/11/2011 14:04

NNA - 20/11/2011 Minister of Agriculture Hussein Hajj-Hassan, reiterated Hezbollah's invincibility saying anyone harbouring illusions to get at it simply delude themselves.

The minister's assertions came during his marking of al-Ghadeer Day (Imam Ali's Birthday} at Khawla's mausoleum/Baalbek. Invited were leading March 8 figures, clergymen and Hizbullah supporters.

Hajj-Hassan questioned the attitude of certain Lebanese towards the Syrian regime and exclaimed as to why they must harbour such ill-feelings towards Assad?! The minister's quick answer came in that they were bent on fomenting strife and hatred.

Their errant bidding on the outside would simply hit a brick wall and falter both regionally and domestically he added. Righteousness embodied by his party will ultimately triumph over misled strife-ridden ways of theirs he concluded.


G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwagi issues Order of the Day for Independence Day
 

Sun 20/11/2011 13:48

NNA - 20/11/2011 Commander of Lebanese Armed Forces General Jean Kahwagi addressed fellow soldiers on the occasion of Independence Day, which falls on November 22:

With a past crowned by heroic deeds and glory, a present drawn on your lofty foreheads, you march towards the future with confident steps bearing in mind the critical stage we are living in and the huge responsibilities laid on your shoulders and ready whenever duty calls to defy difficulties and dangers in addition to making tremendous sacrifices on the altar of the country's unity and independence. This Independence which your countrymen gained 68 years ago thanks to holding fast to their free decision making and their persistence in refusing all sorts of occupations or mandates were later baptized with the blood of endless numbers of military and civilian martyrs and with the bright journey of the Army which gave the true ideal in its national commitment as well as its pioneering role in boosting the Lebanese identity and spreading its humanitarian message.

Fellow soldiers, amidst the difficult turmoil in the Arab region and the frenzied race between the people's demand for democracy and the chaos that may result from the successive incidents due to interlaced interests, confused concepts and the lack of clear visions, I call upon you to close ranks and to work hard in order to defend Lebanon against the repercussions of these incidents. Always remember while fulfilling this noble duty the postulates which your people was accustomed to since gaining its independence, whether be it regarding its attachment to its unique cultural model and its deep-rooted history in exercising democracy and public freedom or concerning the abidance by the required positive stance vis-�-vis regional conflicts with the exception of the Army's well known stance regarding the Arab - Israeli Conflict. Be aware that any negligence regarding these postulates constitutes a threat to the path of civil peace and a violation targeting national unity.

Fellow soldiers, national duty makes it indispensable now more than ever to maintain maximum readiness in collaboration with your defiant people and in close cooperation with the International Force to confront the enemy's schemes which never ceased to violate Lebanese sovereignty. This enemy publicly declares its greed in our natural resources. It endeavors through its agents to spit out its venom in the structure of our united community. Your courageous stance in the confrontations of Adaysse and Wazzani constitute the truest expression of the will to resist this treacherous enemy. Moreover, your patriotic duty requires that you show strictness in defending the path of peace and stability by the continuous monitoring of terrorist cells to nip them in the bud as well as controlling both land and naval border in addition to dealing firmly with those who seek to take advantage of external circumstances and local differences to tamper with the citizens' peace, freedom and dignity. Be confident that your Command will spare no effort to provide your needs of weapons and equipment in conformity with your competence and readiness to make
sacrifices and performing acts of self denial for the sake of your country.

This Command puts at the forefront of its priorities the issue of improving your living standards and preserving your vested moral and material rights
Persevere in conducting your missions with extreme devotedness and loyalty and make sure to reassure your countrymen who placed their confidence and appreciation in you. Proceed to ease the pain of your people in times of calamity for you are the guardians of the trust and with you the spring of independence will blossom.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi calls Sfeir 'iron Patriarch"
 

Sun 20/11/2011 13:08

NNA - 20/11/2011 Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi named Cardinal Nasrallah Sfeir the permanent iron Patriarch, during annual dinner of the latter's foundation on Saturday.

The objective of the Foundation of Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir is to gather funds for the education of underprivileged children. Attending the dinner held at Habtour Hotel in Sin el Fil was MP Nehmetallah abi Nasser presenting the three presidents.

Rahi lauded the social and religious work of the Cardinal. He also felicitated President Michel Sleiman and Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji on the occasion of Lebanon's Independence Day.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - MP Harb to Preserve Lebanon at all Costs!
 

Sun 20/11/2011 12:52

NNA - 20/11/2011 - Leading March 14 deputy of the House Butros Harb, seized on the occasion of Independence Day to lash out at pro-Syrian Lebanese saying: "many of them chose to forget altogether about Flag Day in order not to "disturb" Syrian rulers."

Addressing a group of Batroun municipal heads and March 14 activists assembled for a dinner banquet at the Ghabal al-Wadi restaurant/Jran- Batroun Harb brought to attention that he himself decided on Flag Day under Hariri's premiership.

The deputy challenged Hizbullah's notion of "resistance" saying authentic resistance movements strive in no way to become tools of domination and hegemony. He went further to say that the party of God in fact imposed its will on the Makati government.

Turning to the government proper, the deputy exclaimed as to how any government in the World refuses to make justice to its own citizens slain at the hands of murderers whose identity is perfectly known to it?! He added as to how such government allows itself to protect them?

Harb cited March 14 priorities as safeguarding and preserving the country rather than submitting to outside instructions. In a clear reference to Hizbullah, the deputy mentioned party caving in to fatwas by Ayatollahs or so-called religious guides something which remains unthinkable for the opposition.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabbani contacts Charbel to find solution to Kurdish conundrum
 

Sun 20/11/2011 12:32

NNA - 20/11/2011 Mufti Qabbani promised Sunday a visiting Kurdish delegation to aid them against recent Tashnag decision to evacuate Kurds from their homes in predominantly Armenian regions in Beirut, and contacted Interior Minister Charbel for that issue.

The Armenian Tashnag Party, present in regions such as Bourj Hammoud, Nabaa and Dora in Beirut, warned Kurds residing in said areas that they would be evacuated from their homes by end of November. Tashnag explained the move as an attempt to preserve security of their regions by plucking out the bad weeds disturbing the peace of society.

"The ministry of Interior must step in with its administrative and security apparatuses to solve each case individually," suggested Qabbani who shunned arbitrary decisions taken by irresponsible entities. "We will follow up this dossier with all officials so that inhabitants [of these regions]...would feel safe and secure, especially the Kurds who are apprehensive these days about their presence in these areas."

Qabbani suggested to Interior Minister Marwan Charbel forming a committee of Kurds, chosen by the Mufti and Armenians, and have specialized officials deal with the issue case by case.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Makati to Children: For Autonomy and Safeguarding Lebanon
 

Sun 20/11/2011 12:04

NNA - 20/11/2011 PM Najeeb Makati stressed full autonomy vis-a-vis outside interference in order to safeguard and preserve the country.

Addressing the children's parliament on Universal Children's day, the PM urged children to draw the proper lessons from their parents' experience in order to avoid future mistakes. He added that their liberty-dreaming while being perfectly legitimate, must be anchored in religious and humanitarian values. The PM however warned them about limitations to their freedom and that sooner or later they themselves would determine such limitations starting with themselves. He concluded that children must be motivated by learning and education in quest of preserving the country and working together to realize the liberty dream.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berri invites youth to abolish confessionalism
 

Sun 20/11/2011 11:56

NNA - 20/11/2011 House Speaker Nabih Berri addressed Sunday the children's parliament on the occasion of Universal Children's Day stating that young people should lead the change in political confessionalism.

In 1954, the United Nations General Assembly recommended that all countries institute a Universal Children's Day to be observed as a day of worldwide fraternity and understanding between children. It recommended the Day be observed also as a day of activity devoted to the welfare of the children of the world.

Berri urged the youth to demand lowering electoral age, chart a modern election law, and activate the role of women and youth in political life. He also asked that more webpages open to children's questions be made available. "The doors of the House are always open for the youth in order to build a culture of democracy."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk unveils immigrant statue in Melbourne
 

Sun 20/11/2011 11:13

NNA - 20/11/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk uncovered Sunday the statue of Lebanese migrant in Melbourne Australia, and invited immigrants to participate in the politics of their mother-country in the elections of 2013.

Daouk is currently on a visit to Australia along with Director of the National News Agency Laure Sleiman Saab at the invitation of World Lebanese Cultural Union.

The Minister thanked the Australian government for equitable treatment of Lebanese emigrants, allowing them the chance for job opportunities and dignified living.

Speaking to the Lebanese community spread over the entire Australian territory, Daouk invited them to exploit these opportunities, encouraging them to show the world the true identity of Lebanon, its true and genuine culture and civilization, stressing the urgency "to respect Lebanon's human rights and its passion for freedom."

Daouk, who also welcomed the achievements of many Lebanese of the Diaspora in various sectors, focused on the fact that the Lebanese should strengthen their independence with perseverance, through the consolidation of the unity of the people both within the country and abroad. He invited the Lebanese wherever they are to stand up for their country.

The Minister pledged that the Lebanese government would honor Lebanese expatriates who have continuously distinguished themselves abroad.

"Do not be divided like Lebanese politicians, but be the epitome of unity abroad. Imposed by your unity and solidarity, a new style of political behavior will emerge on the local scene," he said.

He also strongly called on the Lebanese community to gather in order to lobby "to become the first line of defense of the causes and interests of the country like other lobbies in the world."

Daouk emphasized that in the elections of 2013 immigrants will have their say. "This will allow you to have a direct effect in strengthening the foundations of democracy and the consecration of the free parliamentary system."
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved s


Politics - Al-Rai meets with a Brazilian parliamentary delegation
 

Sat 19/11/2011 23:14

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Mar Bshara Butros Al-Rai met Saturday afternoon with the Brazilian parliamentary delegation for Lebanon, headed by MP Ricardo Azar. The delegation's visit came within the framework of Brazilian Vice President, Michel Tamer's official visit to Lebanon, marking the joining of 300 Brazilian soldiers in the UNIFIL peace-keeping forces in South Lebanon.
Speaking before the delegation, Al-Rai hailed Brazil as a country, government and people, describing it as a "great nation." He also praised the significant role of Brazilians of Lebanese origin in contributing to Brazil's success at the cultural, civilization, economic, spiritual, social and developmental levels. Al-Rai strongly valued the Brazilian initiative in sending its soldiers to join the UNIFIL in the South, and in aiding Lebanon in preserving peace.
Al-Rai welcomed the delegation's presence in Lebanon in a bid to further strengthen bilateral ties and solidarity between both countries. He added that Lebanon, in both its Islamic and Christian facets, resembles the "Cedar" tree planted in Lebanon with its branches reaching out to all parts of the world, the longest of which is in Brazil. He, thus, called for enriching the roots of said tree and preserving its soil, the soil of coexistence, openness to one another, democracy, national consensus, civil laws, public liberties and respect of the individual. He added that such Lebanese soil requires all efforts to maintain its strength and healthy flourishing branches and fruits.
Furthermore, Al-Rai considered the delegation's visit to Bkirki as having great significance at the level of preserving the message of kindness and human value and partnership. He referred to Lebanese expatriates in Brazil as being "Lebanese ambassadors" whose efforts are needed for the sake of boosting bilateral ties, so that Lebanon's traditions and causes remain alive from generation to generation. R.Sh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berry: Foreign interferences aim at controlling the region's natural and human resources
 

Sat 19/11/2011 22:33

NNA - 19/11/2011 - House Speaker, Nabih Berry, held a dinner banquet at Ain Teeneh Saturday evening in honor of Brazilian Vice President, Michel Tamer, and his accompanying delegation, which was attended by Prime Minister, Najib Meqati, and a number of other prominent officials.
In a word at the dinner ceremony, Speaker Berry welcomed the Brazilian Vice President in Lebanon, the origin of his roots, outlining his many attributes and praising his accomplishments thus far. Berry highlighted the need for promoting ties and bilateral agreements with Brazil as being a source of strength for Lebanon, since Brazil stands as a powerful economic potential, he noted. He added that the visit by Vice President Tamer provides a chance to commission him, on head of a national committee, to study ways of reconnecting Lebanon with Lebanese expatriates in Brazil.
Berry also called for launching an initiative for holding a conference to dwell on Lebanese ties with countries of Latin America, particularity Brazil, which would provide a historical chance for businessmen of both the Arab and Latin American scope to come together.
As for the situation in the region, Berry indicated that general stability in the Middle East remains linked to Israel's halting of all threats across the borders and its relinquishing of its settlement and aggressive policies; in addition to liberating the Arab lands still occupied by Israel and the achievement of the Palestinian people's aspirations. He added herein that day by day, foreign interferences in regional affairs seem far from being innocent, in their aiming at re-structuring the region's order and regime for the sake of controlling its natural and human resources. He added that the Middle Eastern facts related to Lebanon call for friends' efforts, Brazil and all Arab brethrens being at the foremost, to support Lebanese consensus based on serious and clear dialogue over all vital matters. Berry noted that Lebanon thrives on dialogue, consensus, coexistence and unity always.
In turn, Vice President Tamer delivered a word in which he touched on the significant role of Brazilians harboring Lebanese origin in various political, economic and cultural domains. He stressed the importance of boosting bilateral cooperation between both counties to rise up to the level of the strong ties linking Lebanon and Brazil. "I always stress that Lebanon is the country of peace, and that Lebanon causes no conflicts but that conflicts attract themselves to it," Tamer said.
The Brazilian official expressed support to the Palestinian cause and to establishing the Palestinian State. He added that Brazil's stand is always by the Palestinian people's side; noting herein that if the Palestinian issue were solved, then peace would prevail in the region as a whole! He expressed dismay at the failure to implement UN Resolutions in this respect.
Tamer concluded by reiterating that Brazil is always by Lebanon's side while avoiding any interference in its internal affairs. He also stressed on democracy and the preservation of religions.
Tamer also thanked Berry for his supportive stand regarding boosting of Lebanese-Brazilian relations. R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun: War continues in Syria since reform demands are not the true cause
 

Sat 19/11/2011 21:21

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Head of the "Change and Reform" Parliamentary Bloc, General Michel Aoun, met Saturday with a European Catholic delegation who visited him at his Rabieh residence. The delegation included journalists, social and religious figures who had spent a week in Syria, whereby they provided live testimonies to what they witnessed during their stay there.
In a statement by the Media and Public Relations Bureau at the "Free Patriotic Trend", it indicated that the delegation members stressed the need for responding to world media sources that are attempting to portray events in Syria opposite to what is actually taking place on-ground. The statement added that the delegation warned of a "media war" that is being waged as a prelude to a military war, noting that certain journalists are playing a significant role in said media propaganda; hence, they ought to be referred to justice.
Aoun, in turn, indicated that the war is still on-going in Syria due to the fact that the declared demands for reform are not the real cause behind waging such a war.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berry meets with Brazilian Vice President
 

Sat 19/11/2011 19:24

NNA - 19/11/2011 - House Speaker, Nabih Berry, and his wife, Randa, met Saturday evening with Brazilian Vice President, Michel Tamer, who visited them at Ain Teeneh accompanied by his spouse and delegation members.
It is to note that Speaker Berry is to hold an official dinner banquet in honor of the Brazilian official guest, who is of Lebanese origin. Both the Speaker and Brazilian Vice President will be delivering a word during the dinner ceremony.
R.Sh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qadri: Meqati cannot remain in a government disconnected from the Tribunal
 

Sat 19/11/2011 19:17

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Member of the Future Parliamentary Bloc, Deputy Ziad Qadri, considered that if Prime Minister, Najib Meqati, were committed to, and convinced of, the justice path, then he ought not remain in a government that disconnects Lebanon from the International Tribunal. Qadri reiterated herein the Tribunal's commitment to the path of justice.
Over the "Future" Newspaper's reporting of the French Capital's position vis-�-vis Lebanon's voting against sanctions on Syria at the Arab League, Qadri considered that France has always stressed on Lebanon's cooperation with international legitimacy, especially with regards to the Tribunal. He added that France considers that the current Lebanese government is implementing "Hizbollah's" agenda in Lebanon.
Qadri's words came during an interview to "MTV" Station Saturday.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khalil patronizes ceremony on combating smoking
 

Sat 19/11/2011 18:57

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Public Health Minister, Ali Hassan Khalil, patronized a ceremony honoring those who took part in the campaign for limiting smoking, which took place at the UNESCO Saturday. The ceremony was organized by the Lebanese alliance for combating smoking, along with the Modern University for Science and Administration, with the participation of representatives of regional health and civil associations.
Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Khalil considered that Lebanon is before a huge challenge in proving to the whole world that this nation, through the initiatives of its civil society, is capable of enforcing its will via rejecting smoking. He added that it was a difficult path to come up with the law against smoking; hoping that efforts would continue to put the law into implementation for the sake of the citizens' health and well-being.
In turn, Head of the Parliamentary Health Committee, MP Atef Majdalani, considered that care for public health is a duty. He added that protecting the human against diseases is a must, as well as preserving the human's personal liberty in not subjecting him to any kind of danger caused by another person. He hoped that the law prohibiting smoking would be implemented with the cooperation and general awareness of all.
The ceremony ended by honoring all those who contributed to the campaign against smoking.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Brazilian visitors at Dar Fatwa
 

Sat 19/11/2011 17:27

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Brazilian members of the delegation accompanying Vice-President Michel Tamer, paid a courtesy visit to Grand Mufti of the Republic, Mohammad Rachid Qabbani, at Dar Fatwa (High Muslim Court) today.

They comprised members of leading Islamic enterprises in Brazil. Speaking in their name, Mohammad Zoghbi, briefed the Mufti about the role of Muslims in Brazil. He expressed appreciation and support for the Mufti, who according to Zoghbi, spares no energy in consolidating accord and peaceful coexistence in Lebanon.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Sleiman, Tamer agree on boosting bilateral Lebanese-Brazilian relations
 

Sat 19/11/2011 17:23

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Visiting Brazilian vice-President of Lebanese extraction, Michel Tamer, agreed with Lebanese President Michel Sleiman on the importance of boosting and consolidating bilateral relations in all fields.

They stated at a banquet at Baabda Palace today, that boosted bilateral relations serve the interest of both peoples. They also agreed on the need for democratization of the Middle East and the Arab World.

President Sleiman, who hosted the Brazilian vice-President and accompanying delegation, expressed appreciation for Brazilian backing of Lebanon and Arab causes. He particularly alluded to the core Cause of Palestine.

The president remained confident that the international and regional standing of Brazil would surely help create political circumstances conducive to a just and comprehensive peace in the Middle East; a peace based on International legitimacy.

The distinguished visitor for his part, said Lebanon is a gateway to the Middle East. He expressed on the other hand Sao Paulo's willingness to pursue all economic and political backing for Lebanon.

The reception was followed by exchange of medals and citations between President Sleiman and his Brazilian guest.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Congress for Oriental Christians in the Middle East
 

Sat 19/11/2011 17:08

NNA - 19/11/2011 - The congress for Christians in the Middle East wrapped up today at a press conference over the immediate and long term future of Oriental Christians and their exercise of their religious liberty.

The conference which hosted a number of leading EU clergymen and parliamentarians was organized by the Holy Spirit University in Kaslik.

Among recommendations summing up Congress work during the last three days, congress Coordinator Maroun Karam noted the Special role of Lebanon in preserving the Christian mission and brought to attention the importance of the Lebanese co-existential formula based on respect between religious confessional strands in Lebanon.

He spoke about efforts to preserve human rights and democracy against the backdrop of diversity and plurality of political opinion.

The Public statement also urged Iraqi Christians to remain steadfast in their land and that they must not give up at anytime.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahra: Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate theft is political
 

Sat 19/11/2011 16:54

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Leading Lebanese Forces (LF) parliamentarian, Antoine Zahra, designated the theft at the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate in Ashrafieh as a clear political message and challenged the state to assume its responsibilities in protecting properties.

Addressing the annual LF dentists' dinner function at the Mashrabieh restaurant in Zalka, Zahra warned against what he termed a critical "economic bottleneck" that the country passes through.

The MP brought to attention the prevailing lax security situation ever to afflict the country since the signing of Taef. He accused the State of total impotence and that it failed to do anything since its coming into power.

He criticized the official government position during voting in favor of the Syrian regime at the Arab League meeting and added that Lebanon must not remain silent at the atrocities perpetrated by the regime under pretext of neutrality.

Zahra said they were exaggerating in their support for the Syrian regime against knowing all too well that change is at hand in Syria and that the Arab Spring would be victorious in that country.

Again, the MP challenged the government to say something about repeated Syrian cross-border incursions. He also noted repeated acts of abduction. Zahra however, credited army intelligence gathering department of doing its work all too well by exposing serial killers involved in the murder of taxi drivers.

He said the STL exists with or without the Lebanese government funding and that further reluctance to pay its dues to the court jeopardizes its credibility.

He ended on a note that whoever champions oppressive governments, does not represent his own people let alone the mores of liberty and democracy.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - High Seas' workshop at Parliament
 

Sat 19/11/2011 16:54

NNA - 18/11/2011 - The High Seas' workshop to produce a law regarding offshore exploitation of resources, wrapped up in parliament today. The workshop under the patronage of Speaker Berri was largely devoted to drafting laws and decrees pertinent to the declaration of zones of maritime legitimacy for the Lebanese Republic.

Workshop also designated appropriate political and judicial means designed for conflict- resolutions with neighboring nations. The workshop was attended by a group of legal experts including Ali Hamdan, Army Command top brass, and senior foreign Ministry officials.

Also partaking in the workshop, was a group of Swiss maritime law experts and members of the Geneva-based Euro Mediterranean Islamic Association.

Summing up workshop resolutions, Deputy Mohammad Qabbani reiterated the Lebanese position in defending our national offshore rights based on the precepts of domestic and international laws.

He however, noted that Lebanese economic teams need to bolster efforts by resorting to international expertise.

Qabbani's call was corroborated by parliament official Vera Debbas who stressed need for launching a juridical commission by the parliament expressly intended for strengthening the Lebanese official position over prospecting for, and exploitation of offshore resources.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mousawi: Western agendas to regain lost Iraqi foothold
 

Sat 19/11/2011 16:53

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Leading Hizbullah Parliamentarian, Nawaf Mousawi, declared that whoever fails to fight Israeli and American hegemony has no place whatsoever in our midst.

Celebrating the day of Al-Ghadir in Deir Qanoun, Baalbek today, Mousawi criticized Western notions of democracy as false. He defended the Syrian regime vis-�-vis its Western critics who strive to make up for their lost footholds in Iraq.

He professed the inception of a new Middle East without American hegemony and contrary to American expectation, his new brand of Middle East would be made up of Iraqi, Lebanese and Arab resistances.

Mousawi rejected any notions aimed at bringing down the Asad regime through civil strife or under any other forms saying all such attempts are aimed to alienate Syria from the struggle against Israel.

The MP accused Israel of working to dismantle the Syrian army which is one of the mightiest regional military machines as he described it. He vowed to remain alert on this issue during the upcoming few days. He attacked Obama, Sarkouzi, Netenyahu and Cameron on account of devising a new Sykes-Picot with the aim of giving Israel the edge over all Arabs.

He concluded that pro-American Lebanese must not stake high hopes on the rather impossible downfall of the Asad regime.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - High Seas' workshop at Parliament
 

Sat 19/11/2011 16:49

NNA - 18/11/2011 - The High Seas' workshop to produce a law regarding offshore exploitation of resources, wrapped up in parliament today. The workshop under the patronage of Speaker Berri was largely devoted to drafting laws and decrees pertinent to the declaration of zones of maritime legitimacy for the Lebanese Republic.

Workshop also designated appropriate political and judicial means designed for conflict- resolutions with neighboring nations. The workshop was attended by a group of legal experts including Ali Hamdan, Army Command top brass, and senior foreign Ministry officials.

Also partaking in the workshop, was a group of Swiss maritime law experts and members of the Geneva-based Euro Mediterranean Islamic Association.

Summing up workshop resolutions, Deputy Mohammad Qabbani reiterated the Lebanese position in defending our national offshore rights based on the precepts of domestic and international laws.

He however, noted that Lebanese economic teams need to bolster efforts by resorting to international expertise.

Qabbani's call was corroborated by parliament official Vera Debbas who stressed need for launching a juridical commission by the parliament expressly intended for strengthening the Lebanese official position over prospecting for, and exploitation of offshore resources.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahra: Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate theft is political
 

Sat 19/11/2011 16:33

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Leading Lebanese Forces (LF) parliamentarian, Antoine Zahra, designated the theft at the Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate in Ashrafieh as a clear political message and challenged the state to assume its responsibilities in protecting properties.

Addressing the annual LF dentists' dinner function at the Mashrabieh restaurant in Zalka, Zahra warned against what he termed a critical "economic bottleneck" that the country passes through.

The MP brought to attention the prevailing lax security situation ever to afflict the country since the signing of Taef. He accused the State of total impotence and that it failed to do anything since its coming into power.

He criticized the official government position during voting in favor of the Syrian regime at the Arab League meeting and added that Lebanon must not remain silent at the atrocities perpetrated by the regime under pretext of neutrality.

Zahra said they were exaggerating in their support for the Syrian regime against knowing all too well that change is at hand in Syria and that the Arab Spring would be victorious in that country.

Again, the MP challenged the government to say something about repeated Syrian cross-border incursions. He also noted repeated acts of abduction. Zahra however, credited army intelligence gathering department of doing its work all too well by exposing serial killers involved in the murder of taxi drivers.

He said the STL exists with or without the Lebanese government funding and that further reluctance to pay its dues to the court jeopardizes its credibility.

He ended on a note that whoever champions oppressive governments, does not represent his own people let alone the mores of liberty and democracy.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved




















 

Politics - Mousawi: Western agendas to regain lost Iraqi foothold
 

Sat 19/11/2011 16:09

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Leading Hizbullah Parliamentarian, Nawaf Mousawi, declared that whoever fails to fight Israeli and American hegemony has no place whatsoever in our midst.

Celebrating the day of Al-Ghadir in Deir Qanoun, Baalbek today, Mousawi criticized Western notions of democracy as false. He defended the Syrian regime vis-�-vis its Western critics who strive to make up for their lost footholds in Iraq.

He professed the inception of a new Middle East without American hegemony and contrary to American expectation, his new brand of Middle East would be made up of Iraqi, Lebanese and Arab resistances.

Mousawi rejected any notions aimed at bringing down the Asad regime through civil strife or under any other forms saying all such attempts are aimed to alienate Syria from the struggle against Israel.

The MP accused Israel of working to dismantle the Syrian army which is one of the mightiest regional military machines as he described it. He vowed to remain alert on this issue during the upcoming few days. He attacked Obama, Sarkouzi, Netenyahu and Cameron on account of devising a new Sykes-Picot with the aim of giving Israel the edge over all Arabs.

He concluded that pro-American Lebanese must not stake high hopes on the rather impossible downfall of the Asad regime.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 

 

 


Politics - Mashnouk reassures Lebanese: No civil war
 

Sat 19/11/2011 14:25

NNA - 19/11/2011 Future Bloc MP Nouhad Mashnouk assured Sharq radio station Saturday that the country is safe from civil war, but discarded the possibility of national dialogue under the reign of current cabinet.

President Michel Sleiman and House Speaker Nabih Berri have recently called for a national dialogue table to re-launch. However, March 14 declined to meet unless Hezbollah agreed to discuss the issue of their possession of arms.

"Talk of civil war is only meant as a scare tactic. What we face is political struggle over events in Syria." Mashnouk said; he then wished upon President Michel Sleiman not to take sides and to be clear about his stances.

The MP dubbed Lebanon's antagonistic position from Arab League's vote to suspend Syria as "cold blooded towards blood-shedding of Syrian people."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - N. Nahhas foresees solution to STL
 

Sat 19/11/2011 13:57

NNA - 19/11/2011 Minister Nicholas Nahhas told Voice of Lebanon radio station Saturday he expects positive turn of events in the funding issue of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), ruling out PM Mikati's resignation in the future.

The STL has been an issue of controversy among loyalists and oppositionists in Lebanon from the day of its inception. The tribunal, probing the 2005 assassination of PM Rafik Hariri, named 4 Hezbollah members as culprits in the crime which also led to the death of 22 others.

"Resignation is not a goal or a mechanism; it only becomes an option when things reach a dead end, which is not the case," said Economy and Trade Minister Nahhas. He lauded efforts of Mikati to bring together opposing views regarding the STL.

Proportional representation in elections was also a hot topic in the country, particularly with recent statements by MP Walid Jumblatt-representing a large part of the Druze community- claiming that said proportionality aimed at weakening his position. Nahhas insisted that the law would not pass without unanimous approval, including Jumblatt's.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sahnawi: Mikati government would not step down
 

Sat 19/11/2011 13:55

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Telecommunications' Minister Nicolas Sahnawi ruled out imminent stepping down of the Mikati government before a group of Aounist supporters at Saint Joseph Church-Rmeil, Ashrafieh. Also attending were a number of senior Aounist officials.

He briefed them over March 8 achievements during a relatively short term in power. He blamed March 14 mishandling of telecom equipment on the second floor and accused them of deleting relevant data as of June 2010. He promised to hold a press conference soon enough over this matter.

Sahnawi called for a redressed judicial system which he accused of corruption.

Among other things, the Minister listed prospective projects in the fields of the internet and electricity grid. He spoke about equitable spending in all areas of the Lebanese national economy which would benefit all regions of the country.

The Minister expressed satisfaction at Aounist Ministers performance within the Mikati government. He concluded that they would stick as ever to their high principles amid high ambitions for the future.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khreiss: Syrian uprising a storm in a tea cup
 

Sat 19/11/2011 13:17

NNA - 19/11/2011 Amal Deputy Ali Khreiss said Saturday that events in Syria are an American- European- Israeli ploy to bring down the Resistance and Syria's regime so as to preserve Israel as the main player in the region; however, he dismissed it as a mere storm in a tea cup, NNA correspondent reported.

The Arab Spring reached Syria eight months ago, as people took to the streets demanding the toppling of Bashar Assad's regime. Supporters of the Syrian president accused the usual suspects, US and Israel, of plotting the whole thing with the aid of Turkey and certain Arab countries.

"They want to divide the region into sectarian and ethnic statelets," said Khreiss. He warned that Lebanon would not be safe from unfolding events in Syria. He described those who gave themselves the right to overthrow Syrian regime from Lebanon as "delusional."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hariri congratulates Monti and Papademos
 

Sat 19/11/2011 13:14

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Media Bureau of Former Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, issued on Saturday the following statement: "Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri sent a cable to the new Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, and congratulated him on the confidence vote won by his government. He also sent a similar cable to the new Greek Prime Minister Lucas Papademos.

Separately, Hariri received a farewell phone call from the Greek Ambassador to Lebanon, Panos Kalogeropoulos, who completed his mission in Lebanon and is leaving the country soon."
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel for resumed national dialogue
 

Sat 19/11/2011 13:08

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Minister of the Interior Marwan Charbel favored a resumed national dialogue between Lebanese antagonists. He envisaged in the round table of negotiations: "a means for protecting and immunizing security predicament in the country."

He duly urged both camps to quickly deliberate over longstanding files of conflict. Interviewed over voice of Lebanon radio station today, he vowed to implement code 140 which governs the interception of phone calls saying "a combined operations' room" is prone to take care of the matter.

The Minister was trying to allay Lebanese politicians' fears about their phone calls being bugged. He concluded that whatever happens, phone calls pertaining to terrorism and security would be intercepted and bugged.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics (Update) - Lebanese missing in Syria high on A. Gemayel's agenda
 

Sat 19/11/2011 13:01

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Kataeb Party boss Amine Gemayel told interlocutors at his Saifi residence Saturday that the issue of Lebanese citizens presumed to be missing in Syria would top his priorities in event of dispatching Arab League monitors to Damascus.
He reiterated March 14's intention to raise the issue of those Lebanese presumed to be in Syrian jails. He perceived affinity between the Arab Spring and the Lebanese opposition since both championed liberty and democracy.

Addressing a delegation from Tarshish and members of Congress of Oriental Christians at his Bikfaya residence today, Gemayel spoke about the alleged Hizbullah ground cables near their village and expressed support for their fight to remove the cables describing villagers as courageous and dignified.

Gemayel described moves by the people of Tarshish as acts of courageous resistance in their own right. He concluded that they were in fact standing up in the face of Hizbullah on behalf of all Lebanese and not just in favor of the Lebanese Forces and Kataeb.

Gemayel added that the rise of a potent Lebanese state provides the solution for such issues. He reiterated support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) since, in his words, it strengthens the Lebanese Court system.

Gemayel however, maintained a stretched hand to the other group saying he was willing to negotiate with them for the good future of all.


G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Lebanese missing in Syria high on A. Gemayel's agenda
 

Sat 19/11/2011 12:37

NNA - 19/11/2011 - Kataeb Party boss Amine Gemayel, told interlocutors today that the issue of Lebanese citizens presumed to be missing in Syria would top his priorities in event of dispatching Arab League monitors to Damascus.

Addressing a delegation from Tarshish and members of Congress of Oriental Christians at the Kataeb main office in Saifi today, Gemayel spoke about the alleged Hizbullah ground cables near their village and expressed support for their fight to remove the cables describing villagers as courageous and dignified.

He reiterated March 14's intention to raise the issue of those Lebanese presumed to be in Syrian jails.

Gemayel described moves by the people of Tarshish as acts of courageous resistance in their own right. He concluded that there were in fact standing up in the face of Hizbullah on behalf of all Lebanese and not just in favor of the Lebanese Forces and Kataeb.

Gemayel added that the rise of a potent Lebanese state provides the solution for such issues. He reiterated support for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) since in his word, it strengthens the Lebanese Court system.

Gemayel however, maintained a stretched hand to the other group saying he was willing to negotiate with them for the good future of all.

He perceived affinity between the Arab Spring and the Lebanese opposition since both championed liberty and democracy.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aridi re-evaluating position in cabinet
 

Sat 19/11/2011 11:29

NNA - 19/11/2011 Minister of Transportation and Public Works Ghazi Aridi said Saturday to Voice of Lebanon radio that he is reconsidering his role in the cabinet and demanded cabinet fulfill pledges made unanimously to his ministry.

Recently, Aridi stopped attending cabinet sessions as rumors of tension spread across the media. He denied demanding additional appropriations to the budget of his ministry, but rather the implementation of Cabinet decisions by providing the money that was agreed upon in cabinet meetings.

"The government is in a state of unproductively," he declared.

The situation in Syria also alarmed Aridi who feared possible repercussions on the domestic scene. The Minister warned that chaos was worse than civil war.

R.Z.

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Politics - Aoun apprehensive of Syrian repercussions, supports civil state
 

Sat 19/11/2011 11:11

NNA - 19/11/2011 MP Michel Aoun said during a Change and Reform teachers' dinner Friday that any negative developments in Syria would spill into Lebanon and the region as a whole, shedding light on the dangers of a Salafsit rule.

The former General criticized current political ensemble, dubbing them as "incompetent" and "tainted." He was frustrated with House sessions which led nowhere. "We can no longer hold talks about any scientific subject at the House, because the answer would be a collection of cuss words." said Aoun. He urged Lebanese to hold on to their land and identity. "We do not want to be refugees; we want to retain our land and self."

In regional issues, the MP advised his Syrian allies to hold talks in order to reach a general consensus that facilitates building a new era of democracy and public freedoms. "Anything else would spell disaster to all Arab countries."

Aoun highlighted his full support of a civil state, abhorring any form of Salafist group, "Between helping fanatical fundamentalist religious state and a civil state, we choose to assist the civil state."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Brazilian Vice President lays wreath on Martyrs' monument
 

Sat 19/11/2011 10:42

NNA - 19/11/2011 Vice President of Brazil Michel Tamer placed a floral garland on the statue of martyrs in Down Town Beirut Saturday.

Tamer, currently on a visit to his country of origin, was joined by Defense minister Fayez Ghosn and State Minister Marwan Kheir El Dine.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk continues Australian tour in Melbourne
 

Sat 19/11/2011 10:33

NNA - 19/11/2011 A dinner banquet was held in Darebin-Melbourne honoring Information Minister Walid Daouk and Director of National News Agency Laure Sleiman Saab, currently on a visit to Australia to unveil the statue of the Lebanese immigrant.

Mayor of Darebin, Diana Assmar, presented her two guests with honorary shields. In his turn, Minister Daouk gave Assmar NNA's Golden Jubilee Book.

Daouk was pleased to meet Lebanese community in Australia. He stressed that the Lebanese immigrant has been in the country for over 150 years.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Salam confirms vote for Saudi resolution draft
 

Sat 19/11/2011 10:18

NNA - 19/11/2011 Permanent Representative of Lebanon to the United Nations, Ambassador Nawaf Salam, confirmed in a statement Saturday attending UN's general assembly session and voting for Saudi resolution draft for internationally protected people.

A number of local media outlets rumored that Salam boycotted the session held Friday titled "Terrorist attacks on people with international protection." The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia presented a resolution draft on the backdrop of uncovering an assassination plot against its ambassador in Washington.

"I voted in favor of the draft resolution submitted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia," affirmed Salam.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel: Lebanon not in danger
 

Fri 18/11/2011 19:26

NNA - 18/11/2011 Interior Minister Marwan Charbel reassured the public Friday that the security situation is in good shape and Lebanon is not in any danger, during the inauguration of the national exhibition documenting ISF, on the occasion of Independence Day.

The minister, who sponsored the exhibition on key stages in the history of Lebanon and marking the 150th anniversary of the Internal Security Forces (ISF), said that security apparatuses along with the Lebanese army were always ready to safeguard the country.

He also called on politicians to resort to dialogue and the Lebanese to cooperate to protect the independence of their country.

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi advocates civil state
 

Fri 18/11/2011 19:17

NNA - 18/11/2011 Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rahi expressed Friday concern over future of Christians in light of regional changes, and called for a meeting to study the applicability of a civil state in Lebanon during a conference on "The future of Christians in the Middle East towards religious freedom" held at USEK.

The conference brought together a host of Muslim and Christian religious figures including Apostolic Nuncio Gabriel Caccia, as well as a crowd of politicians. MP Nehmetallah abi Nasser presented President Michel Sleiman, while MP Yassine Jaber presented House Speaker Nabih Berri.

"We face the challenge of changes in some Arab countries, and we fear they would lead to conflict among sects and the reign of harsher regimes," said the Patriarch who refused to identify Lebanon with Islam or Israel with Judaism. On that note, he suggested a deeper study of the principles of a civil state to be held during an honest dialogue with various partners.

"The civil state, which separates religion from political institutions without marginalizing the former in public life, is almost the right frame for the situation in our country."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati chairs meeting on fuel dossier
 

Fri 18/11/2011 19:13

NNA - 18/11/2011 - The ministerial committee tasked with following up on oil resources dossier resumed discussions Friday over executive decrees related to the fuel law.

The committee, comprised of Ministers Mohammad Safadi (Finance), Mohammad Fneish (State), Gebran Bassil (Energy and Water Resources), Nazem Khoury (Environment), and Shakib Qortbawi (Justice), held today its third meeting, under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, at the Grand Serail.

Speaking to journalists afterwards, Bassil expected the next meeting to be the last, after finalizing an item on the fuel sector's administration board.



R.A.H.

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Politics -Rifi, Awad discuss the general situation
 

Fri 18/11/2011 19:08

NNA - 18/11/2011 Saudi Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Saiid Awad called on Internal Security Forces (ISF) Chief Ashraf Rifi on Friday at his Barrack office, on a visit aiming at coordination and cooperation.
Talks dwelt on the general security situation in the country.
Ambassador Awad hailed the efforts exerted by ISF and its accomplishments at the various levels.
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Politics - Rahi, Qahwaji tackle the general situation
 

Fri 18/11/2011 18:48

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi, met on Friday with Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Qahwaji, in Bkirki where they tackled the present security situation in the Country and military institution's relevant issues.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Brazilian Vice President in Beirut
 

Fri 18/11/2011 18:24

NNA - 18/11/2011 Brazilian Vice President Michel Tamer arrived in Beirut on Friday afternoon on a few-day visit to Lebanon where he will hold talks with President Michel Sleiman.
President Tamer, of Lebanese origin, arrived at International Rafic Hariri Airport this afternoon, accompanied by his Wife and a large delegation of experts.
Greeting him at the Airport have been Vice Prime Minister Samir Mokbel representing President of the Republic, as well as Foreign and Expatriate Minister Adnan Mansour and State Minister Marwan Kheireddine.
President Tamer will meet with a number of Lebanese senior officials and will attend the military parade marking Lebanon's Independence Day at Downtown Beirut.
President Sleiman will host an official lunch banquet tomorrow in honor of the Brazilian President.
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Politics - Qertbawi, Abu Saiid tackle human rights affairs
 

Fri 18/11/2011 17:59

NNA - 18/11/2011 International Human Rights Organization Ambassador Haitham Abu Saiid met on Friday with Justice Minister Shakib Qertbawi at his office in Beirut.
Abu Saiid, Deputy at the International Parliament for Security and Peace, briefed the Minister on the administrative frames upon which the Organization functions in Lebanon and the Organization future activities in Lebanon, a statement by Abu Saiid's Media Bureau said.
Talks also dwelt on an array of mutual affairs and means of resolving them with certain local sides, especially recent kidnapping cases.
Qertbawi, for his part, stressed that the Ministry shall spare no effort in unveiling the circumstances of recent kidnapping incidents- if proven present- and dealing firmly with sides working on imposing a kind of instability in the Country, Abu Saiid's Media Bureau noted.
Abu Saiid and Qertbawi hailed the work of the Lebanese judiciary and security apparatuses and existing coordination between the Ministry and the Organization at the various levels, in preservation of human rights guaranteed by international legacy.
In the same framework, Abu Saiid met with Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel Karim Ali where they discussed the general situation in Syria and recent Arab League decisions.
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Politics - Ali from Ain Tineh: Syria will overcome pressures thanks to unity
 

Fri 18/11/2011 16:57

NNA - 18/11/2011 - The Syrian Ambassador Ali Abdul Karim Ali said the Syrian public unity would be able to overcome the international pressures against the country, assuring that the Syrian President Bashar Assad was carrying on his administrative reforms and positive results have thus far been achieved in this concern.

Ali's stance came Friday in the wake of his meeting with the House Speaker Nabih Berri at the latter's residence in Ain Tineh. Both discussed overall developments at the local and regional scenes.

Among Berri's visitors: the British Ambassador Tom Fletcher, and Tyre Maronite Bishop Nabil Hajj.
A.M./P.BC.

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Politics - Qahwaji in Bkekri
 

Fri 18/11/2011 16:50

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi, and Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Qahwaji, are currently sitting in meeting in Bkerki.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Cyril meets Charbel, praises security forces' efforts
 

Fri 18/11/2011 16:34

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Marwan Charbel, received Friday the Archbishop of the Melkite Greek Catholic Arch eparchy of Beirut and Byblos, Cyril Salim Bustros who praised the work of the Security Forces, particularly at the current stage.

The Archbishop highlighted the fact that coexistence and dialogue are the constants which protect Lebanon.

Minister Charbel also met with Deputy Ziad aswad with whom he tackled the situation of Jezzine municipalities.

Moreover, Minister Charbel held a meeting with a delegation of Badaro merchants presided by Georges Brax who submitted to Charbel a memorandum of the inhabitants' demands, particularly for intensifying night patrols for further security in the region.

Eventually, Charbel discussed with Future Movement's Secretary General Ahmed Hariri waste treatment issue in Sidon region.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea, topographers' delegation meet
 

Fri 18/11/2011 16:08

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces head, Samir Geagea, on Friday met with a delegation of topographers syndicate over most recent political developments and the general situation in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

A final statement by the LF press bureau also indicated that the meeting was an occasion to broach the victory of March 14 forces in the syndicates' elections.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Makari, Greek Ambassador meet
 

Fri 18/11/2011 16:01

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Deputy Speaker, Farid Makari, met on Friday at his Rabieh residence with Greek Ambassador to Lebanon, Panos Kalogeropoulos, who came on a farewell visit.
P.BC.

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Politics - Kahwaji tackles general situation with visitors
 

Fri 18/11/2011 15:59

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, discussed the general situation with, respectively, General Director of the Council for South Lebanon, Qabalan Qabalan, "Regie" chairman, Nassif Saklaoui, and journalist George Salibi, who visited him Friday at his Yarzeh office.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji tackles general situation with visitors
 

Fri 18/11/2011 15:59

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Lebanese Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, discussed the general situation with, respectively, General Director of the Council for South Lebanon, Qabalan Qabalan, "Regie" chairman, Nassif Saklaoui, and journalist George Salibi, who visited him Friday at his Yarzeh office.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Civil war farfetched, says Salam
 

Fri 18/11/2011 15:57

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Tamam Salam on Friday ruled out the eruption of a civil war in Lebanon, albeit the existing sharp political rift.

He explained that the seeds of strife would not be sown since merely one party, in reference to Hezbollah, possessed weapons.

But he said he reckoned on this party's wisdom and acumen to eschew the likely toll which an exacerbation of Syria's crisis would take on Lebanon.

Nonetheless, Beirut Deputy expected security turmoil to rock the Lebanese local arena, in tandem with hegemony attempts leveled by the majority against the opposition.

"The majority had presented for the past years a model of its political and armed hegemony," he corroborated.

Salam, who hailed the fresh "dynamism" of the Arab League, lambasted the position of the Mikati-led government from a decision against Syria during the Arab ministerial meeting in Cairo last week.

Lebanon voted last Saturday against an Arab League decision to suspend Syria's participation in the organization's meetings.

He said Lebanon had best disassociate itself from voting, just like it did at the UN Security Council a few months ago.

Last August, Lebanon disassociated itself from voting on a UNSC statement "condemning the widespread violations of human rights and the use of force against civilians by the Syrian authorities."

Salam did not fail to remind of the necessity for Lebanon to respect its international commitments, namely to rubberstamp the funding of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a UN-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.



R.A.H.

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Politics - Mikati receives Kanaan, others
 

Fri 18/11/2011 15:14

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati met on Friday at the Grand Serail with head of the Parliamentary Finance and Budget Commission, Ibrahim Kanaan.

Interviewed after the visit, Kanaan said he discussed with the Premier financial issues as well as the cooperation between the government and the parliamentarian council. Mikati called for boosting the performance of monitoring apparatuses, saying the audit department had the capabilities of carrying out its duties.

Among Grand Serail's visitors: the Emirati Ambassador, Youssof Ali Al-Assimi; a delegation of Microsoft Company; and a delegation of the International Lebanese Union for Businessmen, headed by Attorney Robert Jreisati.

A.M./P.BC.

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Politics - Harb: this stage proves cabinet's affiliation to Syria's, Iran's regimes
 

Fri 18/11/2011 14:43

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Deputy Boutros Harb said the current political stage affirmed the Mikati-led cabinet's affiliation to the Syrian and Iranian regimes.

Harb's stance came Friday in the wake of his meeting with the Future Movement Secretary General Ahmad Hariri. Both reviewed overall developments at the local scene.

Harb said the Lebanese majority refused this affiliation and have staged great battles for the sake of safeguarding Lebanon's independence and national decision.

The Deputy addressed the Education and Higher Learning Minister Hassan Diab, asking him to give the Flag's Day this year the required concern. Harb also addressed the Lebanese to tie well-composedly to the Lebanese will and refuse any breach thereof.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Array of affairs on Sleiman's agenda
 

Fri 18/11/2011 14:32

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, on Friday followed up on a spectrum of various affairs with his itinerant visitors at Baabda presidential palace.

He first met with Deputy House Speaker, Farid Makkari, over most recent political developments on the local arena.

The President later broached the current general situation and the work of parliamentary commissions with Future parliamentary bloc member Ahmed Fatfat.

A delegation of the Arab economic unity council had also been to Baada palace today for a meeting with the President over the recommendations and outcomes of the conference held earlier in Beirut.

Talks also dwelled on measures Arabs should undertake on the economic level so as to weather financial crises socking the world.

Moreover, Sleiman respectively met with a delegation of "Lebanon, Green Again" association, Professor Fayez Hajj from the National Dialogue Committee, and Brigadier Michel Mnassa.

He had received earlier today students' delegations of different schools, who congratulated him upon the Independence Day.

On the other hand, the President issued law number 186, fixing the day before Teachers' Day as the Alphabet Day.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qabbani, UAE Ambassador tackle recent developments
 

Fri 18/11/2011 13:26

NNA - 18/11/2011 Mufti of the Lebanese Republic Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani engaged Friday in talks on the most recent up-to-dates during his meeting with the UAE Ambassador Yousuf Ali Al Osaimi.


L.W.

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Politics - Zahra: Syrian situation will keep escalating until protecting citizens
 

Fri 18/11/2011 13:25

NNA - 18/11/2011 - Deputy Antoine Zahra said the situation will keep escalating in Syria until providing protection to citizens.

The Syrian leadership and regime are persistent to keep struggling by adopting the oppressive method against the Syrian people and to division in Syria, he added.

Zahra assured that he does not expect any serious responsiveness from the Syrian side to the Arab initiative.

"The three-day period given by the Arab league to Damascus to stop the violence and allow the entrance of supervisors to Syria will pass just like the week passed," he said, noting that the Syrian regime will keep faking support for dialogue yet under its own conditions.
D.K.

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Politics - Ghanem: Discussion with Mikati did not tackle STL
 

Fri 18/11/2011 13:22

NNA - 18/11/2011 MP Robert Ghanem said Friday that his latest discussion with Mikati did not include the issue of Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

MP Ghanem also said that their meeting solely hashed out about separating Parliamentary candidacy from ministerial one, in his talk with Voice of Lebanon- Freedom and Dignity- radio.

"Deputy who wishes to become Minister is not allowed to become candidate except after three or four years of ending his mission," he said.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aoun meets Iraqi MP
 

Fri 18/11/2011 12:15

NNA - 18/11/2011 Change and Reform bloc head took up Friday the political and Christians' situation in Lebanon and the region during his meeting with the Iraqi MP Aounad Makna.

Both men agreed on the importance of seeking civil peace, stability, and coexistence.

Asked about recent situation in Iraq, the MP said political disagreement still prevails and affects the country negatively.
He hoped political parties would reach consensus and become a model in democracy.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Khazen: Aridi, Safadi dispute apolitical
 

Fri 18/11/2011 11:17


NNA - 18/11/2011 MP Farid Khazen ruled out Friday political bond in Ministers Safadi and Aridi dispute.

Khazen said conflict has no political background but it is merely administrative and relevant to the Public Works and Finance Ministries.

MP also told voice of Lebanon radio that situation in Syria has gotten into the jeopardy stage especially following the Arab League decision to suspend the country's participation.

Uttering fears of having Syrian situation be turned into a civil war, Khazen called for being reasonable and calm while handling this matter.


L.W.

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Politics - Jeser: Government clashes not recent
 

Fri 18/11/2011 11:01

NNA - 18/11/2011 Future bloc member Samir Jeser said Friday disputes inside government re-appeared and were not recent for government has, from the beginning, embraced different orientations.

MP Jeser also told Voice of Lebanon radio that dispute between Ministers Ghazi Aridi and Mohammad Safadi could be of political aspect and beyond funding issue.

"Aridi says funds requested had been approved whereas Finance Ministry says Aridi exceeded 2010 budget funds," he said.

Jeser announced later on of a festival to be held on Sunday November 27 on the occasion of Independence Day.
"The festival is scheduled to be held in Tripoli, an important political ground for Future movement," he said.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk: To benefit of stable situation, invest in Lebanon
 

Fri 18/11/2011 10:36

NNA - 18/11/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk called Friday on Lebanese businessmen to benefit of the economic stability in Lebanon and invest.

Daouk, accompanied with the National News Agency Director Laure Sleiman Saab, followed up on Friday his tour in Australia by visiting the State of Victoria.
A lunch banquet was held in honor of the Minister and NNA director in presence of Melbourne state consul and WLCU Head in Australia.

Following his tour in Moonee Valley City Council siege, the Minister urged Expatiates to unite their stance and called on them to partake in the inauguration ceremony to unveil the "Statue of the Lebanese Expatriate" in Victoria.

Another honorary banquet took place at the Lebanese Commerce and Industry Chamber in Australia in presence of the Chamber head and businessmen.

Lastly, the Minister visited the Parliament and placed a wreath of flowers at The tomb of the Unknown Soldier.



L.W.
 

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Politics - Mansour calls for consolidated relations among Arab countries
 

Thu 17/11/2011 21:03

NNA - 17/11/2011 Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour stressed the need nowadays for multiplying efforts to establish consolidated relations among Arab countries and those with whom we share mutual interests.
Minister Mansour was speaking in his address at the Arab-Turkish Forum meeting that convened in the Moroccan capital Rabat on Nov 15 and 16, 2011, on top of a delegation of the Ministry.
Mansour underlined the potency of Arab-Turkish cooperation dealing with the core of Arab causes, on top of which the Palestinian cause.
Mansour also underlined the necessity of outlining priorities to extricate out of unremitting crises and confronting them through dialogue and cooperation.
The Minister wished success to the work of the Forum in its fourth round of meetings, stressing the importance of follow up and implementation. He renewed Lebanon's commitment to the Forum's goals and decisions through communication and cooperation amongst the peoples of the region, in support of security, stability and prosperity.
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NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati, North Doctors' Syndicate tackle relevant affairs
 

Thu 17/11/2011 20:26

NNA- 17/11/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati met on Thursday afternoon at the Grand Serail with a delegation of North-Tripoli Doctors' Syndicate where they raised with him relevant demands.
Mikati then met with a delegation of Qualitative Specialization Arab Unions chaired by Arab League Economic Unit Council Mohammed Al-Rabee, where they discussed means of bolstering Arab economic development and complementarity.
Mikati then met with a delegation of Agricultural Industries' Regional Forum for the Middle East and North African Countries, chaired by "FAO" representative in Lebanon Ali Momen. The delegation briefed the Premier on the outcome of the Forum's three-day work sessions that convened in Lebanon.
The delegation visits on Friday a number of factories in Lebanon.
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Politics - Mansour returns from Morocco
 

Thu 17/11/2011 19:58 NNA - 17/11/2011 Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour returned to Beirut on Thursday evening coming from Morocco, where he partook in Arab Foreign Ministers' meeting in Rabat.
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Politics - Berri upholds language of dialogue
 

Thu 17/11/2011 19:55

NNA - 17/11/2011 Speaker of the House Nabih Berri expressed support to the language of dialogue in the Country, considering it as the path to reinforcing the nation's immunity and invulnerability.
Speaker Berri was speaking before "Amal Movement" students who scored victory in the elections that occurred on Wednesday at American University of Beirut.
Congratulating winning students, Berri hailed the tranquil atmosphere that marked these elections and voiced continuous commitment to transparent and democratic mode.
"If the successful mode in confronting the Israeli enemy is the armed resistance, the winning one in the interior should be the peaceful one", Berri noted before his visiting AUB students at Ein Tineh on Thursday evening.
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Politics - Siniora resumes visit to Egypt
 

Thu 17/11/2011 19:21

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Head of Future parliamentary bloc, Deputy Fouad Siniora, on Thursday resumed his visit in Egypt, whereby he met with Egyptian Prime Minister, Issam Sharaf, over the current situation, amid the Arab Spring sweeping the Mideast region.

Siniora, who also broached with Sharaf the means to bolster and well-entrench inter-Arab ties, did not fail to capitalize the necessity for Egypt to restitute its paramount role on the Arab arena.

Siniora later met with Al-Azhar Sheikh Ahmed Tayeb over most recent developments in the region.

The meeting was also an occasion to ponder upon the Sheikh's two documents touching on Egypt's future and the will of Arabs, as well as to review underway preparations for a looming conference on Orient's Christians.

Siniora finally met with former Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa, with talks featuring high on the current situation in Egypt and the broader Arab region.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman for security network protecting Lebanon
 

Thu 17/11/2011 19:08

NNA - 17/11/2011 - The Lebanese President Michel Sleiman called for establishing a security network, braced by the army, to protect whole Lebanon, affirming that he would not spare any effort to boost the comprehensive developmental process throughout the country.

The President's demand came Thursday during opening the Applied Sciences Institute in Nahr Ibrahim.

Sleiman urged for establishing networks that protected youths and facilitated communication between the regions and confessions. Such a network would help solving pending problems, like that in Lassa, in accordance with law and the coexistence requirements, said the President.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kahwaji itinerant visitors today
 

Thu 17/11/2011 18:55

NNA - Army Commander, General Jean Kahwaji, respectively met on Thursday at his Yarzeh office with Deputy Hagop Pakradounian and former Deputy Ibrahim Farhat. Discussions reportedly touched on current political developments at both domestic and regional scenes.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea meets MPs from Kurdistan, Iraq
 

Thu 17/11/2011 18:53

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces Head, Samir Geagea, on Thursday met with Iraqi Deputies, Younadam Kana and Imad Yaacoub, and Salem Keko, Member of Parliament of Kurdistan County.

Talks reportedly touched on the general political situation in Lebanon and Iraq, in addition to the current situation of Iraqi Christians.

Speaking to journalists in the wake of the meeting, Kana underlined the necessity to secure coexistence among the society's components, whether in Lebanon or in Iraq.


R.K.

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Politics - Harb sees dialogue mandatory to reach agreeable electoral law
 

Thu 17/11/2011 18:48

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Butros Harb on Thursday told a delegation of the Orthodox Gathering that dialogue was necessary to reach an electoral law prone to meet the gathering's demands of an effective parity.

The meeting reportedly broached the background of the Gathering's electoral project law.

The delegation comprised attorney Michel Tueini, Ibrahim Khoury, Raja Badran, and Samir Nehme.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Aridi holds government accountable for reluctance in citizens' interests
 

Thu 17/11/2011 18:19

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Ghazi Aridi, on Thursday accused the Mikati-led government of shrugging off citizens' affairs and interests, avowing he would proceed with boycotting cabinet sessions, unless required advances to finalize his Ministry's projects were allocated.

He told a news conference today that he would only act as per his conscious and conviction, away from any political or regional consideration.

"The Public Works and Transportation Ministry's projects were submitted to the government and hence Okayed (...) we have ventured into work, but later, Prime Minister Najib Mikati informed me that the Ministry of Finance did not approve out method. We haven't received any amount to cover the fees of underway works as yet," he expounded.

Besides, the Minister ruled out any reintegration within March 14 ranks for the time being.

Separately, Aridi met today with Member of Parliament Ali Fayad over an array of developmental affairs.

He later met with MP Assem Araji.



R.A.H.

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Politics - Berri patronizes workshop on maritime borders demarcation
 

Thu 17/11/2011 17:52

NNA - 17/11/2011 - The Public Works, Transportation, Energy, and Water Resources parliamentary commission on Thursday organized a workshop at the Parliament on the required laws and decrees following the approbation of the Lebanese maritime borders' law, under the auspices of House Speaker, Nabih Berri, represented by MP Mohammad Qabbani.

Qabbani, head of the concerned parliamentary commission, capitalized the importance of this workshop, which draws the guidelines of the aftermath of said law's approbation, in light of a Lebanese unanimity to develop fuel sector.

As rejecting allegations over a disputed maritime zone, the Deputy avowed that Lebanon was keen to explore every meter of a prefecture that belongs to it, announcing that exploration licenses would be granted as of the beginning of the upcoming year. He reminded that a Lebanese official delegation would be bound in Cyprus soon to resume negotiations over maritime borders demarcation and the economic exclusive zone.

"Lebanon is en route to finalizing organizational decrees to form, subsequently, a committee to administrate fuel sector," he said.

For his part, Member of Parliament Robert Ghanem shed light on a number of plights stemming from the massive exploitation of offshore resources. He underscored that it was the duty of each country to preserve the environment.

Representatives of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs, Environment, Energy and Water Resources, Economy and Trade, as well as of the Lebanese Army Chief, ambassadors of Turkey and Greece, a representative of the Egyptian ambassador, Swiss Charge d'Affaires, and a panel of Deputies and specialists were present at today's workshop.



R.A.H.

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Politics - Sudanese diplomat visits Hezbollah
 

Thu 17/11/2011 16:19

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Sudan ambassador, Idris Suleiman, on Thursday visited Hezbollah's top official, Sheikh Naeem Qassem, with talks featuring high on the current general situation throughout the Arab region.

A closing statement by the party echoed both men's emphasis on the necessity to proof the Arab arena in the face of the US peril, seeking to take over the region, in a bid to bring about the so-called new Middle East.

"The solution in Syria must be through dialogue and the Arab and international pressures to [fan] provocation do not help mitigate the crisis," the statement quoted Qassem as saying.

He also highlighted the importance to preserve the Resistance, which he termed as "the steadfast backline to prevent any aggression and thwart the goals of plotters."



R.A.H.

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Politics - Kahwaji: Army ought to stray far from wrong outbids
 

Thu 17/11/2011 16:16


NNA - 17/11/2011 - Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Kahwaji, indicated Thursday that the Army institution must keep distance from the wrong outbids of certain sides.

He highlighted as well the importance of loyalty, discipline, and moral principles for reinforcing the Army's role and boosting the citizens' confidence in this institution, calling on soldiers to be in total readiness for any threat on the horizon.

"Army should preserve national unity and independence and protect all Lebanese without any exception," he announced.

Kahwaji's words came during the ceremony held at Yarzi to honor the two Generals Michel Menassa and Shadi Moallem upon their retirement.
D.K.

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Politics - Mikati follows up on array of affairs
 

Thu 17/11/2011 15:42

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati on Thursday met with UAE ambassador to Lebanon, Youssef Ali Osseimi, over most recent developments and bilateral ties.

A delegation of the Orthodox Gathering had also been to the Grand Serail today, for a meeting with Mikati over the current general situation and a spectrum of local affairs.

The delegation, who sternly lambasted the attack on the Greek Orthodox archdiocese, did not fail to call the Premier to step up investigation into the incident.

Thieves stormed into the Greek Orthodox archdiocese overnight Wednesday, stole money, and vandalized a number of offices.

Talks also featured high on the new electoral project law, currently under review at the cabinet.

Mikati later received Head of the Banks' Monitoring Committee, Oussama Makdashi, and a delegation of Eastwood College.



R.A.H.

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Politics - Ain-el-Tineh Thursday's highlights
 

Thu 17/11/2011 15:08

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Speaker of the House, Nabih Berri, on Thursday received a congratulatory cable from the Arab League's Secretary General, Nabil Al-Arabi, upon the Independence Day occasion.

On the other hand, Berri met today at his residence in Ain-el-Tineh with Abdullah Babeti from Jamaa Islamiyya, over most recent developments and the current general situation.

Head of the Bar Association, Amal Haddad, and former Minister, Elias Hanna, had also been to Ain-el-Tineh today.


R.A.H.

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Politics - Qortbawi contacts Bishop Audi
 

Thu 17/11/2011 14:36

NNA - 17/11/2011 Justice Minister phone called Thursday the Roman Orthodox Bishop Elias Audi and uttered sorrowfulness for the attack against the Roman Orthodox Church which took place yesterday in Ashrafieh.

Qortbawi said judiciary will not fail to reveal perpetrators' identity and arrest them.

L.W.
 

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Politics - Qadiri: Our hastiness in favor of Lebanese people
 

Thu 17/11/2011 14:28

NNA - 17/11/2011 MP Ziad Qadiri addressed Thursday House Speaker Berri and justified his bloc's hastiness saying it was in favor of preserving the Lebanese people's trust through making visible government's trespasses.

Qadiri told Al-Jadeed television channel that yesterday's parliamentary question-and-answer session witnessed breaches to norms and democratic customs.

"MPs were restricted in practicing their executive role," he said.


L.W.

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Politics - Sleiman patronizes ISAE inauguration in Nahr Ibrahim
 

Thu 17/11/2011 14:20

NNA - 17/11/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, will deliver a word this evening during his patronizing to the inauguration of the institute of Applied Sciences and Economy (ISAE), CNAM Lebanese University in Nahr Ibrahim.

Separately, President Sleiman tackled with Deputies Ghazi Zaayter and Muhammad Hajjar, and former parliament member Mustafa Alloush latest developments at the local scene.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fletcher meets Qabbani, hails religious leaders' role
 

Thu 17/11/2011 13:58

NNA - 17/11/2011 British Ambassador Tom Fletcher lauded Thursday the role religious leaders play to preserve coexistence in Lebanon.

During his visit to meet with the Mufti of the Lebanese Republic, Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani, Fletcher shed light on the importance of peaceful-oriented change in the region.

The Mufti met later on with a delegation of the Free Patriotic Movement headed by Telecommunications Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui.
The latter deemed effective dialogue as crucial in this tough situation the country is undergoing.

Sheikh Malek Zeidan, the representative of the Mufti of Lebanon in New South Wales, Australia, visited Qabbani today and briefed him on the Diaspora situation there.

Qabbani also received a delegation of the EDL laborers and stressed afterwards on the importance of answering employees' demands and give them their rights to Social Security.

L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hassan condemns aggression on Greek Orthodox Church
 

Thu 17/11/2011 13:49

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Druze Sheikh Akl Naiim Hassan contacted by phone Beirut Greek orthodox metropolitan, Bishop Elias Audi, condemning the aggression against Greek Orthodox Church in Beirut, confirming that the Security Forces are entitled to assume their responsibilities in this regard and punish the perpetrators adequately.

Separately, Hassan received the Iranian Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Rukn Abadi, with talks touching on general situation.

Hassan confirmed during the meeting the importance of boosting inter-Islamic ties, calling for reinforcing dialogue and communication canals between the Iranian Islamic Republic and the Arab countries.

Rukn Abadi for his part tackled the media gossip on the Zionistic entity's talks about bombarding Iranian nuclear facilities, confirming that these are nothing but echoes of failure.

The Ambassador assured as well that Iran supports all people who claim their rights.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati press bureau denies resignation rumors
 

Thu 17/11/2011 13:44

NNA - 17/11/2011 Premier Najib Mikati press bureau denied rumors on the Premier's resignation, in a statement issued Thursday.

Al-Liwaa newspaper earlier quoted an MP as saying that Mikati told MP Robert Ghanem he shall resign.

"Such allegations are false and the meeting between Ghanem and Mikati went within the context of 46th meeting of the Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions (ASOSAI) held at the Grand Serail," the statement said.


L.W.

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Politics - Aoun, Watkins meet
 

Thu 17/11/2011 12:25

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Parliament member Michel Aoun tackled Thursday with the acting United Nations Secretary General Robert Watkins local issues on top of which the special tribunal for Lebanon.

Discussions also touched on regional affairs and domestic developments.

Later on, Watkins left Rabyeh without making any comment.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - AUB elections victory is product of March 14's hard work
 

Thu 17/11/2011 12:20

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces party's head, Samir Geagea, said Thursday that the victory scored in the AUB elections is the product of March 14 forces' hard work, hoping this victory would pave the way for many others.

Geagea who received at Maarab a delegation of the American University of Beirut's students hoped the universities' elections had been politics-free.
He praised in this regard the student's persistence and strong will to participate in the elections and win despite the other party's threats.

Geagea noted that the biggest confrontation in Lebanon is not between people or parties. It is not even a fight over authority or financials gains, as some people believe.

"The fight is actually over two different perspectives for Lebanon, therefore we are bound in each election to prove our presence and provide victory for our outlook," he corroborated.

The LF leader regretted the fact that Lebanon had always been the symbol of democracy in the Arab region yet it became today an open scene for the kidnapping of innocent Syrian antagonists to their country's regime.

Geagea criticized in his word the Lebanese stance in the Arab league mocking the Lebanese government which adopted the "refraining" formula in the Security Council's voting yet disregarded this method when voting on the suspension of Syria's participation in the Arab League.

Geagea tied this stance to the fact that we are now under Hezbollah's ruling.
D.K.

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Politics - Houry: Berri is protecting government
 

Thu 17/11/2011 12:00

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Ammar Houry told "Al Shaq" radio that Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri was exercising a policy that protects the government which needs due to its vulnerable position and weak performance all kinds of protection.

"Everyone knows that the by-law of the parliament gives the right for any MP to pose a question and after listening to the answer of the government this MP has the right to turn this question to an interrogation," Houry said.

He added that Berri gave different interpretations and one of these interpretations was that the MP has no right to give his opinion later and this triggered wide protests from many MPs.

Houry suggested that Berri will try to come up with different excuses not to call for another parliamentary session to allow MPs express their views.

He added that 11 MPs have signed a petition calling for a parliamentary session to discuss certain issues.

Houry also commented on Prime Minister Najib Mikati's word that his resignation is in his pocket if the cabinet failed to approve funding of the tribunal.

"This maybe the wishes of Mikati but we all know that this cabinet's decision is in the hand of Hezbollah and it's not in the interest of this party or the Syrian regime to topple the government."

Houry reminded that the Arab League has given the Syrian regime three days to approve a proposal to send observers to monitor the situation in Syria, adding that the League insisted that the regime provides protection for these observers during their mission.

But the MP believes that the Syrian regime is merely buying time and has no intention to neither implement reforms nor end the crackdown on the citizens.

O.H

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Politics - Abi Nasr supports pulling out Lebanese citizenship from those who do not deserve it
 

Thu 17/11/2011 10:22

NNA 17/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Nemattah Abi Nasr hailed the government's decision to rescind the Lebanese citizenship from those who earned in wrong and suspicious way although he noted that this move is eight years late.

Speaking to Voice of Lebanon, the MP stressed that anyone has the right to contest this decision at the Shura Council if he or she feel that they were treated unjustly provided that the papers are in the right order and not fake.

"If Mar Maroun obtained the Lebanese citizenship in a wrong manner then we will take his citizenship away from him and return him to Syria," Abi Nasr explained.

The MP accused some Lebanese officials of treating the issue of naturalization lightly and indifferently, praising the President of the Republic Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati and Interior Minister Marwan Charbel who handled this file in a firm way.

The MP believed that the interior minister has successfully established law and order despite the modest means at his disposal.

O.H

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Politics - Hezbollah criticizes Ban Ki-moon's report
 

Thu 17/11/2011 09:28

NNA - 17/11/2011 - Hezbollah denounced in a statement on Thursday report of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on the implementation of resolution 1701.

"Once again, the UN secretary general confirms his total biasness for the western administration which appointed him in his position instead of working to establish peace and security which the international organization was originally founded for. Ki-moon's statement on Lebanon repeats the western allegations which stems from absolute hostility towards the resistance and total disregard to the feelings of the Lebanese people," the statement said.

It added that the 17th report by Ki-moon is rife with mistakes and errors, noting that the secretary general seemed irritated by the determination of the Lebanese to resist the Israeli occupation.

Hezbollah added that the report contradicts with the simplest facts on the ground which all proves that the situation in the south is calm and stable.

It noted that even the statements of international officials have confirmed that the situation in the south is stable and most notably the statements of commander of the UNIFIL forces in the south Major General Alberto Asarta who repeated more than once that: "if you wanted peace then head to the south because it enjoys stability and security more than any other area in Lebanon and the region."

Hezbollah accused Ki-moon of falling under the direct influence of the United States.

O.H

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Politics - Geagea contacts Audi to condemn archdiocese vandalism
 

Thu 17/11/2011 08:34

NNA - Head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea phone called last night Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi to express his condemnation for the vandalism and looting of the archdiocese.

The conversation focused on the circumstances behind this incident.

The archbishop told Geagea that he is not accusing any party of standing behind the looting of the archdiocese and has no clue or explanation for what happened.

The archbishop said that he leaves this incident to the security forces to uncover the culprits.

On his part, Geagea hoped that the security forces will uncover the circumstances of this incident which was condemned by all sides.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk continues his tour in Australia
 

Thu 17/11/2011 08:17

NNA - 17/11/2011 - For the fifth day running, Information Minister Walid Daouk and director of the National News Agency Lour Sleiman continued their visit to Australia where they met a number of Australian officials.

The second stop was in the Australian capital Canberra where he met with the deputy foreign minister for the Middle East Affairs Marnie Wright and other top officials.

Talks focused on buttressing the bilateral ties between the two countries and also touched on the situation of the Lebanese community in Australia.

Daouk and Sleiman visited the Australian parliament and met some senators.

The minister's visit came amid tight security measures because it coincided with the visit of U.S. President Barack Obama to the parliament building.

Daouk explained to an Australian senator that Lebanon is country of free media, underscoring the need to preserve this diverse thinking in Lebanon.

The minister added there are discussions to hammer out an electronic media law but with the preservation of freedom of expression, adding that the internet web sites should have a patent so that these sites have a reference in case anyone who has damages can claim his rights.

Later, Daouk and the accompanying delegation met with the Arab ambassadors in Australia.

The ministers assured the Arab ambassadors that the economic and security situation in Lebanon are stable.

"Since its formation, the cabinet has been seeking to find solutions to the livelihoods problems," Daouk said.

He also added the oil and gas exploration project will be ready at the beginning of next year and this in his opinion will solve to a great extent the budget deficit.

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Politics - Proportionality tops cabinet talks, Sleiman advocates sound
rhetoric
 

Wed 16/11/2011 22:28

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman called Wednesday on policy makers to resort to calm and lucid rhetoric and to keep distance from scorching, mulish and extreme stances.

Sleiman's words came before cabinet members as he chaired this evening a ministerial session at Baabda Palace.

"Such language tends to throw Lebanon in a chain of political tension," the President said in his address to attending Ministers. "At this period of time, we are strongly in need of wisdom."

Upon the end of the cabinet session, Acting Information Minister Wael Abou Faour relayed President Sleiman's hopes to see a "state of forgiveness reign over all diversified Lebanese societies."

However, Bou Faour said that the most rational position the Lebanese could adopt was to stay away from any episode destined to end in a state of disintegration between Lebanon and Arabs.

Cabinet discussions also touched on the new electoral law as the President and ministers listened to some remarks made on the proportionality formula to be adopted in the 2013 elections. Conferees agreed to discuss in future sessions a revised form of the law which is expected to be re-formulated by the Interior and Municipalities Minister.

Responding to media figures, Abou Faour assured that Tyre's morning explosions as well as the attack which targeted the Greek Orthodox church on Tuesday were being followed up by the President and Prime Minister. However, he said that investigations by security apparatuses have thus far revealed that there were no political motives behinds said crimes.

It is to note that prior to the cabinet session, President Michel Sleiman met with Prime Minister Najib Mikati over latest domestic and regional developments.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora reprimands attack against Orthodox archdiocese
 

Wed 16/11/2011 20:51

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Future Parliamentary bloc Leader Fouad Siniora contacted by phone on Wednesday Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi, censuring the abominable attack against the Greek-Orthodox archdiocese.
R.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Bkerki deprecates 'sinful attack' against Orthodox archdiocese
 

Wed 16/11/2011 19:45

NNA - 16/11/2011 - The East Catholic Patriarchate Council General Assembly vehemently condemned on Wednesday the "errant attack" which targeted the Greek-Orthodox archdiocese in Beirut overnight.

Thieves broke into the Greek-Orthodox archdiocese on Tuesday pilfering money from a safe and smashing a number of its offices.

"All concerned sides are called forth to arrest the perpetrators and take severe punitive measures against them," a statement by the Secretariat said following a meeting in Bkerki.

Within this framework, Maronite Patriarch Mar Bechara Bourtos Rahi delegated Bishop Roland Abu Jawdeh to express solidarity with Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi.
R.H.

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Politics - Watkins from Meerab: I don't think Tyre's incidents target UNIFIL
 

Wed 16/11/2011 19:25

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Acting UN Coordinator Robert Watkins said he didn't think the Tyre's security incidents early Wednesday aimed at the UNIFIL.

Watkins's opinion came Wednesday in the wake of his meeting with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea at the latter's residence in Meerab.

Watkins assured the UNIFIL had adopted serious measures to protect itself and were waiting for investigations into the incidents, hoping that culprits would be caught and punished.

Watkins warned Lebanon's interior of local unrest, especially in the South, voicing perturbation about the security situation of UNIFIL.

Among Meerab's visitors: a delegation of Tarshish/Bekaa and the Greek Ambassador Panos Kalogeropoulos.

A.M./P.BC.

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Politics - Shehayeb links STL funding to government continuity
 

Wed 16/11/2011 18:35

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Akram Shehayeb on Wednesday said funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) was necessary for the Mikati-led government to survive, avowing that Lebanon was to respect its international commitments.

Fears of sharper rift grow in Lebanon, as political magnates and cabinet members disagree over the divisive item of whether to pay Lebanon's share, due in March, in financing a UN-backed court probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.

Speaking during the General Assembly of Aley Merchants Association today, the PSP member reckoned the funding would be certainly approved in order for the government to continue.

He said the Mikati-led government was before two crucial issues, that of STL funding and the new electoral law, which he hoped to be modern and based on proportionality.

Turning to Syria, Mountain's Deputy, who did not fail to lambast the disappearance of 13 Syrian nationals, underlined that Lebanon's vote on a Syria-related decision would certainly take a toll on the general course of the government.

Deputies Henri Helo and Fadi Habr, the representative of MP Talal Arslan, and a panel of personalities attended today's assembly to discuss the current situation in Aley district on all economic, social, and developmental levels.



R.A.H.

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Politics - Cabinet convenes in Baabda
 

Wed 16/11/2011 17:43

NNA - 16/11/2011 - The cabinet convened on Wednesday at Baabda presidential palace, under the chairmanship of Lebanese President, Michel Sleiman, in a session devoted to resume discussions over the electoral project law.

Ministers are also scheduled to take up two items on amending the Constitutional Council's powers and Lebanese citizenship recuperation, as well as on the fresh security incidents.

Speaking to journalists prior to the session, Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Marwan Charbel, brushed aside the option of political and sectarian backdrops behind Tyre blasts early this morning. He avowed that security forces were endeavoring to round up perpetrators.

Two explosions jolted Tyre city this morning, as two bombs respectively blew up in a pub and a liquor shop. The blasts damaged a number of nearby parked cars and two vehicles affiliated to the UNIFIL.

The explosions also earned sharp rebuke from Agriculture Minister, Hussein Hajj Hassan, who called the incident as "a vandal terrorist act."

On the Arab League's decision to suspend Syria's participations in the organization's meetings, Minister of Social Affairs, Wael Abu Faour, saw that neutrality was the best mean to protect Lebanon.

President Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati had reviewed the current general situation and most recent developments, in a one-on-one meeting, before the cabinet convened.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - The Parliamentarian council winds up its session
 

Wed 16/11/2011 17:26

NNA - 16/11/2011 - The parliamentarian council winded up on Wednesday its question session whose work schedule comprised of seven items, three out of which were answered while the others were transferred into an interrogation.

House Speaker Nabih Berri, commenced the session by congratulating Lebanon's football team which beat South Korea 2-1 yesterday. "If the Lebanese foot was able to unite the Lebanese, the Lebanese mind might be able to augment such unity," said Berri, who deplored and condemned the attack which took place early morning against properties belonging to Beirut Greek-Orthodox Bishopric.

Besides, Berri condemned the explosions targeting a liquor shop and a pub in Tyre, refusing to tie this incident to any religious cause.
Batroun Deputy Boutros Harb spoke, during the session, about a petition prepared by 11 deputies asking for holding a general negotiation session specialized for discussing Mikati-led government's performance, in the light of the crisis occuring in the region and the government's refusal to abide by international obligations like financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon - probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri and related crimes.

The petition was signed by each of the deputies, Boutros Harb, Farid Makari, Ahmad Fatfat, Antoine Zahra, Samer Saadeh, Seboh Kalbakian, Ziad Qaderi, Jamal Jarah, Tony Abu Khater, Marwan Hmadeh, and Ghazi Youssof. The MPs requested House Speaker Berri to appoint the session at a near time, in order to subject the cabinet again to a vote of confidence, in accordance with article 137 of the parliament's bylaws.

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Politics - Kahwaji tackles military cooperation with British Attaches
 

Wed 16/11/2011 16:45

NNA - 16/11/2011 - The Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Kahwaji, received at his Yarzi office a delegation of British military attaches for the Middle East, as well as representatives of the British Defense Ministry, with talks featuring high on means to reactivate military cooperation.

He also received a delegation of the Lions clubs association headed by Wafaa Khoury who felicitated him on the Independence Day.
D.K.

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Politics - Deputy Registrar sworn in
 

Wed 16/11/2011 16:27

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Kaoru Okuizumi was sworn in today as Deputy Registrar for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.

Ms Okuizumi, a Japanese national, has extensive background in international criminal justice and human rights. She has served in the Registries of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the Special Court for Sierra Leone, and has also been deployed to United Nations field operations in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kosovo and Nepal.

Ms Okuizumi comes to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon from the Criminal Law and Judicial Advisory Service in the United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations in New York.

She will be working with the Registrar, Mr Herman von Hebel, to provide administrative, legal and other essential support to the Tribunal and will deputize in his absence. Ms. Okuizumi will oversee judicial services to ensure the smooth running of court proceedings.

The Deputy Registrar position has been vacant since Mr. von Hebel was appointed Registrar in December 2010.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - UNIFIL says not targeted by Tyre blasts
 

Wed 16/11/2011 16:26

NNA - 16/11/2011 - UNIFIL's vice spokesperson, Andrea Tenenti, on Wednesday said that Tyre blasts did not target the peacekeeping force and that the Lebanese authorities bore the responsibility of inquiry and security.

Two explosions jolted Tyre city this morning, as two bombs respectively blew up in a pub and a liquor shop.

"Investigations are still underway, and we are waiting for the Lebanese authorities to provide us with data," he said.

The blasts damaged a number of nearby parked cars and two vehicles affiliated to the UNIFIL.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk pursues Australian visit, meets Governor Mary Bashir
 

Wed 16/11/2011 16:15

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Information Minister Walid Daouk accompanied by the National News Agency (NNA) Director, Mrs. Laure Sleiman Saab, met Wednesday with the Governor of New South Wales Mary Bashir in Sydney, Australia.

The Minister who concludes his Australian visit today tackled with Bashir bilateral ties as well as the Lebanese Diaspora's conditions in Australia.

Minister Daouk and Mrs. Sleiman were honored at Sydney Parliament by the legislative council's members Shawkat Meselmani and Jean Ajaka in presence of former Minister Edward Obeid, Lebanon General Consul Robert Naoum and many other Australian Deputies.

Obeid, Meselmani and Ajaka felicitated the Information Minister and the National News Agency's Director for the inauguration of the NNA office in Australia.

Daouk highlighted in this regard the role of the Lebanese expatriates in Australia, particularly the successful and active political role they play in their host country.

The Minister also announced that President of the Republic Michel Sleiman will visit Australia in 2012.

After the lunch banquet they participated in, Daouk and the delegation headed to the Royal Botanic Garden inspecting the cedar tree planted there back in April 2009.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - March 14 asks Mikati to resign after cabinet's support for Assad
 

Wed 16/11/2011 16:02

NNA - 16/11/2011 - March 14 Movement demanded for Prime Minister Najib Mikati's resignation, in order to safeguard the relation between the Lebanese and Syrian peoples.

March 14's demand came on Wednesday in the wake of its regular weekly meeting at its headquarters in Ashrafieh.

The movement denounced the Lebanese government's voting against suspending Syria's participation in the Arab League's meeting, claiming that the Mikati-led cabinet was backing the Syrian regime's suppression of its public instead of looking into the daily life matters of citizens and the local economic situation.

The movement also deplored the early today's attacks against the Greek-Orthodox Bishopric in Beirut and the liquor shop and the pub in Tyre, accusing Syria of standing behind Tyre's incidents.

Accordingly, March 14 called upon the local security apparatus to take hold of all the murders across the country.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman, Mikati tackle developments
 

Wed 16/11/2011 15:57

NNA - 16/11/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, and Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, are currently venturing into the current general situation and most recent developments.

The pair is sitting down in a one-on-one meeting at Baabda palace, prior to a cabinet session devoted to resume discussions over the electoral project law and other urgent items.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati meets Zasypkin
 

Wed 16/11/2011 15:21

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati received Wednesday the Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin with whom he tackled latest developments.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - A. Gemayel recommends activating parliamentary council
 

Wed 16/11/2011 14:56

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Former President Amin Gemayel recommended that the parliamentary council be activated via its bylaws, so that the council's bureau would directly partake in planning its work schedule.

Gemayel's recommendation came Wednesday following a meeting with the Tunisian Ambassador Mohammad Fawzi Ballout, who discussed with the host bilateral ties and means of boosting them.

Gemayel condemned the attacks early today against the Greek-Orthodox Bishopric in Beirut and the pub and liquor shop in Tyre, calling for national cooperation to cast off secondary local divergences and look instead for unity, and stability in order to counter such threats.
Gemayel saw it clear that Tyre's incidents targeted the UNIFIL.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt tackles next stage's highlights with Future bloc
 

Wed 16/11/2011 14:40

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Progressive Socialist Party's head, Deputy Walid Jumblatt, received a delegation of the Future parliamentary bloc, in presence of Deputy Akram Shehayeb, with talks touching on the electoral law and the potential highlights of the coming stage.
D.K.

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Politics - Geagea back in Beirut after holding officials visit in UAE
 

Wed 16/11/2011 14:33


NNA - 16/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces party's head Samir Geagea returned Wednesday in Beirut accompanied by his wife, Deputy Strida Geagea, and a Lebanese delegation which responded to the official invitation of the United Arab Emirates.
Geagea had held a meeting with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Muhammad Ben Zayed Al-Nahyan and participated in the opening ceremony for the inventors and intellectuals who earned the Nobel Prize in presence of the Higher Learning Minister Sheikh Nahyan Ben Mubarak Al-Nahyan.

The Lebanese delegation had also assisted to the semi final stage of the formula 1 race in Abu Dhabi.
D.K.

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Politics - Abou Faour tackled developments with his visitors
 

Wed 16/11/2011 14:01

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour respectively received Wednesday at his ministerial office Deputies Sebouh Kalbakian and Qassem Abdel Aziz with talks featuring high on latest developments in Lebanon.

The Social Affairs Minister also received a delegation of Ftouh Keserwan governmental hospital's chairman of the board Charbel Azar with whom he discussed means of cooperation between said hospital and the Social Affairs Ministry.

Also, Abou Faour met with the French Ambassador to Lebanon Denis Pietton with talks touching on current developments in Lebanon and the region.
D.K.

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Politics - Aridi: Let sportive spirit linger over political leaders
 

Wed 16/11/2011 13:51 NNA - 16/11/2011 Public Works and Transportation Minister hoped Wednesday that sportive spirit prevail on political leaders in order not to have the MTV channel clash scene be repeated.

Aridi noted that two major events took place this week: the victory of the Lebanese Football national team and the ISF arrest of criminals' gang.

Aridi congratulated Internal Security Forces for their accomplishment and urged rewarding them.

The Minister then hoped the football team would serve as an example for the government and have harmony linger in favor of the country.


L.W.

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Politics - Sleiman calls for tolerance, selflessness and respect
 

Wed 16/11/2011 13:37

NNA - 16/11/2011 - President of the Republic Michel Sleiman called on the occasion of the International Day for Tolerance for adopting the concept of tolerance and lenience among all, cleaving away from selfishness and allowing no disgraceful and disrespectful rhetoric.

The President highlighted the importance of rational and honest dialogue as the one and only way towards finding solutions and exits to the current problems, sparing Lebanon the repercussions of the regional developments, preserving stability and civil peace in the process.

In his presidential activity, Sleiman tackled with former Ministers Mikhael Daher and Fayez Shukr the current political situation at the local scene. He also received an invitation from Minister Shukr to participate in the ceremony to be held by Baath party in commemoration of the Corrective Movement in Syria, and on the occasion of Lebanon's Independence Day.

Separately, Sleiman will be heading this afternoon the cabinet session at Baabda presidential palace.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Makari: Sabotaging Orthodox Church message top Aoudeh
 

Wed 16/11/2011 13:19


NNA - 16/11/2011 Deputy Speaker Farid Makari said Wednesday that sabotage attempt in Ashrafieh Roman Orthodox Church is a message to Archbishop of Beirut Elias Aoudeh on his change of national stances.

These messages are not to change the Orthodox conviction, he told Voice of Lebanon- Freedom and Dignity- radio.

Deputy Speaker uttered fears of having other party use this incident to sabotage security situation so as to shift attention from Syrian to the Lebanese scene.


L.W.

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Politics - Hobeish: Berri violates Parliament's bylaws
 

Wed 16/11/2011 13:05

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Parliament member Hadi Hobeish said House Speaker Nabih Berri is violating the Parliament's bylaws which stipulate that the legislative body's bureau is the one entitled to set the general assembly's agenda.

The Future bloc member told Future News TV channel that "it is not the first time that such violations occur flaring up opposite reactions."

"When the Parliament, which is the mother institution of laws and legislations, fails to apply the law, that would be a disaster," Hobeish said.

"We have several questions in mind for today's session, yet the primary question would be about the Lebanese shameful stance in the Arab league regarding Syria," he added.

Hobeish criticized as well the duplicity in Premier Najib Mikati's stances regarding Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour's decision, saying "this government is the production of Syria; therefore its decision is tied to the Syrian regime's general stances."
D.K.

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Politics - Mansour stance embodies consensus of Sleiman, Mikati: Abi Ramiya
 

Wed 16/11/2011 13:01


NNA - 16/11/2011 MP Simon Abi Ramiya said Wednesday that Minister Adnan Mansour stance embodies consensus between President and Premier.

Decision of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister is in no way unilateral, Abi Ramiya told Voice of Lebanon - Freedom and Dignity - radio.

The MP deemed time as necessary when dealing with the Arab League decision.
"We shall wait to see if Arab unanimity would remain stable over what is happening in Syria," he said.

"Syria is not Libya, President Bashar Assad is not Gaddafi nor is he Moubarak," he said noting that half of the Syrian people do support Assad.

Pertaining to the Change and Reform bloc head's ignorance to information branch accomplishments, Abi Ramiya said General Michel Aoun is not denying any accomplishments but he was uninformed of reports when asked about the matter.

"The bloc's problem with this branch is irrelevant to the achievements but related to its codification," he said.


L.W.

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Politics - Wehbe: Arabs to escalate position against Syria
 

Wed 16/11/2011 12:07

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Deputy Amine Wehbe said that the Arab position is evolving gradually and is heading towards more sanctions and escalation against the regime in Damascus.

Wehbe stressed that more isolation would be imposed on the Syrian regime although he is convinced that the resistance of the Syrian people is the basic factor in this escalation.

He added on Wednesday to "Sharq" radio that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) refused to convene urgent Arab summit to end the maneuvers of the Syrian regime which is killing its citizens.

"The Arab states intend to escalate the pressure on the regime to fulfill the Syrian people hopes and stop killing and violence", the MP confirmed.

Wehbe described Deputy Michel Aoun's words that the situation in Syria is stable as "disgraceful and sad".

Commenting on the parliamentary legislative session today and the intention of Speaker of the house Nabih Berri to preserve calm, Wehbe said "tranquility starts by responsible handling with the parliament's council and the circumstances which surround the country", adding that the parliament can play its role.

A.A.M

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Politics - Murr calls on authorities to apprehend Orthodox archbishopric vandals
 

Wed 16/11/2011 11:51

NNA - Member of Parliament Michel Murr called on the authorities to take immediate measures to expose and apprehend those who vandalized the Greek Orthodox archbishopric in Achrafieh in 24 hours.

"The Greek Orthodox MPs will not remain idle and are united in condemning the incident in the archbishopric," Murr said.

He stressed that this aggression is directed against the great symbol of the Greek Orthodox sect, expressing confidence in the Lebanese army and Security forces command to expose the attackers and apply maximum penalties on them.

Murr urged the MPs to stage a sit in near the archbishopric to expose the perpetrators.

O.H

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Politics - Mikati asks Charbel to investigate church vandalism
 

Wed 16/11/2011 11:06

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati contacted on Wednesday morning Greek Orthodox Bishop Elias Audi after anonymous persons broke into the archbishopric headquarter in Ashrafiyeh, vandalizing and robbing its contents.

Mikati delegated Interior Minister Marwan Charbel to visit Bishop Audi after this incident.

Mikati asked Charbel to intensify investigations to arrest the perpetrators and refer them to judiciary.

A.A.M

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Politics - (corrected) Parliament's Question-and-Answer Session begins
 

Wed 16/11/2011 11:05

NNA - 16/11/2011 The Parliament's Question-and-Answer Session began Wednesday with seven questions on vital and social matters on its agenda.

L.W.
 

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Politics - Mikati's position came after intensified consultations
 

Wed 16/11/2011 10:56

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati's media office issued on Wednesday a statement stressing in it that Lebanon's position in Cairo's meeting was taken after serious consultations which took into consideration first Lebanon's interest.

The statement stressed that Lebanon's position is to stop violence and start dialogue in Syria but is against freezing Syria's membership in the Arab League.

A.A.M

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Politics - Karami: Lebanon's position in Rabat will be identical to one adopted in Cairo
 

Wed 16/11/2011 10:53

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Minister of Sports and Youths Faysal Karami said Wednesday that Lebanon's position in Rabat will be identical to the one it took in Cairo during the Arab League meeting.

Speaking to "Al Fajir" radio, the minister denied that Prime Minister Najib Mikati has told the Saudi Crown Prince that foreign minister Adnan Mansour has disobeyed instructions.

"Mansour can't disobey the cabinet's decision. There was a consensus inside the cabinet concerning the voting that took place at the Arab League because the country cannot afford but to adopt this stand in line with the treaties signed with Syria," Karami explained.

He underlined the importance of protection Lebanon's civil peace.

"Lebanon can't remain aloof from the unfolding events that are taking place in Syria because this will affect either negatively or positively on Lebanon. What the government is doing in this regard is the right thing."

He argued that some parties are trying to embroil Lebanon in the battle in Syria by smuggling arms from the border.

"This is not a Syrian government but at the same time it will not be a cabinet that conspires against Syria."

The minister hailed Lebanon's soccer victory over South Korea, promising to provide assistance to the national team within the available means of the state.

O.H

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Politics - Abboud: Tyre explosion holds several messages
 

Wed 16/11/2011 10:22

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Tourism Minister Fadi Abboud said that Tyre's explosion holds several messages among them the future of joint living between religions in Lebanon.

Abboud added that what happened in the south is related to the developments in the Middle East, particularly due to the spread of fundamentalism in the Middle East.

The minister called on Wednesday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio the forces to deal seriously with this matter because it threatens coexistence.

Concerning gas oil subsidy Abboud said, "all attempts to subsidize gas oil have failed", adding that there is a law inside the parliament to cancel VAT on it, pointing out that this issue is in the parliament's custody.

A.A.M

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Politics - Charbel: Tyre explosion is not security related
 

Wed 16/11/2011 09:59

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Interior Minister Marwan Charbel stressed that Tyre's explosion has no relation to security but the issue is related to alcohol selling.

Moreover, Charbel said that the damages are not serious, calling on the Lebanese not to link this issue to UNIFIL targeting.

"Judiciary took measures against who attacked the alcoholic shops", the minister stressed on Wednesday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio.

On the other hand, Charbel said that "the investigations have not yet determined the motives of the series of murders in northern Metn", expecting that the brothers are suffering psychological problems.

A.A.M

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Politics - Toursarkissian: Berri sets agenda without returning to parliamentary committee
 

Wed 16/11/2011 09:51

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Serge Toursarkissian criticized Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri for setting a certain agenda for the parliamentary session without returning to the parliamentary committee.

Speaking to Voice of Lebanon, the MP said today's session will be candid and clear through the questions prepared by the MPs and especially that concerns the money held by the Telecom Minister.

"Berri has decided the agenda of the parliament session without even referring it to the parliamentary committee," he said, calling on the speaker to abide by the constitutional framework on all institutions.

"There is a government which is making mistakes and it the right of the deputy to question it in the parliament. But Berri, through his actions, is not allowing the MPs to practice there rights."

He added that a political match in the parliament is allowed but without using chairs.

O.H

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Politics - Jarrah urges Mikati to take measures against Mansour
 

Wed 16/11/2011 09:33

NNA - 16/11/2011 - "Future" bloc member Deputy Jammal Jarrah urged Prime Minister Najib Mikati to take measures against Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour for acting on his own during the Arab League meeting.

The MP added that Lebanon was asked to take at least a position in the Arab League concerning imposing sanctions and suspending Syria's presence in the Arab meetings.

On the other hand, Jarrah said that Wednesday's parliamentary session will convene after several requests to do so in order to question the cabinet.

"Unfortunately a schedule was set without the knowledge of the parliament office committee and the questions were chosen and confined to specific issues", the MP added.

Jarrah stressed that March 14 deputies will demand more questioning sessions to be held for the cabinet because many issues should be discussed like the internet, political issues, in addition to Lebanon's position in the Arab League.

A.A.M

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Politics - Saleh calls on security forces to protect Tyre
 

Wed 16/11/2011 08:47

NNA - 16/11/2011 - Amal Member of Parliament Abul Majid Saleh called on the security forces to tighten security measures in the city of Tyre following two bomb explosions against a hotel and a store selling alcohol.

"Tyre has been targeted today by two bomb explosions. This city has represented throughout the ages and centuries a place for coexistence, understanding and love among all residents and confessions," the MP said after touring the scene of the explosions.

He urged the security forces to remain more vigilant.

O.H

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Politics - Saudi Crown Prince convenes with Hariri
 

Tue 15/11/2011 19:55

NNA - 15/11/2011 Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Nayef bin Abed al Aziz al Saud, met Tuesday with Saad Hariri at his Royal Divan in the Yamama Palace, said a statement by Hariri's media office.

The meeting focused on regional and Lebanese developments as well as other issues of interest between Lebanon and the Kingdom.

R.Z.

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Politics - Patriarch of Russia winds up visit to Lebanon
 

Tue 15/11/2011 19:24

NNA - 15/11/2011 Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Moscow and Russia Samolisk Kerel I winded up his visit to Lebanon on Tuesday afternoon, heading to Moscow.
Bidding him Farwell at the Airport have been Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Raspekin and Embassy staff.
Winding up his itinerary in Lebanon, Patriarch Kerel visited Balamand Monastery and University, accompanied by Ambassador Zaspekin and Ukrainian Ambassador to Lebanon Vladimir Kuval.
Kerel held a meeting with Balamand University President Elie Salem where they boarded issues related to the Orthodox sect in particular and higher learning and religious teachings in general.
Patriarch Kerel's last visit to Balamand University has been in the year 1991, in the wake of its establishment.
In his delivered word, Kerel stressed the important role of Christian churches and Islamic society in underlining the moral responsibility of a human being.
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Politics - Aoun: The Arab League's decision against Syria is failure
 

Tue 15/11/2011 18:59


NNA - 15/11/2011 - Deputy Michel Aoun said the Arab countries which chose to suspend Syria's participation in the League's meetings had selected the wrong path.

General Michel Aoun's stance came on Tuesday in the context of his chairing a meeting for the Bloc of Reform and Change in Rabieh.
"These countries restricted themselves within an axis that blocks their view to political courses throughout history," said Aoun.

He said there was only one person, the Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz, who was able to solve the crisis in Syria if he were to press his utmost efforts in this concern.

Turning to the interior scene, Aoun said the paralysis in the governmental performance was due to the Finance Ministry, the premiership and Public and Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi.
A.M>

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Politics - Berri, Daher tackle current situation
 

Tue 15/11/2011 18:19

NNA - 15/11/2011 Speaker of the House Nabih Berri met on Tuesday afternoon at Ein Tineh residence with former deputy Mikhael Daher where they boarded an array of matters on the Arab and Lebanese arena, including the recent decision adopted by the Arab League.
The Arab League decided on Saturday the suspension of Syria's participation in the League's meetings.
On emerging, Daher considered the League's decision came in violation of Arab Charter in numerous matters, namely item two. Arab Charter item two stipulates that in the case of an attack on any Arab country's existing regime, all Arab countries ought to swiftly cooperate for its assistance.
Daher also considered the recent decision by the Arab League in its Cairo meeting as a "dangerous unprecedented" stance, stressing that League decisions should be taken through the unanimous agreement by all its members.
On the other hand, Speaker Berri then met respectively with Central Inspection Body member Salah Danaf and Lebanon's Ambassador to Venezuella Charbel Wehbeh.
--------------L.Y

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Politics - (Corrected) Sahnawi meets with Nahhas
 

Tue 15/11/2011 17:15

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Telecommunication Minister Nicholas Sahnawi received on Tuesday at his office Education and Higher Learning Minister Hassan Diab and discussed with him electronic educational programs.

Both agreed on launching experimental sessions, in regards to e-programs, for the secondary classes of some schools.

A.M

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Politics - Sahnawi meets with Nahhas
 

Tue 15/11/2011 17:03

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Telecommunication Minister Nicholas Sahnawi received on Tuesday at his office Education and Higher Learning Minister Hassan Diab and discussed with him electronic educational programs.

Both agreed on launching experimental sessions, in regards to e-programs, for the baccalaureate levels of some schools.

A.M

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Politics - Mikati: Lebanon's opposing Arab League's decision has peculiarities
 

Tue 15/11/2011 16:15
NNA - 15/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati affirmed on Tuesday that Lebanon's vote, last Saturday, against the Arab League's decision to suspend Syria's participation in the League's meetings stemmed from historical and geographical considerations that corresponded to Lebanese peculiarities.

"Any position adopted by Lebanon aims to preserve national stability and security," said the Premier.

He assured that Lebanon would remain interacting with the Arab countries, but the Lebanese politics would oppose isolating any country and boycotting any means of dialogue with it.

Mikati met in the course of the day at the Grand Serail with the British Ambassador Tom Fletcher, who expressed disappointment at Lebanon's opposition.

Among Mikati's visitors: the Estonian Ambassador; a delegation of the Lebanese Industrialists Association; Mufti of Hasbayya and Marjeyoun, Sheikh Hassan Dalla; Mufti of Mount Lebanon, Sheikh Muhammad Ali Juzo; and a number of former deputies.

A.M>

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Politics - Zahra: Lebanon should've abstained from voting same as Iraq
 

Tue 15/11/2011 15:08

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces bloc member, MP Antoine Zahra, wished Lebanon had abstained from voting in the Arab Foreign Ministers meeting on the suspension of Syria's participation in the Arab league, just as Iraq did.

In a talk with LBC TV channel, Zahra said this stance does not reflect the Lebanese will, not even the overall government's stance, reminding that this subject was not discussed in the cabinet session.

"Syria is till treating Lebanon in a disrespectful way," said the LF member.

"The Syrian people had taken its decision and it is impossible to turn back now regardless of the regional and international circumstances," Zahra noted.

The Deputy regretted the fact that all the statements voiced by Premier Najib Mikati are positive while the facts are negative and against Lebanon's interest.

"The government, for example, should fulfill its duties allowing no more unilateral stances, such as the position of Foreign Affairs Minister Adnan Mansour," he said, warning those who have tied their destiny to the Syrian regime's, saying judgment day will come soon.

Accordingly, Zahra affirmed that the Christian presence in the Middle East is not linked to a certain individuals or regimes.

"The Christians in Syria do not need the protection of the Baath system," he confirmed.
D.K.

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Politics - (corrected) Tohmeh calls for providing human requirements for Syrian refugees
 

Tue 15/11/2011 14:57


NNA - 15/11/2011 - Deputy Nidal Tohmeh highlighted Tuesday the importance of providing human requirements for the Syrian refugees.

"In light of the Syrian developments and Syria's standing at the front line of confrontation with the Arab community, it is inacceptable to leave the refugees at our northern borders helpless and without shelter," he said, assuring that we hope for the Syrian people what we hope for ourselves, which is true democracy and freedom.

The Deputy wondered "why to tie the special tribunal's funding decision to the lack of credibility it is accused of."

"If the special tribunal had totally lost its credibility, Lebanese officials should then announce it clearly giving us evidences and proofs for abstaining from the funding," he corroborated.

The MP reconfirmed the political presence of former Premier Saad Hariri despite his physical absence.
D.K.

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Politics - Tohmeh calls for providing human requirements for Syrian refugees
 

Tue 15/11/2011 14:30

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Deputy Nehme Tohmeh highlighted Tuesday the importance of providing human requirements for the Syrian refugees.

"In light of the Syrian developments and Syria's standing at the front line of confrontation with the Arab community, it is inacceptable to leave the refugees at our northern borders helpless and without shelter," he said, assuring that we hope for the Syrian people what we hope for ourselves, which is true democracy and freedom.

The Deputy wondered "why to tie the special tribunal's funding decision to the lack of credibility it is accused of."

"If the special tribunal had totally lost its credibility, Lebanese officials should then announce it clearly giving us evidences and proofs for abstaining from the funding," he corroborated.

The MP reconfirmed the political presence of former Premier Saad Hariri despite his physical absence.
D.K.

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Politics - Qabalan: to boost unity and face division

 

Tue 15/11/2011 14:24

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Deputy Head of the Islamic Shiite Supreme Council, Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan, said Lebanese must work together to prevent any foreign attempt to divide Lebanon again as did happen with Sykes-Picot agreement.

The Sheikh's word came on Tuesday after meeting with the British Ambassador Tom Fletcher at the headquarters of said council. Talks between both persons focused on recent developments at the local and regional scenes.
 

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Politics - Sleiman, Khoury engage in recent up-to-dates
 

Tue 15/11/2011 14:22


NNA - 15/11/2011 Lebanese President tackled Tuesday the most recent developments on the Lebanese arena during his meeting with the Environment Minister Nazem Khoury at Baabda.

Sleiman also convened with the Cardinal Robert Sarah, the President of the Pontifical Council, in presence of the Papal Nuncio Gabriel Katchia.

Within a farewell visit, the President received Greek Ambassador to Lebanon Panos Kalogeropoulos and hailed his role to reinforce bilateral ties.


L.W.
 

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Politics -(corrected) Mansour's stance not unilateral: says Abboud
 

Tue 15/11/2011 14:16

NNA - 15/11/2011 Tourism Minister said Tuesday that the decision of Foreign Affairs Minister had been adopted in cooperation with the Lebanese President and Premier.

Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour had uttered rejection to the Arab League's call to impose sanctions on Syria and criticized such a decision deeming Syria a major founding State in the League.


On the topic of high voltage power lines in Ain-Najem, Minister Fadi Abboud said the issue is not technical but merely political.
"If we wish to transmit high voltage lines underground in all regions in order not to discriminate between citizens then, we are in need of a $1 billion, which is impossible," he said.


L.W.
 

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Politics - Osseiran hails Berri's call for Arab unison
 

Tue 15/11/2011 14:15

NNA - 15/11/2011 MP Ali Osseiran hailed Tuesday House Speaker Nabih Berri's call for Arab unison deeming it a proper solution for Syrian situation.
House Speaker Nabih Berri had cabled Sunday Saudi Monarch, Abdallah ben Abdel-Aziz and called on him to initiate reconciliation not only between the Syrians alone, but also amongst all Arabs together.
"Best solution during such tough circumstances is to have Saudi King visit Damascus and chair a meeting so as to figure out a solution to the blood bath that has been going on ever since 1969 whether in Lebanon, Jordan, Syria, Iraq, or Egypt," he said.

The MP called on Arabs, Muslims and minorities to figure out political and just solutions.


L.W.
 

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Politics - Rahi urges inter-Christian cooperation
 

Tue 15/11/2011 13:33

NNA - 15/11/2011 Maronite Patriarch Marbeshara Al-Rahi urged Tuesday cooperation between Orthodox, Catholic, and Protestant churches during his meeting at Bkerki with Patriarch Kirill I of Moscow and all Russia in presence of Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin.

Rahi stressed the need of cooperation with the Russian Church so as to preserve and activate Christian presence in Mideast countries especially within constant political quarrels and aggressions against Christian citizens.

Similarly to Rahi, Patriarch Kirill shed light on hostility and violent practices Christians encounter worldwide and thus, called on world leaders to take actions in face of this difficult situation.


L.W.

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Politics - Hassan: preserving constants is imperative
 

Tue 15/11/2011 13:21

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Druze Sheikh Akl Naiim Hassan tackled Tuesday with Parliament member Muhammad Al-Hajjar general situation in the country.

Hassan confirmed that "in light of the developments in the Arab region, and amid the internal tension whose frequencies have become more obvious along the country, it is now imperative for the Lebanese to meet on common constants based on coexistence."

"This aims at keeping Lebanon away from all potential negative repercussions," he said.

Deputy Hajjar tackled the internal situation in light of the attempts for destabilization and incitation exercised over Lebanon.

"His eminence has always insisted on the importance of national unity, particularly the inter-Muslim and Christian-Islamic ties, constantly warning of the Israeli enemy's threats," he added.
D.K.

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Politics - Zahraman: Berri's warning of civil war is exaggeration
 

Tue 15/11/2011 12:23

NNA - 15/11/2011 - "Future" bloc member Deputy Khaled Zahraman described the words of Speaker of the House Nabih Berri that a civil war might inflame Lebanon and the region as exaggeration.

He added that the Lebanese cabinet has lost its cards when it voted against the Arab League decision to suspend Syria's membership and lost its legitimacy after the security chaos which Lebanon is witnessing and is moving from one region to the other.

The MP stressed on Tuesday to "ANB" TV station "the cabinet decisions are linked to regional projects", pointing out that March 14 would deal with it as if it is illegal and does not represent the Lebanese.

Zahraman said that March 14 does not bet on the failure of the Syrian regime but it is with the freedom of the people, calling on the politicians for dialogue which relies on clear bases that assures the Lebanese and calms the situation in the country.

The MP reminded that "after 2009 elections we formed a national partnership cabinet with the other team", adding that March 8 turned against this partnership when it toppled the national unity cabinet through force.

A.A.M

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Politics - Lebanese Democratic Party condemns Arab League decision
 

Tue 15/11/2011 11:37

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Lebanese Democratic Party condemned in a statement the Arab League decision in its weekly meeting chaired by Deputy Talal Arslan.

The council considered that this act against Syria aims to turn Syria to an unstable state which affects negatively stability in the entire region.

Moreover, the council appreciated the position of Syria's friends against the campaign on Syria, hoping that the Arab League would change its position towards a united one, without differentiating between an Arab country and another.

On the other hand, the council stressed in its statement the necessity to find the appropriate atmosphere to open the discussion related to the electoral law based on proportionality which is an introduction to dedicate balance and preserve minorities.

The statement called on authorities to fortify the army and keep it away from political polarization.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk, Mrs. Sleiman pursue their Australian visit
 

Tue 15/11/2011 11:25

NNA - 15/11/2011 - The Lebanese General Consul of New South Wales - Australia, Robert Naoum, honored the Lebanese Information Minister Walid Daouk and the National News Agency's Director, Mrs. Laure Sleiman Saab, during a dinner banquet held at Naoum's residence, in presence of ranking officials and dignitaries.

Naoum felicitated in his words the NNA for the achievements it made in the field of media by opening its branch in Australia. He also congratulated the Minister and Mrs. Saab for the international and regional awards the National News Agency had earned so far.

"It is all due to the qualitative leap made by the NNA team owing to the efforts of the Director Laure Sleiman Saab who earned the trust of us all," Naoum said.

He afterwards presented the consular shield of honor to Minister Daouk and offered prizes of appreciation to Mrs Sleiman and the accompanying delegation.

Daouk, for his part, presented Naoum with the NNA golden jubilee book. Once more, Daouk called on the Lebanese resident in Australia to stay unified, to register their children in the Lebanese consulate and get ready for participating in the 2013 parliamentary elections.

The Information Minister also called upon the expatriate businessmen to invest in their mother country as expatriation is one of the country's wealth that should be exploited adequately.

"Expatriation is Lebanon's reserve fuel," he said precisely.

The Lebanese delegation had toured on a number of media and educational institutions, as well as Markville and Dulwich Hill elderly homecare.

Daouk and the accompanying delegation also paid a visit to the Islamic councils' federal union headquarters praising the efforts exerted by said union, as well as its achievements.

Eventually, the Minister and Mrs Sleiman visited Al-Nahar Newspaper in Australia, inspecting its work and admiring the major role it [Al-Nahar] and other media resources play in keeping constant contact between the Lebanese Diaspora and Lebanon.
D.K.

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Politics - Mansour's stance not unilateral: says Abboud
 

Tue 15/11/2011 11:18

NNA - 15/11/2011 Tourism Minister said Thursday that the decision of Foreign Affairs Minister had been adopted in cooperation with the Lebanese President and Premier.

Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour had uttered rejection to the Arab League's call to impose sanctions on Syria and criticized such a decision deeming Syria a major founding State in the League.


On the topic of high voltage power lines in Ain-Najem, Minister Fadi Abboud said the issue is not technical but merely political.
"If we wish to transmit high voltage lines underground in all regions in order not to discriminate between citizens then, we are in need of a $1 billion, which is impossible," he said.


L.W.
 

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Politics - Houry: Tomorrow's parliamentary session agenda not appropriate
 

Tue 15/11/2011 10:42

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Deputy Ammar Houry said that the schedule of the parliament session on Wednesday is not appropriate at this stage.

The MP added that the absence of questions and answers does not allow us to call for confidence vote on the minister and the cabinet and constrains the political move.

Houry pointed out on Tuesday to "Voice of Lebanon"-Freedom and Dignity that "March 14 will propose questions that touch the current situation", adding that they also will condemn Lebanon's position in the Arab League and what is happening to the Syrian kidnapped.
"Consultations are open with March 14 concerning the possibility of boycotting the session", he added.

A.A.M

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Politics - Hamadeh: We won't boycott tomorrow's parliamentary session
 

Tue 15/11/2011 09:32

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Marwan Hamadeh said on Tuesday that March 14 forces will not boycott the parliamentary session tomorrow because it intends to raise questions to the government and to Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour in particular about the official position in the last Arab League meeting in Cairo which was designed to discuss the situation in Syria.

He added that the Syrian issue has transcended Mansour's position at the Arab League, wondering who actually determines Lebanon's foreign policy.

The MP noticed that Prime Minister Najib Mikati is keen in his diplomatic meetings to explain Lebanon's position and the instruction which he plans to give Mansour in the Rabat meeting and this meeting will be different from the one that took place in Cairo.

He described the situation in Syria as very critical.

But Hamadeh ruled out the possibility of holding Mansour accountable for his action in Cairo and did not expect March 14 to call for a vote of confidence on the foreign minister.

"It is ironic that the Syrian ball is the Arab court after Syria used to be the main player. The talk about a new Taif in Syria illustrates the severe setback the Syrian regime suffered over the past eight months. This deep crisis in Syria was due to the regime's oppression of its people."

Hamadeh said it was bit too early to talk about the revival of the Democratic gathering despite the lunch that brought together MP Walid Jumblatt with four other deputies who left the gathering.

O.H

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Politics - Rai meets Russian Patriarch
 

Tue 15/11/2011 09:30

NNA - 15/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Mar Beshara Rai is currently meeting at Bkirki with Greek Orthodox Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia.
 

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Politics - Rahi: Christian existence two-dimensional in Middle East
 

Mon 14/11/2011 21:26

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bechara Boutros Rahi, said on Monday that the Christian presence in the Middle East has two dimensions: a concrete one displayed by their physical and national presence, and their apostolic presence displayed by their message and partnership.

Bishop Rahi's words came in a word he delivered on Monday at the East Catholic Patriarchate meeting which took place in Bkirki this evening.

"Our conference on the challenge of Christian presence ends today. It focuses on means of achieving more partnership between the people of the nation," he added.
R.H.

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Politics - Mikati meets Ambassadors of EU, Jordan, and Egypt
 

Mon 14/11/2011 21:04

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati's Grand Serial talks majorly focused on Lebanon's most recent stances from regional developments, the last of which the Arab League's decision to suspend Syria from the organization's operation.

Mikati met for this purpose with the Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon Mohammad Tawfic, the Jordanian Ambassador to Lebanon Ziad Majali, as well the European Union Ambassador to Lebanon Angelina Eichhorst.
R.H.

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Politics - Government should have dissociated itself from Arab League decision: Kataeb
 

Mon 14/11/2011 19:55


NNA - 14/11/2011 - Kataeb Party said on Monday that the government would have done a way better job if only it had adopted a similar stance to that it took at the International Security Council, by dissociating itself from the Arab League's decision on Syria.

The regional organization voted last Saturday on a decision to suspend Syria's membership at the league as the country failed to comply with the Arab League initiative intended to end the eight-month crisis. Lebanon voted against the decision, while Iraq abstained.

Kataeb held its weekly meeting today chaired by Party Leader Amine Gemayel, with talks featuring high on recent domestic and regional developments.

"Lebanon ought to preserve its internal stability and avoid every action doomed to drag the country back to the phase of tension and violence on the street," conferees agreed while disapproving of Lebanon's vote against the Arab League's decision.

However, conferees agreed that the Lebanese reality has exceeded the logic of the resistance by far, especially after the issuance of International Security Council resolution 1701. According to Kataeb, the presence of UNIFIL in South Lebanon confirms an evident transition from the logic of "religious resistance" to the logic of state defense.

"Thus, the state will eventually take over the reins of power and arms will be strictly placed in the hands of legal authority" Kataeb conferees agreed.

On a different note, Kataeb called for broad participation in the commemoration mass of late Minister Pierre Gemayel, due to take place on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 4:oo pm, at St. Anthony Church in Jdeideh.

Party leader Amin Gemayel, had met earlier during the day with a March 14 parliamentary delegation, with talks reportedly focused on Wednesday's legislative session.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Government should have dissociated itself from Arab League decision: Kataeb
 

Mon 14/11/2011 19:55

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Kataeb Party said on Monday that the government would have done a way better job if only it had adopted a similar stance to that it took at the International Security Council, by dissociating itself from the Arab League's decision on Syria.

The regional organization voted last Saturday on a decision to suspend Syria's membership at the league as the country failed to comply with the Arab League initiative intended to end the eight-month crisis. Lebanon voted against the decision, while Iraq abstained.

Kataeb held its weekly meeting today chaired by Party Leader Amine Gemayel, with talks featuring high on recent domestic and regional developments.

"Lebanon ought to preserve its internal stability and avoid every action doomed to drag the country back to the phase of tension and violence on the street," conferees agreed while disapproving of Lebanon's vote against the Arab League's decision.

However, conferees agreed that the Lebanese reality has exceeded the logic of the resistance by far, especially after the issuance of International Security Council resolution 1701. According to Kataeb, the presence of UNIFIL in South Lebanon confirms an evident transition from the logic of "religious resistance" to the logic of state defense.

"Thus, the state will eventually take over the reins of power and arms will be strictly placed in the hands of legal authority" Kataeb conferees agreed.

On a different note, Kataeb called for broad participation in the commemoration mass of late Minister Pierre Gemayel, due to take place on Sunday, November 20, 2011 at 4:oo pm, at St. Anthony Church in Jdeideh.

Party leader Amin Gemayel, had met earlier during the day with a March 14 parliamentary delegation, with talks reportedly focused on Wednesday's legislative session.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Joumblat to Al-Anbaa: STL funding national interest
 

Mon 14/11/2011 19:29

NNA - 14/11/2011 "National Struggle Front" Head Walid Joumblat considered that the funding of Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) is a supreme national interest, bringing to attention that STL issue has been the first item to be unanimously agreed upon during 2006 national dialogue.
Deputy Joumblat was speaking in his weekly position to "Al-Anbaa" Newspaper, issued by Progressive Socialist Party.
Joumblat hoped that a new 'serious and tranquil' approach towards STL issue will be undertaken, with full understanding of Hezbollah's reservations on the matter.
On Lebanon's affairs, Joumblat expressed support to the resistance's arms in defense of Lebanon in the case of any Israeli assault. However, Joumblat said that such a matter does not shun the necessity of returning to national dialogue at the adequate time to discuss gradual arms' assimilation within the framework of the state.
On the Syrian issue, Joumblat considered the Arab initiative as the best path for Syria to extricate out of its crisis and to end the violence and counter-violence episode. "This can solely be achieved through radical political reform as clearly stated in Arab initiative", Joumblat said. He underlined the importance of a swift implementation of initiative items, renewing foreign intervention under any pretexts. "A political solution solely guarantees the termination of this vicious crisis", Joumblat concluded.
-------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - (CORRECTED) Mikati: government won't protect chaos makers in institutions
 

Mon 14/11/2011 18:53
NNA - 14/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati said his government would not protect those facilitating the work of chaos makers in public administrations and institutions, explaining that the monitoring bodies were asked to fully perform their duties in this concern and in a neutral manner.

Mikati's stance came on Monday at the Grand Serail upon chairing a comprehensive meeting concerned about Lebanon's agreements pertaining to fighting corruption. The meeting was attended by Justice Minister Shakib Cortbawi, Judge Said Mirza, Interior and Municipalities Muinister Marwan Charbel, State Minister for Administrative Affairs Muhammad Fneish, and other officials.

Mikati affirmed the reward and punishment principle could not be implemented in the institutions except by justice and dignity.

Separately, the Premier met with UN Secretary General representative Robert Watkins, who discussed with him the UN Resolution 1701 report that would be referred, for study, to the Security Council session in New York on November 29.

Afterwards, Mikati received a delegation of Hamas Movement in Lebanon headed by Ali Baraka, who voiced keenness on Lebanon's unity and security, averring Hamas's impartiality in any strife that might happen in the country.

Among the Premier's visitors: Environment Minister Nazem Khoury, who engaged with the host in talks relevant to the local environmental situation.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora visits Mamberti
 

Mon 14/11/2011 18:29

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora visited on Monday Vatican's Foreign Minister Monsignor Dominique Mamberti, in presence of former Information Minister Tarek Mitri and Lebanon's Ambassador to Vatican George Khoury.

Both discussed overall developments at the local and regional scenes. Siniora stressed on the importance of Lebanon as upholding the principles of coexistence, democracy and human rights respect.

Mamberti, for his part, said Vatican tied well-composedly to support Lebanon's coexistence formula.
A.M>

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Salam: Arab League should exert more salvation efforts
 

Mon 14/11/2011 17:13

NNA - 14/11/2011 Deputy Tamam Salam urged the Arab League to demonstrate further alertness and attentiveness in its salvation efforts at this critical stage of our Arab nation's history, a statement by Salam said.
MP Salam said that the Arab nation is facing enormous challenges that necessitate the rallying of all efforts and unity of words and positions, to abort all surrounding dangers.
Salam hoped that the Syrian Command would demonstrate wisdom and insight in adopting bold and swift decisions to put a limit to bloody confrontations in Syria.
----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman: Changes to democracy requires adoption of Lebanon's
model
 

Mon 14/11/2011 16:51

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman said the changes to democracy witnessed in the world required changing countries to adopt the Lebanese model in democracy that allowed all community segments to share in the political life.

Sleiman's stance came on Monday in the context of his meeting at Baabda Presidential Palace with the Russian Greek Orthodox Patriarch Kyrill, who stressed upon the significance of the coexistence in Lebanon and the dialogue among its different confessions.

Following his meeting with the President, Kyrill held a comprehensive meeting with Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and all the East Bechara Rahi, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East Ignatius IV Hazim, Beirut Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi, Deputy House Speaker Farid Makari, Syriac Catholic Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius III Younan, and other religious figures.

Sleiman had already reviewed with Patriarch Rahi the latter's recent pastoral tour in the United States.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour bound to Morocco
 

Mon 14/11/2011 16:26

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour on Monday left to Morocco to partake in the Arab-Turkish economic forum in Rabat.

Mansour is also scheduled to participate in the Arab ministerial meeting, to be held on the sidelines of the forum, to discuss the Syrian crisis.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


 

Politics - Government to multiply sessions over electoral law, says Charbel
 

Mon 14/11/2011 16:23

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Marwan Charbel, on Monday avowed the Mikati-led government was adamant to venture into the electoral project law he had submitted to the cabinet a few weeks earlier.

As demurring on the current law which he termed as no more convenient to the concept of consensual democracy, the Minister said the government decided to multiply its sessions devoted to study the aforementioned proportionality-based proposal.

Charbel made these remarks during his meeting at the Ministry today with MPs Mohammad Hajjar, Neemtallah Abi Nasr, Antoine Saad, and Jamal Jarrah, and former Deputy Talal Merehbi.

Talks reportedly tackled latest political developments on the local scene.


R.A.H.

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Politics - Qahwaji's itinerants today
 

Mon 14/11/2011 15:46


NNA - 14/11/2011 - Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Qahwaji, on Monday met with Czech ambassador to Lebanon over the current general situation.

Uruguayan ambassador had also been to Qahwaji's office in Yarzeh today, on a protocol visit.

Army Commander later met with State Security Chief, Brigadier George Qaraa, over cooperation on the security level between the two institutions.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

 

 

 

 


 


Politics - Invigorated diplomatic activity highlights Ain-el-Tineh
 

Mon 14/11/2011 15:16


NNA - 14/11/2011 - Speaker of the House Nabih Berri engaged in most recent developments in Lebanon and the broader Arab region with a panel of diplomats and ambassadors, in Ain-el-Tineh Monday.

The meeting gathered ambassadors of the European Union, Canada, Belgium, Austria, Columbia, and Pakistan, as well as UNHCR representative in Lebanon.

Separately, Berri met today with Greek ambassador, Panos Kalogeropoulos, who came on a farewell visit upon the end of his diplomatic mission in Lebanon.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati: government won't protect chaos makers in institutions
 

Mon 14/11/2011 15:14

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati said his government would not protect those facilitating the work of chaos makers in public administrations and institutions, explaining that the monitoring bodies were asked to fully perform their duties in this concern and in a neutral manner.

Mikati's stance came on Monday at the Grand Serail upon chairing a comprehensive meeting concerned about Lebanon's agreements pertaining to fighting corruption. The meeting was attended by Justice Minister Shakib Cortbawi, Judge Said Mirza, Interior and Municipalities Muinister Marwan Charbel, State Minister for Administrative Affairs Muhammad Fneish, and other officials.

Mikati affirmed the reward and punishment principle could not be implemented in the institutions except by justice and dignity.

Separately, the Premier met with UN Secretary General representative Robert Watkins, who discussed with him the UN Resolution 1701 report that would be referred, for study, to the Security Council session in New York on November 29.

Afterwards, Mikati received a delegation of Hamas Movement in Lebanon Ali Baraka, who voiced keenness on Lebanon's unity and security, averring Hamas's impartiality in any strife that might happen in the country.

Among the Premier's visitors: Environment Minister Nazem Khoury, who engaged with the host in talks relevant to the local environmental situation.
A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour: Respecting international resolutions starts with valuing Syrian-Lebanese fraternal ties
 

Mon 14/11/2011 15:13

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour said Monday that respecting international resolutions starts with Lebanon's valuing to its agreements with Syria.

"Could we possibly break the Taef agreement and the security pacts signed with Syria in 1991?" he wondered, highlighting the fraternal ties between the two countries.

"Lebanon and Syria have joint interests and bilateral economic, political and cultural relations. They share stability and security," the Minister reminded, assuring that breaking these democratic ties is inacceptable.

The Minister responded in his talk show with Al-Nour radio station to all those who are criticizing him for his position, hence Lebanon's position, in the Arab league.

Mansour confirmed in this regard that his stance expresses the government's will and helps fulfilling Lebanon's higher interests.

In a response to the interviewer's questions, Mansour said Syria complied, since day one, with the Arab league's requests and adopted many reform measures; therefore, the Arab committee would've given the Syrian regime more time to witness the positive outcomes. "Syria must not be isolated," he concluded.
Separately the Foreign Affairs Minister received the Resident Representative of UNDP, Robert Watkins, with whom he discussed the report which will soon be issued by the 1701 decision committee and the comprehensive evaluation set by Lebanon in this regard.

Mansour also met with the Greek Ambassador to Lebanon, Panos Kalogeropoulos, who came on a farewell visit upon the end of his mission in Lebanon.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Tashnag fears exacerbation in Syria
 

Mon 14/11/2011 14:55
NNA - 14/11/2011 - Tashnag's Deputy Hagop Pakradounian on Monday said the party was not relieved over developments in Syria, particularly after an Arab League's decision Saturday to suspend Syria's participation in the organizations' meetings.

Pakradounian, accompanied by MP Arthur Nazarian, had been to Dar-al-Fatwa today for a meeting with Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani over the headway of the current situation and developments in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

Speaking to journalists following the meeting, Pakraodunian said the party [Tashnag] and the Mufti agreed on the obligation that any plight would be indeed overcome through national unity and coherence.

Separately, the Mufti met with Head of the Higher Defense Council, Major General Adnan Merheb, and Beirut Intelligence Chief, General George Khamis.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Fneish: Targeting Syria sock to Iran
 

Mon 14/11/2011 14:10

NNA - 14/11/2011 Minister of State for Administrative Affairs Mohammad Fneish said Monday that targeting Syria is a strike to the Iranian regime and that escalation and threats atmospheres solely seek to bring down the Islamic Republic.

Fneish expressed regret on Arab League's decision to suspend Syria's participation.
"He who wishes good for Syria and its people does not impose embargo nor does he hinder proposed reforms," he said during a celebration for the Hezbollah Martyr Day the Imam Khomeini Culture Center held.

Also, Fneish criticized U.S. blatant interference and sabotage attempts as well as unawareness of reform and democracy in Syria.


L.W.

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Politics - Merehbi deems "disgraceful" Mansour's stance
 

Mon 14/11/2011 14:03
NNA - 14/11/2011 - Deputy Mouin Merehbi commented Monday on the position adopted by Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour, deeming it "disgraceful".

"Mansour imposed his shameful stance on the government, the President of the Republic and all the Lebanese people, proponents and opponents of the Syrian regime, among whom those Lebanese who highly condemn the murderous and torturous acts exercised by this regime," he said.

The Deputy said Mansour's position proves that he is the true governor of Lebanon, as he adopts the positions to be lately followed by the President, the Premier and the Ministers.

"We as Lebanese people should express our total refusal to this decision which supports the oppressors," Merehbi pointed out, assuring that the government no longer represents the Lebanese people.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel follows up nationality withdrawal from Syriac families in Zahle
 

Mon 14/11/2011 13:29
NNA - 14/11/2011 - Minister of Interior and Municipalities Marwan Charbel followed up on Monday the withdrawal of nationality from 25 Syriac families in Zahle during his meeting with the Syriac league's secretary general Joe Aswad.

The Syriac community which felt cheated by this decision raised this subject to the Interior Minister, discussing with him means to go back on this unjust decision which brings harm to many Syriac families.

Aswad confirmed that his community will not remain silent over this injustice, assuring that it will claim its rights back through pacific and legal measures as per the constitution.

"Syriac people are an integral part of Lebanon. They have been fulfilling their duties appropriately in the country they belong to," he said.

Minister Charbel for his part uttered readiness and understanding to the party's worries, assuring that Syriacs are to be exempt from all sorts of injustice.

"This is a legal affair that can only be solved by the law," Charbel added.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Houry: Lebanon officially agrees on Syrian slaughters
 

Mon 14/11/2011 11:57

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Future bloc member, Deputy Ammar Houry, condemned Monday the Lebanese stance at the Arab league against suspending Syria's membership, saying that Lebanon officially agrees on killing the Syrian brother people.

Houry told Al-Fajr radio station that what's worse is that this Lebanese crucial decision had not been discussed earlier in the cabinet.

"Lebanon broke the Arab unanimity similar to Yemen whose regime is also conducting the same aggressions against its people," he pointed out.

"The excuses given by President Michel Sleiman and Premier Najib Mikati are even worse than the position itself," said the Deputy, noting that the best way to flee this situation was to abstain from voting, as Iraq did.

The Deputy accordingly called upon the government to fulfill its duties towards the Syrian refugees.

As for the Parliament session to be held on Wednesday, Houry did not rule out the possibility of calling for a vote of confidence session regarding any of the Ministers.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk: NNA main source of media institutions
 

Mon 14/11/2011 11:38

NNA - 14/11/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk said Monday that the National News Agency has become the essential source of news for most media institutions.

Ergo, we have inaugurated the NNA office in Sydney-Australia so as to transfer Lebanon to the farthest places of Lebanese Expatriates presence, Daouk said.

Minister Daouk, accompanied with the NNA Director Laure Sleiman Saab, inaugurated today the agency's office in Australia in presence of Lebanese Ambassador to Australia Jean Daniel, Chairperson of the Middle East Media in Australia Wally Wehbe, as well as other concerned officials.

"NNA is of high credibility and has become the reference for all security, economic, political, educational, and cultural developments," he said.

Also, the Minister deemed such event as crucial for the facilitation of expatriates' true contribution to Lebanese political electoral life.

As for her part, NNA Director Laure Sleiman Saab said this inauguration is of a national, expatriate, and media aspect for our aim is to be at one distance from all and handle news full impartiality.

"The dream of inaugurating an office in Sydney has now become reality in a country where Lebanese Diaspora is effective and active on various levels," Sleiman added and expressed appreci8ation to Minister Daouk efforts and all other concerned who partook, implicitly or explicitly, in the NNA success.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman meets Rai
 

Mon 14/11/2011 10:54

NNA - 14/11/2011 - President Michel Sleiman met on Monday at Baabda Place with Maronite Patriarch Mar Beshara Rai.

Discussions focused on the general situation and latest developments, particularly the patriarch's pastoral visits in the outside and in Lebanon.

Sleiman is expected to meet with the Russian Patriarch who is currently visiting Lebanon.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ghanem: Lebanon should obey Arab League's decisions
 

Mon 14/11/2011 10:18

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Deputy Robert Ghanem stressed that Lebanon should not object the decisions of the Arab League and the United Nations.

Ghanem confirmed that Lebanon is known by exporting democracy to the Arab countries, calling on the Lebanese to "preserve these values".

On the other hand, the MP said that the parliamentary session which will be held on Wednesday is dedicated to written questions which were directed to the cabinet from the deputies that involved different issues like the kidnapping of the four Syrians and Shibli Oseimi.

Ghanem confirmed on Monday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio that these issues will take a big part of the discussion was this parliamentary session will turn into a questioning session which may force Speaker of the House Nabih Berri to appoint another questioning session.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kanaan: Confidence vote call on Mansour is political gimmick
 

Mon 14/11/2011 10:04

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Change and Reform Parliamentary bloc member Ibrahim Kanaan dismissed the attempts by March 14 forces to secure a no confidence motion on Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour as nothing more than a political stunt and inner struggle.

Kanaan, who made these remarks to Voice of Lebanon "Voice of Freedom and Dignity", said that the opposition and Future movement in particular are not seriously contemplating the effects of their actions on Lebanon.

"The Change and Reform bloc will hold a meeting today to discuss all current developments," the MP said.

Kanaan also talked about regional and international conflict and major arms wrestling in the region.

He asked why the Arab League why it didn't intervene in light of the developments in the region, citing the examples of Tunisia and Bahrain.

Kanaan said that the next three days will show if the position adopted by Lebanon in the Arab League was in the country's interest.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nahhas: Lebanon against Arab League decision
 

Mon 14/11/2011 09:44

NNA -14/11/2011 Economy and Trade Minister said Monday Lebanon's opposing stance to Arab League decision was built on the basis of exceptional historic and geographic ties the country shares with Syria.

The decision does not bear any practical reflection for each political party sheds light on what it deems to be "right", Minister Nahhas told Voice of Lebanon-Freedom and Dignity- radio.

The Arab League suspended Saturday Syria's membership accusing the government of President Bashar al-Assad of defying an agreement to stop the violent repression of demonstrators.
Punitive measures shall also include economic and political sanctions if the government did not comply.

Separately, Minister Nahhas deemed Minister Ghazi Aridi's decision to boycott Cabinet session as having no political background and could be interpreted as an exerted pressure on the government to spend funds allocated to public works before winter season.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Araji: Mansour's position return of favor to Syria
 

Mon 14/11/2011 09:03

NNA - 14/11/2011 - Future bloc member Deputy Assem Araji stressed that Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour's rejection of the Arab League's call to impose sanctions on Syria was nothing more than a return of favor to Damascus.

He added that Lebanon's position from suspending Syria's membership in the Arab League "is disgraceful", but this was expected because a cabinet formed by Syria would execute its orders.

The MP said on Monday to "Voice of Lebanon" Freedom and Dignity radio that March 14 will hold a meeting to take a united decision concerning the position taken by the cabinet in Cairo.

Araji called for conducting a discussion concerning this issue in the parliament.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hashem: Arab League decision is "American"!
 

Sun 13/11/2011 22:18

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Member of the Liberation and Development Parliamentary Bloc, Deputy Kassem Hashem, considered that the region has entered into the circle of real danger in the wake of the Arab League's decision to suspend Syria's membership. Hashem considered the League's decision as being an obeying response to "American" orders aiming at creating chaos and strife in the region!
Hashem considered that Lebanon's stand in the Arab League was a wise and right decision that falls to Lebanon's benefit, as a whole, and not to the benefit of certain "traders of politics" in the country, who follow their foreign affiliations aiming at creating strife in the region.
Hashem's words came Sunday within a tour in the region of Marj'Ayoun.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Patriarch of Moscow arrives in Beirut
 

Sun 13/11/2011 22:00

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Patriarch of Moscow and all of Russia, Kirill I, arrived in Beirut Sunday evening, coming from Syria, within the framework of a traditional official visit to the Antioch Church in the region.
Welcoming him at Rafic Hariri International Airport was Deputy House Speaker, Farid Mkary, representing President of the Republic, General Michel Sleiman. Russian and Ukrainian Ambassadors to Lebanon, as well as Beirut Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop, Elias Aoudeh, were also present at the Airport to greet the visiting Patriarch.
In a word to attending newsmen upon his arrival, the Russian Patriarch expressed his great joy for landing in Lebanon, especially after the huge reconstruction witnessed in the country in the aftermath of the civil war years. He added that his visit to Beirut comes in the wake of his appointment as new Patriarch of the Moscow Church in Russia. He considered that such a visit harbors special importance, since it deepens and strengthens relations between churches in Russia and the region. He noted that the visit shall have its significance within this framework.
Responding to a question regarding his encounter with Syrian President, Bashar El-Asad, and whether he foresees a possibility of an influenced Christian existence in the wake of any change in Syria, the Patriarch noted that he is nether a political leader nor a diplomat nor a Russian political representative. He added that his presence as a Patriarch of the Russian Church comes merely to check on the conditions of Christians. Moreover, he indicated that Syria has for centuries been a good example of coexistence between religions, namely between Christians and Muslims. Nonetheless, he did express worry regarding the incidents taking place. He cited herein what occurred in Iraq and the violence suffered by Christians there. However, he considered that such incidents shall not occur in Syria or Lebanon, or in any part of the Middle East and North Africa or the world.
The Russian Patriarch highly valued relations between Christians and Muslims in Russia, adding that cultures and religions shall preserve peace in the world.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Opposing demonstration to the Syrian regime in Bab El-Tebeneh
 

Sun 13/11/2011 21:30

NNA - 13/11/2011 - A demonstration set out Sunday evening from the area of Bab El-Tebeneh in opposition to the Syrian regime and its perpetrated crimes. Demonstrators voiced support to the Syrian opposition.
Demonstrators roamed the streets amidst a wide spread of Lebanese Army soldiers, so as to make sure the demonstration does not march onto other areas.
R.Sh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Berry cables Saudi Monarch
 

Sun 13/11/2011 21:01

NNA - 13/11/2011 - House Speaker, Nabih Berry, sent a cable Sunday to Saudi Monarch, Abdallah ben Abdel-Aziz. The content of the cable centered on hailing the role of the Saudi King as the sole person capable of initiating reconciliation not only between the Syrians alone, but also amongst all Arabs together. Berry prayed for the King's health and success in his endeavors.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Al-Rai: We pray for Lebanon to remain a symbol of hope for all people in the Arab World
 

Sun 13/11/2011 20:52

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Mar Bshara Butros Al-Rai prayed Sunday for Lebanon to remain, in its values, characteristics and role, the symbol of hope for all people in an Arab world that is currently living pain of labor. He hoped that a new dawn would spring out from such pain for the sake of the people and peace in the region, and for building a future of coexistence and cooperation amongst all constituents of Arab countries. Furthermore, he hoped that such cooperation would aim at improving the status of people at both the humanitarian and moral levels.
Al-Rai's words came during his religious sermon while chairing the mass service at "Frere Edde Institute" in Al-Koura, winding-up celebrations marking the Institute's 125th jubilee. Al-Rai praised the efforts and role of the Institute in molding the Lebanese human at the spiritual, national humanitarian, social and cultural levels. He hailed the Institute's contribution to raising the Lebanese youth to become committed individuals in society, responsible national citizens, active witnesses of the Bible and respectful of their State and fellow citizens living with them in coexistence.
Following the mass service, Al-Rai headed to "Our Lady of Loueizeh University" where he was called upon by the University President to bless the outset of the new academic year. Al-Rai praised the contribution of the University in educating the Lebanese youth to be national citizens of the future.
Al-Rai then headed to Saint George Church in Barsa Square, where he was warmly welcomed by crowds of town's men and women. Al-Rai encouraged citizens of Al-Koura to live in kindness and partnership since that would lead to peace and security amongst all.
Al-Rai's Koura tour also included a stop in Dahr El-Ain and Rasmasqa.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahle & Lebanese Forces' Parliamentary Blocs hold dialogue with East Beqaa families
 

Sun 13/11/2011 19:36

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Members of Zahle Parliamentary Bloc and Lebanese Forces deputies met Sunday in a dialogue session with families and municipality heads of East Beqaa sector.
Speaking at the encounter, MP Toni Abou Khater demanded the government to provide the necessary humanitarian aids to Syrian families seeking refuge in Lebanon. He also called for halting all kidnapping attempts against opposition members with the aim of dragging them back into Syria.
Responding to recent calls for sitting around a new dialogue table, Abou Khater questioned about the kind dialogue that can be held, and over what issues, when all matters agreed upon during the previous dialogue table have not yet been resolved?
In turn, MP Elie Marouni touched in his word on the situation in Syria, describing the Lebanese government as a "coward" in its failure to vote for the Arab League's decision.
MP Assem Araji touched on the medical and environmental sessions to be held by the Parliament Council. He indicated herein that he has proposed three issues to be discussed during the upcoming session at the House of Parliament.
For his part, MP Chant Janajian outlined the accomplishments thus far, in coordination with the Displaced Ministry, with regards to the return of the displaced to their respective towns and villages.
In conclusion, Deputy Joseph Maalouf provided a briefing on the region's economic, developmental and social dire needs which the Bloc is working on meeting with the help of the concerned ministries.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Gemayel's Defensive Option!
 

Sun 13/11/2011 17:13

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Kataeb party boss Amine Gemayel opted for a purely defensive option in the face of Israel rather than relying exclusively on Hizbullah's bellicosity.

Addressing a party ceremony at Beit Anya/Harissa, Gemayel prodded supporters, March 14 allies and Lebanese public opinion at large to "transcend the logic of resistance advocated by Hizbullah in favor of a purely defensive one." He duly found serious defects with any narrowly-based religious sectarian defensive or resistant posturing embodied in sectarian-based parties like Hizbullah. Gemayel perceived pretty serious dissensions or divisiveness brought about by such a party and deduced that it could only fragment the country rather than unifying it.

For the Kataeb leader, a defensive logic resting with reactivating national state institutions through the mobilization of both army and Lebanese diplomacy would carry Lebanon to the shores of stability far from narrow party and sectarian considerations.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman for "Immunized Political Practice"
 

Sun 13/11/2011 14:59

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman, stressed need for what he termed as "Immunized Political Practice with increased democratization of our immediate surroundings."

The presidential call came during his inspection tour of the Rachid Karameh pavilion in Tripoli. The President added that it is incumbent among us to intensify efforts in seeking to immunize our democratic practice.

Sleiman cited myriad challenges facing us in terms of logic justice and moderation such that we lay the foundations for a bright and prosperous future for our sons.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qadiri: Our hastiness in favor of Lebanese people
 

Thu 17/11/2011 14:29

NNA - 17/11/2011 MP Ziad Qadiri addressed Thursday House Speaker Berri and justified his bloc's hastiness saying it was in favor of preserving the Lebanese people's trust through making visible government's trespasses.

Qadiri told Al-Jadeed television channel that yesterday's parliamentary question-and-answer session witnessed breaches to norms and democratic customs.

"MPs were restricted in practicing their executive role," he said.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved






 

Politics - Protests in support of Assad near Syrian embassy
 

Sun 13/11/2011 14:14

NNA - 13/11/2011 Demonstrators gathered Sunday in front of the Syrian embassy in Beirut denouncing Arab League decision to suspend Syria.

"The Arab League is dead," read one of the banners.

Spokesperson to the embassy assured the crowd that Syria was doing great and all conspiracies to topple Assad's regime were destined to fail drastically.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati renewing calls for dialogue
 

Sun 13/11/2011 14:07

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati renewed calls for national dialogue around the table of negotiations to spare Lebanon potential risks in the near future.

Welcoming President Michel Sleiman at his Tripoli home today, the Prime Minister shoved aside pressures applied on the government and made out of national security and stability a top priority of his.

Mikati elaborated that putting up with pressures from within and without and ensuring stability and security are prone to guarantee an effective prevention of strife. The Prime Minister duly renewed commitment to carry out promises made to the people of Tripoli. He hoped that such promises would live up to people's expectations.

Among other things, Mikati pledged transparent government accountability away from polemics and that government policy statement continues to serve as a road plan for the country.

His message to the people of Tripoli, he concluded, would be to hold onto statehood.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman: We are with Arab League but against isolation
 

Sun 13/11/2011 14:03

NNA - 13/11/2011 President Michel Sleiman maintained Sunday, while touring Tripoli, that Lebanon did not oppose the decisions of the Arab League, but refuses the isolation of any country.

Arab League foreign ministers voted 18-22 to suspend Syria Saturday over its failure to comply with an agreement to end the crackdown on a nationwide protest movement calling for Assad's resignation. It also called for the withdrawal of Arab envoys from Damascus and agreed on sanctions while inviting Syrian opposition to meet at Arab League headquarters within three days to draw up a joint vision for the coming transitional period.

"I call on Syrian President Bashar Assad to apply the Arab League proposal," said Sleiman, "Lebanon supports democracy and does not condone the pursuit of political goals through violence."
The President contended that isolation halted all hope for dialogue and warned it may lead to foreign interference.

Sleiman sponsored the launch of the Tripoli's Car-Free Day, during which he was presented with the key to the city.

Car-Free Tripoli is an initiative by the city to encourage the adoption of green solutions to preserve the environment.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Harb ashamed of government position at Arab League session
 

Sun 13/11/2011 13:52

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Leading March 14 Deputy Boutros Harb felt ashamed at the government's position at the Arab League session. He vowed not to remain silent in a public statement released today.

He criticized the government's position saying it reflected the total subservience to the Baath regime which contradicts the Lebanese democratic heritage. Harb recalled traditional refuge for political asylum-seekers which Lebanon traditionally provided.

He added that the Lebanese government effectively breached all human rights and norms by taking sides with a tyrannical oppressive regime. The deputy duly refused Lebanon's lining up with the Syrian regime in its fight with the rest of the Arab world.

While understanding the specificity of the Lebanese situation dictated by the need to keep good neighborly relations with Syria, he could not however accept to embrace the Syrian regime's oppression waged against its own people.

The worst thing the government did was to vote in favor of the Syrian regime rather than abstaining. He concluded that the government's position failed to represent the opinion of the people.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Syriacs protest their denaturalization
 

Sun 13/11/2011 13:36

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Scores of Syriacs living in Zahle staged a sit-in in protest against their denaturalization by the government last week. They included members of 24 families with their sons, daughters and cousins.

Taking up their case, Syriac-Orthodox, Bishop Paul Safar, addressed them in presence of a number of Lebanese supporters. In his press conference, bishop Safar condemned the denaturalization of his flock by the government describing the cabinet decree as arbitrary and unfair.

The bishop added that government decision is based on flimsy excuses and that scores of Syriacs were already full Lebanese citizens for 20 years now.
The senior clergyman brought to attention the hardships entailed by denaturalization of Syriacs saying hundreds of people would duly suffer. He brought to attention that certain victims of the government decree to denaturalize them were already in Lebanon since 1930 and that they were not warned in advance by the authorities.

He exclaimed as to whether the government is trying to make a point against the weak and the only explanation is that they had no supporters to defend their interests among high-ranking politicians. He added that the Syriacs of Iraq are being dispossessed and turned into refugees for a second time.

He concluded that members of 24 families who faithfully served in the armed forces and the police are in fact being discriminated against. The bishop fell short of calling his flock to take to the street but confirmed that he would take up their case with the Lebanese Court system in quest of their legitimate rights.

Bishop Safar also called on the Lebanese press to take out the case of the Syriacs made to endure such sufferings at the hands of the government.

The Syriacs of Zahle on the other hand, wrote an open letter in which they reminded the authorities of their social, economic, spiritual and moral contributions to Lebanon ever since they came from Iraq in the 1930s.

G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Raad: We only use violence against Zionists
 

Sun 13/11/2011 13:31

NNA - 13/11/2011 Hezbollah MP Mohammad Raad said Sunday during a celebration in Tyre that his party is keen on national stability, insisting that brutality and arms are meant only for the Israeli enemy, reserving an ammunition of patience and understanding for domestic adversaries.

The MP pitied local politicians who were betting even on Hezbollah's enemies for a change in the balance of power in the country.

"We use arms on the Zionist enemy because he threatens our existence, security...and future of our generations," said Raad, adding that all others were dealt with in accordance to the size of the problem they cause.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Laham against Arab League decision
 

Sun 13/11/2011 13:14

NNA - 13/11/2011 Patriarch of the Church of Antioch and spiritual leader of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church Gregorios Laham deplored during Sunday sermon Arab League decision to suspend Syria, accusing it of dividing Arabs rather than bringing them together.

He urged his congregation to pray for Syria to overcome its ordeal. He asserted that Syria would succeed under the rule of President Bashar Assad.

"God have mercy on us and on the Arab League...which has never known the taste of victory," Laham said.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman supports STL funding, international resolutions
 

Sun 13/11/2011 12:41

NNA - 13/11/2011 President Michel Sleiman, currently on a visit to northern city of Tripoli, asserted Sunday that the cabinet is in full compliance with funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and fulfilling international resolutions.

The STL, probing the 2005 assassination of PM Rafik Hariri and another 22 victims, held its first hearing last Friday. Four members of Hezbollah were accused of the murders, stirring a nationwide dispute between March 8 Hezbollah affiliates, and March 14 Hariri supporters.

"We criticized the tribunal at times due to some of its mistakes which cost it a little of its credibility," said Sleiman, "it now has to work to win back its integrity, and we are always with international decisions."

In other news, Sleiman lauded bilateral relations with China, which kicked off forty years ago.

Domestically, the President gave credit to the nondiscriminatory nation-wide effort of Works Minister Ghazi Aridi. He assured Lebanese that the cabinet was serious about accomplishing the railway project as well as Rene Mouawad Airport in Qoleiyat.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Layyoun: no alternative to reform
 

Sun 13/11/2011 12:25

NNA - 13/11/2011 - Minister of Culture, Gaby Layoun, stated today that there is no alternative to reform otherwise, we risk sliding into the worst.

The minister's utterances came before a host of Aounist supporters in Zahle during a Trend annual dinner function. The function was attended by local municipal heads and senior Aounist officials.

The Minister made a point that the Trend is not opposed to the Arab spring and legitimate ambitions of peoples but expressed reservation as to the lack of what he termed as "suggested alternatives." He stressed the Aounist Trend's inclination to carry out sweeping reforms but admitted to major obstacles left by the previous government.

He listed public services as a Trend priority but admitted being blocked by certain politicians. Layyoun vowed that such impediments would be overcome by the Trend soon. He spoke about high Aounist morality steeped in the principles of freedom and democracy and criticized the meddling of Arab regimes in what he termed domestic Syrian affairs.

He regretted the Arab League's decision to freeze the membership of the Asad regime on board the League's Council and accused Lebanese oppositionists of servitude to would-be post-Asad rulers.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Ogassapian: Government must commit to Arab consensus
 

Sun 13/11/2011 12:06

NNA - 13/11/2011 Pro-Hariri parliamentarian Jean Ogassapian, stressed need for government commitment to Arab consensus regarding the Asad regime and related issues.

Ogassapian and, in an interview on Voice of Lebanon radio station stated need for being part of any Arab consensus and that Lebanese interest dictates such a commitment. He regarded the Arab League decision to freeze the Asad regime's membership as a turning point in the Syrian status quo with definite implications for the Lebanese domesticity. The deputy anticipated further Arab escalation against the Syrian regime.

While reckoning "a slightly opened door left by the Arab League for international involvement," Ogassapian expressed hope not to see further conflicts or insecurity fallout.
G.G./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - President arrives to Tripoli's port
 

Sun 13/11/2011 11:23

NNA - 13/11/2011 President Michel Sleiman arrived to the port of Tripoli accompanied by PM Najib Mikati and a host of Ministers.
R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Bassil: No one can overthrow a regime
 

Sun 13/11/2011 11:21


NNA - 13/11/2011 March 8 Minister Gibran Bassil warned Saturday those who think they can topple a regime that they are not "big enough," contending that the alleged Arab Spring is an autumn at best.

Water and Energy Minister spoke during a Free Patriotic Movement Bloc (FPM) dinner in Batroun last night.

"The promised Spring around us is not a spring at all in the absence of recognition of the rights of the other," said Bassil, "No one should be under the illusion that his size allows him to topple or sustain a regime." The Minister maintained that each state had its own strength.

Bassil attributed Lebanon's loss of its state to continuous political dependence and affiliation with foreign powers. "We must know our boundaries, which lie within our country." He shunned linking Lebanon's destiny with the fate of other countries. "The utmost we should do is wish our country and neighboring ones all the best."

R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - President arrives to Tripoli
 

Sun 13/11/2011 10:54


NNA - 13/11/2011 President Michel Sleiman arrived to Tripoli's Justice Palace on a visit to the northern city during its car-free day Sunday.

Sleiman was accompanied by a high ranking delegation comprised of Works Minister Ghazi Aridi, Interior Minister Marwan Charbel, Finance Minister Mohammad Safadi, Environment Minister Nazim Khoury, Education Minister Hassan Diab, Justice Minister Shakeeb Qortbawi, State Minister Ahmad Karami, and MP Samir Jissr.

Sleiman is sponsoring the launch of the city's Car-Free Day, an initiative aimed at preserving the environment.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Al-Rai: Christians in Lebanon and the Middle East are people of presence and message
 

Sat 12/11/2011 23:21

NNA - 12/11/2011 - Under the auspices of Maronite Patriarch Mar Bshara Butros Al-Rai, the 3rd Eucharist Conference was held Saturday at the Maronite Patriarchal Cathedral in Ghazir, organized by the "Friends of Communion" in Lebanon. The concluding mass service was chaired by Cardinal Nasrallah Butros Sfeir.
In his opening word, Patriarch Al-Rai considered that spirituality and knowledge of God's will and favorable acts is a spirituality that is guaranteed to free Christian believers of a status that renders them living at the margins of life as if God were non-existent to them.
Al-Rai considered that Christians in Lebanon and Middle East are people of presence and a message of kindness, partnership and unity. He added that Christians are not a minority in number, but rather denote the Church's active presence through their existence. He also noted that Christians of this Arab region have achieved great accomplishments, namely establishing the Lebanese entity and coexistence and equality between Christians and Muslims; contributing actively to the role of administration and the region's policies, as well as paving the path for a cultural, philosophical and educational rise.
In turn, Cardinal Sfeir considered that the "communion" is the soul's only remedy, especially during the times of great tension and increasing burdens and difficulties.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour returns from Cairo
 

Sat 12/11/2011 22:59

NNA - 12/11/2011 Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour returned to Beirut on Saturday evening, coming from the Egyptian capital Cairo.
Mansour partook in Arab Foreign Ministers' meeting in Cairo.
--------------R.Sh

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - March 14th delegation visits Akkar in solidarity with Syrian refugees
 

Sat 12/11/2011 22:41

NNA - 12/11/2011 - A delegation from March 14th Forces' General Secretariat including a number of deputies paid a visit Saturday to the region of Wadi Khaled in Akkar in solidarity with Syrian citizens seeking refuge there.
The visit began by a stop-over at a first aid center established in the village of Al-Qanbar for aiding injured Syrians. The delegation had a closer look at the medical equipments of the center and its various needs.
The March 14th delegation then visited Al-Rama School in Wadi Khaled where it met with a number of Syrian families seeking refuge there. The delegation was received with calls for thwarting the Syrian regime, as well as calls in support of former Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri.
Words by Deputies Nadim Gemayel, Carlos Edde and former MP Elias Atallah during the visit centered on condemning the Syrian regime for its practices of violence and killing against the innocent Syrian civilians. They also held the Lebanese government responsible for any short-comings in providing Syrian aid and shelter to families seeking refuge in Lebanon.
In the town of Mokaible, a press conference highlighting the visit was held at the residence of the town's former municipality head. Speaking during the press conference, MP Moueen Al-Merehbi called for standing by the Syrian families seeking refuge in Lebanon and the people of Wadi Khaled. He added that said Syrians are "families" to the Lebanese and not refugees; hence, he stressed the need for preserving their human rights by all means. He also hoped that the Syrian heroic revolution would soon witness victory.
In turn, March 14th General Secretariat Coordinator, Fares Said, called on media resources to establish teams within Wadi Khaled until the crisis is over. He expressed support to the "Arab Spring" and the Syrian revolution. He added that the March 14th delegation's visit, with its diverse constituents, aims at showing support to the Syrian people and condemning any violation of human rights and oppression of liberties.
Syrian refugees' affairs coordinator in Akkar, Sheikh Abdel-Rahman Akkary, expressed gratitude towards any humanitarian stand proving that the Lebanese and Syrian people are a "one" people in two countries.
The delegation's tour ended with a visit to the UN Refugee Commission's Center in Qobayat, where they received a briefing on the services provided by the Center, especially to the Syrian refugees thus far.
The delegaiton members then attended a luncheon banquet held in their honor by MP Hadi Hobeish in Qobayat.
R.Sh.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mkary: Voting against the Arab League's decision has unmasked the government's actuality!
 

Sat 12/11/2011 20:58


NNA - 12/11/2011 - Deputy House Speaker, Farid Mkary, considered Saturday that the Lebanese official stand in voting against the Arab Ministerial Council's decision regarding the situation in Syria as being a move that has unmasked the government's truth of being a "product" of the Syrian regime! He described the government's position in this regards as being totally biased and in complete contradiction to its alleges of rendering Lebanon neutral and spared from getting involved in problems of its surroundings.
Mkary considered the government's stand as being a direct involvement in backing the Syrian regime against the Syrian people's determination, and a deviation from the Arab unanimous decision. Mkary described Lebanon's voting against said Arab decision as being a "death declaration" of all values and principles upon which Lebanon has been built!
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Tohme: Nasrallah's speech is a blow to all government's commitments
 

Sat 12/11/2011 20:27

NNA - 12/11/2011 - In a statement by MP Nidal Tohme Saturday, he questioned about the kind of reassurance and confidence that Hizbollah Secretary General, Hassan Nasrallah, talked about in his recent speech, amidst the continuous state of worry that the Lebanese are living in, especially with Nasrallah's attempt to plunge the country into the wars of others? Tohme also questioned how the Lebanese citizen can trust in a government that neglects its commitments?
Tohme considered that Nasrallah's words about South Lebanon not being vulnerable any longer is actually pleasing to every Lebanese, but only basis that the South, as well as all Lebanese areas, draw their strength from the State, and the unity of the Lebanese people and institutions. However, he called for working on rendering all of Lebanon fortified against the Zionist enemy, and against whoever aims any evil-doing against it. He also called for making room for justice in this country, so that Lebanon would become a "difficult number" in all regional and international equations; and so that the Lebanese can hope for a country that would provide the economic, social and health protection and security and peace for its citizens.
Tohme referred to Nasrallah's attempt to eliminate the government's commitment to the justice mechanism and unveiling of the truth, considering his talk about the funding of the Tribunal in a superficial manner as being "insulting" to the advocates of liberty in the country!
Tohme concluded by noting that Nasrallah's speech on "Martyr's Day" came as a blow to the Lebanese government's commitments and alleges for achieving justice for the soul's of fallen martyrs.
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Al-Rai: Circulated news regarding my visit to Anjar is all false!
 

Sat 12/11/2011 19:29

NNA - 12/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch, Mar Bshara Butros Al-Rai, expressed dismay at what has been circulated in one of the newspapers Saturday regarding his visit to Anjar, describing it as "falsified" news aiming at misleading the public opinion. Al-Rai questioned how a newspaper would attempt to distort facts in such a manner? He explained herein that the late Ghazi Kenaan did pay him a visit in the past, of which he informed Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir and respective bishops back then, but denied that he himself visited Anjar. He stressed that news of such a visit is false.
Al-Rai's words came following his encounter with "Change and Reform" Parliamentary Bloc Head, General Michel Aoun, in Bkirki Saturday afternoon.
Commenting on Al-Rai's questioning of how a newspaper that publishes falsified news can ever be read again, General Aoun agreed that he would no longer read or respond to such a newsdaily!
R.Sh.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt meets popular delegations in Al-Mokhtara
 

Sat 12/11/2011 19:06

NNA - 12/11/2011 - National Front Head, MP Walid Jumblatt, met Saturday with popular delegations from a number of areas in the Shouf, who came to raise social and developmental issues. Cabinet Ministers Alaeddine Terro and Wael Abu Faour, as well as Deputies Nehme Tohme, Akram Shehayeb and Elie Aoun, attended the meetings.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour votes against Syria's suspension in Arab League Council
 

Sat 12/11/2011 16:53

NNA - 12/11/2011 - Minister of Foreign Affairs Adnan Mansour, voted against the suspension of Syria's membership in the Arab League Council but reportedly stayed on in the Egyptian capital Cairo to follow up the matter in a bid to dissuade Arab counterparts and defend Syria's continued membership.

Commenting on the Arab League's decision to freeze Syrian membership to the Arab League Council, Minister Mansour, told newsmen that the decision was faulty and that negative consequences could be entailed. He added that such negative consequences of the decision might reflect badly on Arab-Arab cooperation.

The minister went as far as saying this might have a negative impact on regional peace-making and stability as well.

Mansour argued that Arab nations were in fact working against their own interests by freezing Syrian membership in the Arab League Council.

The minister concluded that the Arab decision would complicate matters further in the Arab World and would never yield much aspired for security or stability.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Aoun visiting Bkirki today
 

Sat 12/11/2011 16:39
NNA - Former Army General Michel Aoun, paid the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Rai a courtesy visit the outcome of which has not yet been disclosed.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - A.Gemayyel: the country could easily become a devil's game
 

Sat 12/11/2011 16:17

NNA - 12/11/2011 - Kataeb Party Head, Amine Gemayyel, said that the country could easily become a devil's game despite Marwan Charbel's retraction of repeated warnings against political assassinations.

Gemayyel reiterated the necessity for enhancing internal national unity in view of newly-arising circumstances in the Arab World.

"One needs to help Arab revolutions by coming up with alternative programs based on liberty and modernity." Gemayyel told Al-Sharq radio station (Orient) Saturday.

He expressed fears over Christians becoming victims to internecine conflicts.

Summing up his trip to Turkey, Gemayyel perceived from his talks to Turkish government officials a deep apprehension over a grim future in the region namely that of chaos, religious fundamentalist dictatorship and military rule.

He noted that according to international law, Sheb'aa Farms lie under Syrian jurisdictions.

Gemayyel lashed out at Hezbollah's anti-occupation resistance describing it as "hoax" and as such, positive connotations of Hezbollah's expressions would be tantamount to insulting arrogance.
With respect to the STL, Gemayyel added that the problem lies with the "Party of God" rather than with the international itself.

Commenting on a proscetive reactivation of the round table dialogue, Gemayyel sounded positive over a likely re-launching of the table only if Lebanese protagonists decide to include one major item on their agenda namely to disarm Hezbollah.

He duly refused Kataeb intervention in Syrian domestic affairs preferring that the Syrian people determines its own future and destiny.

As for southern Lebanese who escaped to Israel in the year 2000, Gemayyel disclosed what he termed as a blueprint for an acceptable "fair solution" through a general amnesty and turning of the page of the past.
Gemayyel told his interviewer that Bkirki might serve as an appropriate place for drafting a new electoral law while maintaining an open line of communication with the church.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
























 

Politics - Zahra: Out with a Non-committing Government!
 

Sat 12/11/2011 15:38

NNA - 12/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces' parliamentarian Antoine Zahra, criticized the Makati government describing it as" suffering from political and economic amnesia let alone its neglect of Syrian refugees."

Acting at the behest of LF Commander Sameer Geagea, at the Forces' annual dinner function in Kisirwan the MP predicted a very bright future for the whole region; He forecast a free Orient in the image and/or following in the footsteps of the LF party which fought Assad's regime for long. He stressed absolute need for STL-funding by the Lebanese government justifying his call by the sheer fact that the international court constitutes the sole available means for unveiling the truth about the serial of political assassinations.

The deputy vowed to block continued functioning of the Makati cabinet if and when it becomes clear that it fails to honour its commitments towards international law and community. He praised recent LF performance at university elections saying this was the natural outcome of centuries'-old rock-solid faith.

G.G./R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved










 

Politics - Sleiman convenes with Salameh
 

Sat 12/11/2011 14:11

NNA - 12/11/2011 President Michel Sleiman met Saturday at Baabda Palace with the Executive Body of the Maronite League and Governor of Central Bank.

Discussions with the League focused on electoral law, separating parliament from cabinet and other pressing issues.

Riyad Salameh updated the President with steps taken by the Central Bank to safeguard Lebanese economy against international credit crunch.

In other news, Sleiman received from the administrative board of the press club an initiation to attend their annual dinner.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - NNA office opens in Sydney tomorrow
 

Sat 12/11/2011 13:59

NNA - 12/11/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk and Director of the National News Agency Laure Sleiman Saab travelled to Australia for the opening of the agency's office in Sydney Sunday.

Minister Daouk is scheduled to meet the governess of the State of New South Wales Mary Bashir as well as ministers and MPs.

The Consul of Lebanon in Sydney Robert Naoum and a number of officials from different areas welcomed Daouk at the airport where the minister was keen to stress the importance of unity among the Lebanese diaspora in Australia. He called upon Lebanese expatriates to return to Lebanon and invest in their country so that they too take part in its economic renaissance.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - A. Aoun to Mikati: Nothing personal!
 

Sat 12/11/2011 13:50


NNA - 12/11/2011 MP Alain Aoun told Free Lebanon radio Saturday that the suggestion to separate parliament from cabinet and to not discriminate between ministers and the PM is not directed against Najib Mikati's person.

The government approved a draft law on Friday to ban lawmakers from serving in the cabinet, as ministers loyal to Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) leader Michel Aoun pushed to include the prime minister in the provisions. At that point, PM Mikati refused to discard any rights given to the premiership by Taef Accord.

The MP was surprised at the media campaign portraying FPM as Sunni haters, "The Lebanese system allows parties to monopolize sectarian representation, and therefore depicts any private criticism as an assault on an entire sect."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved








 

Politics - Zahraman: Army Officers with Agendas!
 

Sat 12/11/2011 13:39

NNA - 12/11/2011 Pro-Hariri Deputy of the House Khaled Zahraman, accused the military establishment of "giving the blind eye to malpractices by certain officers with outside agendas."

Interviewed on Voice of Lebanon radio station, the MP accused army and security branches of harbouring officers connected to certain politicians. He thus did not rule out the possibility of their being summoned for cross-examination before the STL. Zahraman accused them of implanting what he termed as "dormant cells" trained and armed by Hizbullah in order to carry out acts in Tripoli."While disputing Mikati and presidential allegations of no kidnappings of Syrian nationals on Lebanese soli, the deputy confirmed over than 10 Syrian oppositionists being abducted by Lebanese security apparatuses in conjunction with the Syrian embassy which in turn handed them over to the Damascus regime. He urged the establishment of a Syrian refugee camp in Wadi Khaled under Lebanese/international custody.

Zahraman however ruled out a "Lebanese buffer for breakaway Syrian soldiers."

G.G/R.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved










 

Politics - Charbel clarifies assassination rumors
 

Sat 12/11/2011 13:32

NNA - 12/11/2011 Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told Mada radio Saturday that rumors of possible assassinations stem out of apprehension that a fifth column may intervene in political dispute to create nation-wide strife.

A fifth column is a group of people who clandestinely undermine a larger group such as a nation from within.

The Minister refuted accusations that security forces were responsible for abducting Syrian oppositionists from Beirut airport. "The two people in question...admitted to trading with arms," he explained.

He assured that the cabinet was strong and would continue to take appropriate decisions for the country. He insisted that the presence of any type of cabinet was better than its absence.
R.Z.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Marouny worried about wobbly security
 

Sat 12/11/2011 13:14

NNA - 12/11/2011 MP Elie Marouny expressed deep concern over loose situation and insufficient security measures during a radio interview Saturday.

He warned that kidnapping of Syrian nationals on Lebanese soil foreshadows abduction of Lebanese nationals as well.

"Lebanon must commit to funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), and it is time for Secretary General of Hezbollah to believe that the tribunal has become a matter of fact and he must deal with it legally not via threats," said the MP.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Solidarity with Syrian refugees as March 14 delegation heads to border towns
 

Sat 12/11/2011 11:27

NNA - 12/11/2011 A host of March 14 Camp representatives made their way Saturday morning to the border town of Wadi Khaled in Aakar in a political show of solidarity with Syrian refugees and the people's uprising against Assad's regime.

Secretary General of said Camp, Fares Saeed, lead the delegation comprised of MPs Nadim Gemayel, Antoine Zahra, Samir Jiss, Moheen Merhbi, Ahmad Fatfat, as well as other political and social figures.

"Our visit to the border town of Wadi Khaled is political par excellence," commented Saeed, "we are about to send a message to the cabinet to take responsibility of what is happening on Lebanese-Syrian borders."

Saeed maintained that it was the Lebanese State's responsibility to care for the safety of the refugees. "We demand protection and relief for the refugees," he added, "and we want to show solidarity towards major Arab revolutions, particularly the Syrian uprising."

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati: Jeita on world tourism map
 

Fri 11/11/2011 21:32

NNA - 11/11/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati asserted Friday that the mere fact Jeita Grotto made it to the final phase of the poll for world seven wonders of nature secured its place on the global map for tourism.

"This proves, once again, that this country...has been blessed with beauty that deserved our safeguarding," said Mikati.

R.Z.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

Politics - Cabinet meets at Baabda
 

Fri 11/11/2011 18:21

NNA - 11/11/2011 The Cabinet meets in a regular session at Baabda Palace to look into four items on its agenda, namely electoral law, citizenship retrieval project law, Constitutional Council competence amendment and powers' separation project law
The Cabinet convenes under the chairmanship of President of the Republic Michel Sleiman, and in presence of Prime Minister Najib Mikati.
The Cabinet session was preceded by a closed meeting between President Sleiman and Premier Mikati where they discussed the general situation.
Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour affirmed Public Works and Transportation Minister Ghazi Aridi's boycott of Cabinet sessions due to "hindrances facing his Ministry regarding funds and allocations needed for the execution of stringent projects prior to the outset of winter season".

---------------L.Y
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nasrallah: government proves diverse, independent working
 

Fri 11/11/2011 17:36

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Hizbullah Leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said the Mikati-led cabinet proved itself as representative of popular majority, and ready to conduct dialogue with the other without receiving external indices or instructions.

Nasrallah's word came Friday in the context of a screened speech he delivered on the Martyr's Day occasion.

"The cabinet is not a one-opinion government, as its members negotiate with each others and make up decisions without awaiting any SMS from anybody," said Nasrallah.

However, Nasrallah ruled out any Israeli war against Lebanon, stressing the party was ready and well-braced to turn the table on any aggressor.

Hizbullah leader called for tying well-composedly to the tripartite equation of solidarity among the resistance, army and the popular will, as the mentioned elements are deemed powerful factors in face of Israel.

He, accordingly, addressed those demanding for disarming Hizbullah, saying their demand would put his party in a situation as if it did not benefited from its earlier experience. He wondered how these people wanted to disarm the party at the time that Israel has been training itself for war since its defeat in July 2006.

Evoking the file pertaining to financing the Special Tribunal for Lebanon - probing the assassination of martyr Rafic Hariri - Nasrallah said the United States was allowed to retreat from its international obligations by cutting off financing UNESCO, following the group recognition of a full Palestinian membership herein.

He thereupon wondered how the United States was allowed to behave in such cruel manner toward a fair behavior like UNESCO's, while Lebanon did not have the right to non-finance a tribunal aiming to destroy the country.

Hizbullah Leader assured his audience that those who bet on the collapse of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime would fail.

Nasrallah wrapped up on saying that any war against Syria or Iran would involve the whole region, avowing that Iran would multiply its reaction to any foreign aggression.
A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 























 

Politics - Siniora, Morabito meet
 

Fri 11/11/2011 17:07

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Head of Future parliamentary bloc, MP Fouad Siniora, and Italian ambassador Guiesepe Morabito, on Friday met in Sadat Tower over the current situation in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

Politics - Sleiman, Mikati in closed meeting
 

Fri 11/11/2011 15:52

NNA - 11/11/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, and Prime Minister Najib Mikati, are currently sitting in a one-on-one meeting over the general situation and most recent developments, in Baabda palace.

This meeting comes prior to a cabinet session later this afternoon, devoted to broach the electoral project law, under Sleiman's chairmanship and with Mikati's attendance.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 






 

Politics - S. Gemayel: We'll block roads if treated unequally with others
 

Fri 11/11/2011 15:51

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Deputy Sami Gemayel warned that the Kataeb Party would not hesitate to block off roads again if they were not treated in equality with others, and if part of the Lebanese were to be oppressed in terms of the freedom issue or balanced development.

Gemayel's word came Friday in the context of his meeting with Kataeb students from Notre Dame and Saint Joseph Universities.

Gemayel said that only Kataeb and its allies defended Lebanon's right, army and sovereignty and were repressed in return, while others attacked the army and violated sovereignty without punishment.

Accordingly, Gemayel wondered how the Lebanese youths could have the feeling of belonging to their country.

A.M./P.BC.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Boueiz sees Lebanon must sit on fence regarding Syria
 

Fri 11/11/2011 15:48

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Former Minister Fares Boueiz said it was in the interest of Lebanon to remain on the fence pertaining to the situation in Syria.

Boueiz had been to Ain-el-Tineh Friday for a meeting with House Speaker Nabih Berri over an array of latest developments and most heated issues on both local and regional arenas.

"Lebanon should call Syria to make reforms amid a calm, secure, and stable atmosphere," Boueiz reckoned.

He saw that any intervention by the Arab League in the Syrian dossier must be done upon and Arab unanimity.

On the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri, he said Lebanon could not bear the consequences of any abstention to fund it, on all political, governmental, and economic levels. But he said he had substantial reserves about STL proceedings and work as yet.

Berri had earlier met with Member of Parliament Robert Fadel.



R.A.H.

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Politics - PSP, Future to step up coordination
 

Fri 11/11/2011 15:26

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Progressive Socialist Party (PSP) and Future Movement on Friday formed a joint committee to boost bilateral coordination and cooperation on all levels.

Delegations from the two parties met today at Future's Beirut office, and broached most recent political developments on the local arena, in light of the current juncture in the Arab region.

They did not fail to capitalize the necessity to keep the internal situation well composed and coherent.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qahwaji's itinerants today
 

Fri 11/11/2011 15:05
NNA - 11/11/2011 - Lebanese Army Chief, General Jean Qahwaji, on Friday met with MP Assaad Hardan over the current general situation.

He later received former Minister Wiam Wahab.

Secretary General of the Lebanese-Syrian Higher Council, Nasri Khoury, also visited Qahwaji today at his Yarzeh office, for a meeting over the general situation.


R.A.H.

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Politics - Mansour to Cairo tomorrow
 

Fri 11/11/2011 14:16

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour will be partaking in the Arab League's urgent meeting in Cairo Saturday to discuss the Syrian crisis.

Separately, the Minister met today with Najib Saab, Secretary General of the Arab Environment and Development Forum's Board of Trustees.

He later received a delegation of the Red Cross headed by Sami Dahdah.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman heads cabinet session this afternoon
 

Fri 11/11/2011 13:45

NNA - 11/11/2011 - President of the Republic Michel Sleiman will be heading this afternoon the cabinet session with a number of topics on its agenda on top of which the electoral law suggestion submitted by the Interior Ministry.

Separately, Sleiman received parliament member Bahia Hariri with whom he discussed Sidon city's general situation.

The President later met with Deputy Hadi Hobeish with talks featuring high on political developments at the domestic scene.

On a different note, Sleiman received an invitation to attend the mass ceremony to be held on November 20 to commemorate Deputy Pierre Gemayel's death.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved




 


Politics - Kabbani warns from next stage's threats
 

Fri 11/11/2011 13:22

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Mufti of the Republic, Sheikh Muhammad Rashid Kabbani said Friday that Lebanese must always be aware of the coming stage's threats so as to prevent internal conflicts which cause harm to all the country's poles.

The Mufti received a phone call from Prime Minister Najib Mikati with whom he discussed national and Islamic affairs.

Kabbani later met with the head of National Dialogue Party Fouad Makhzoumi who highlighted the importance of the government's role in reactivating social and developmental projects and hoped that the Syrian situation would not have repercussions over Lebanon.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Rahi meets Salemeh, visitors
 

Fri 11/11/2011 12:58

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rahi received Friday at Bkirki the Lebanese Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh with whom he discussed financial and economic situation.

Later on, Rahi met with the South African Ambassador to Lebanon, Shaun Benefield, with talks touching on bilateral ties.

The Maronite Patriarch held a meeting later with members of the Christian-Islamic national committee who informed him of its work plan for the next stage.

The Egyptian Ambassador to Lebanon Muhammad Toufic also paid a visit to Rahi whereby they discussed bilateral cooperation.

Toufic briefed Rahi on the situation in Egypt uttering optimism in this regard.

Amongst Bkirki's visitors were also Judge Jean Fahed, priest Elie Madi, Bishop Semaan Abdallah and priest Roueis Al-Orashalimi.
D.K.

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Politics - Jumblatt heads PSP meeting to boost party's performance
 

Fri 11/11/2011 12:40

NNA - 11/11/2011 - The Progressive Socialist Party's command held a meeting on Friday chaired by Deputy Walid Jumblatt with talks featuring high on current developments at both local and regional levels.

The meetings aimed also at studying the steps which can help reactivating the party's work and boosting its performance.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt heads PSP meeting to boost party's performance
 

Fri 11/11/2011 12:40

NNA - 11/11/2011 - The Progressive Socialist Party's command held a meeting on Friday chaired by Deputy Walid Jumblatt with talks featuring high on current developments at both local and regional levels.

The meetings aimed also at studying the steps which can help reactivating the party's work and boosting its performance.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Daouk, NNA Director bound to Australia
 

Fri 11/11/2011 12:27

NNA - 11/11/2011 Information Minister Walid Daouk is heading to Australia accompanied with the National News Agency Director, Laure Sleiman Saab, so as to inaugurate the agency's newly established office in Sydney.

Daouk is scheduled to meet with the Lebanese Diaspora there as well as a number of Australian senior officials.

The Minister shall also unveil the "Statue of the Lebanese Expatriate" in Melbourne, upon the invitation of the World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU).


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Qobeissi: Lebanon shall eventually be victorious
 

Fri 11/11/2011 12:18

NNA - 11/11/2011 MP Hany Qobeissi asserted Friday Lebanon's eventual victory against all sedition schemes and political fragmentation connives.

This victory ought to be conducted on the basis of dialogue and unity, Liberation and Development member said during a commemorative celebration at the Najarieh town, South Lebanon.

Wondering about the cause of some parties to reject dialogue, the Deputy said we shall proceed in our call for dialogue despite other party's hostile slogans.


L.W.
 

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Politics - Aoun: Lebanon passes through critical situation
 

Fri 11/11/2011 11:27

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Deputy Alan Aoun stressed that Lebanon is passing through a critical situation.

Aoun confirmed that the situation and the developments in the region would lead to a new stage, adding that we as Lebanese are waiting with concern for the future.

The MP showed fears during a lecture organized by Rmeil Committee on Thursday in presence of dignitaries of exploitation due to the uprisings, adding "no one should think we are with any regime which stands in face of reform".

"We are with preserving regional balances in this difficult stage", Aoun added.

On the other hand, the MP called on the cabinet to follow up the livelihood, wages and social security issues.

Finally, Aoun stressed the role of Change and Reform bloc deputies in developing the cabinet performance and in combating corruption.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Merhebi expresses satisfaction over refugees' aid
 

Fri 11/11/2011 10:40


NNA - 11/11/2011 - Deputy Mouin Merhebi expressed satisfaction because Prime Minister Najib Mikati agreed to send humanitarian aid to the Syrian refugees.

The MP added that this issue was raised only when PM Mikati asked the Higher Relief Committee to halt medical care to the refugees.

The MP pointed out that the number of the Syrian refugees who have fled to Lebanese towns exceeded 4500 persons but "we cannot know the real number".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 


Politics - Qortbawi: Proportionality ensures fair representation
 

Fri 11/11/2011 10:01

NNA - 11/11/2011 Justice Minister said Friday that proportionality principle ensures representation for all as it is a reassurance tool for minorities.

Proportionality principle needs further in-depth study and ought not to be rejected, Minister Shakib Qortbawi told Voice of Lebanon radio.

On the topic of qualms on banking sector, Qortbawi said Lebanese competent persons run this sector properly, above all, Governor Riyad Salemeh.

Asked about Syrian developments, the Minister counseled Lebanese to be disengaged from this matter.

Pertaining to the administrative appointments, Qortbawi said quarrels still prevail especially in the Higher Judiciary Council.

L.W.

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Politics - Harb: Cabinet towards applying proportionality electoral law
 

Fri 11/11/2011 10:01

NNA - 11/11/2011 - Deputy Butros Harb said that the cabinet is heading towards adopting proportionality electoral law.

The MP added that proportionality electoral law has negative impact on the political composition in the existence of sectarian parties.

On the other hand, Harb urged on Friday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio "not to intervene in the Syrian affairs", considering that the Lebanese authorities are plotting with the Syrian regime by handing over persons who are against the regime.

The MP added that "this Syrian-Iranian cabinet (Prime Minister Najib Mikati's cabinet) ignores the Lebanese tradition", describing the measures taken by it as a shame on the Lebanese.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 








 

Politics - Mikati: rumors about security disturbances harm Lebanon's image
 

Thu 10/11/2011 22:57

NNA - 10/11/2011 Prime Minister Najib Mikati underlined that spreading and promoting rumors about probable security disturbances harms Lebanon's image and undermines world's confidence in our security and stability.
Premier Mikati said that is not acceptable that security backgrounds be used in political disputes, calling on all to act with a sense of responsibility dictated by national supreme interests.
Mikati denied circulated rumors about measures adopted to prevent health care for Syrian refugees, saying these rumors are groundless.
The Cabinet met on Thursday afternoon in a regular session at the Grand Serail, presided over by Premier Mikati, who briefed Cabinet ministers on the outcome of his visit to London and his talks with his British counterpart David Cameron.
Mikati relayed UK's concern for supporting Lebanon's stability, economy and security institutions. Mikati relayed Cameron's appreciation of Lebanon's commitment to international resolutions and its distinguished interactive role with the international community. Mikati said he agreed with Cameron on a mechanism that leads to developing cooperation between the two countries.
The Cabinet approved paying arrears to National Social Security Fund worth LL80 billion.
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NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Lahham avows foreign interference in Syria existing
 

Thu 10/11/2011 19:28

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch Gregory III Lahham told Syrian state-run television Thursday that foreign interference in Syria had become a reality which cannot be ignored.

He said he did not sense any "Arab Spring," but only destruction, murder, and sabotage instead.

"Syria is targeted and Palestine is at the core of our cause; we do not fight for Syria but for Palestine," he underlined.

If Syria and President Bashar Assad succeeded, then it would be a success for the Arab and Islamic world, he reckoned.

As declaring his Church's policy, the Patriarch said "we live in this country and we always say that we are Arab Syrian citizens; this is our wish, to confirm that we do not seek isolation."

On the Arab League's initiative, Lahham lambasted the immediate intervention of the US. "Masks have fallen, let us resolve our issue by ourselves," he said.

He saw that reforms were not the responsibility of the President alone, but of all the Syrians. He highlighted the necessity to cooperate "so as to build a new Syria," calling to give President Assad the chance to do so.

He reminded saboteurs that there future only lied within their nation, Syria.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Druze Council calls for addressing STL file within state institutions
 

Thu 10/11/2011 19:23

NNA - 10/11/2011 Druze Sect Council called for addressing the file of Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) within constitutional institutions in line with national unity requirements, realization of justice and implementation of Lebanon's commitments.
Druze Council met on Thursday in session, presided over by Druze Sheikh Akl Sheikh Naiim Hassan.
On the current internal situation, the Council expressed concern over growing complications, hoping that the government with all its constituencies would approach simmering files with a clear-sighted insight and a purposeful vision.
The Council also implored all Lebanese politicians to return to dialogue, saying a constructive and truthful dialogue solely guarantees the bridging of relations amongst the sons of a united society and puts matters on the right path.
----------------L.Y

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman follows up on Higher Relief Committee work
 

Thu 10/11/2011 18:59

NNA - 10/11/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, met with the Higher Relief Committee head, General Ibrahim Bashir, over the committee's work and allocations in all fields, particularly as to Syrian citizens currently in Lebanon.

On the other hand, Sleiman signed a decree on determining the minutes to execute the provisions of law number 17/2008, relevant to the public debt administration.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati: banking sector is essential for economy
 

Thu 10/11/2011 17:41

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati affirmed that the Lebanese banking sector was essential for the local economy, and not any Lebanese, whether in the public or banking sector, would accept to subject the latter to threats.

Mikati's word came on Thursday in the context of his receiving at the Grand Serail the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Terrorist Financing and Financial Crimes in the Department of Treasury of the United States, Daniel Glaser, in presence of the U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly.
"Bank of Lebanon adopts the necessary procedures for saving the banking sector," Mikati assured.

Separately, Mikti received a delegation of the banks association headed by Dr. Joseph Tarabay. Both reportedly discussed the public budget issue.

Among Mikati's visitors: Deputies Ali Ammar and Bilal Farhat.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - French diplomat visits Hezbollah
 

Thu 10/11/2011 17:28

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Hezbollah official Sayyed Ammar Moussawi on Thursday met with Alex Le Cour Grand-Maison from the French Foreign Ministry over the situation in Syria and the likely repercussions on the Lebanese local arena.

"Any attempt to use the Lebanese scene in order to exert pressure on Syria would tamper with internal stability and exacerbate tension," a statement by Hezbollah press office quoted Moussawi as saying.

In another development, Moussawi said the position from funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon would be determined within the cabinet at the adequate time.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Egypt on track towards democracy, says ambassador
 

Thu 10/11/2011 16:43

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Egyptian ambassador, Mohammad Tawfiq, said he was confident that Egypt was on track towards democracy, in the wake of his meeting with Minister of Culture, Gaby Layyoun, Thursday.

"Legislative elections loom and the embassy is bracing to help register Egyptians residing in Lebanon and cast their ballots," he added.

Minister Layyoun, for his part, said bilateral ties between Lebanon and Egypt were historic and on the go, especially on the level of culture.

"We ought to boost these relations for the interest of Lebanon and Egypt," he underlined.

Separately, Layyoun met with ambassadors of Korea and Cyprus.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 


 

 


Politics - Rassi from Berri's: media overstatement in Wadi Khalid's condition
 

Thu 10/11/2011 16:42

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Former Deputy Karim Rassi said the condition of Akkar region, notably Wadi Khalid, is something exaggerated by media for political purposes.

Rassi visited House Speaker Nabih Berri on Thursday at the latter's residence in Ain Tineh and reviewed with him recent developments. Rassi said the media overstatement, concerning Wadi Khalid, is being practiced by people aiming to increase local tension, and these people were themselves who burned the Syrian workers' camps in 2005.

Separately, a delegation of the National Campaign for Proportionality, headed by Morris Nohra, visited Berri and discussed with him the parliamentary elections issue. Nohra said the proportionality law is the most suitable for elections, as it helps declining the confessional climate in the country and providing the correct popular representation.

Berri also received former Deputy Issam Khoury who presented the host with his two books.

In another development, the House Speaker received a call from Emirati Education and Higher Learning Minister, Sheikh Nehyan Moubarrak Nehyan, who congratulated the host on Adha Holy Eid.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserv












 

Politics - Ghosn says situation critical, requiring acuity
 

Thu 10/11/2011 16:10

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Minister of National Defense, Fayez Ghosn, on Thursday said the situation in Lebanon was critical and that it required acuity and patience while handling dossiers and affairs.

The Minister did not fail to renew calls for dialogue resumption in order to salve current tension.

He also lambasted frenzied campaigns leveled against the Lebanese army and the bids to implicate the military in the political quandary.

He made these remarks during his meeting with a delegation of national forces and parties today.

Besides, Ghosn reviewed most recent developments in Lebanon and the broader Arab region with former Deputy Speaker Elie Ferzli.

He also tackled the current general situation with MP Ziad Aswad and former Deputy Karim Rassi.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Nadim Gemayel from Dar el-Fatwa: Lebanese situation tied to Syrian incidents
 

Thu 10/11/2011 16:03
NNA - 10/11/2011 - Deputy Nadim Gemayel confirmed Thursday, during his visit to Dar El-Fatwa and his meeting with the Mufti of the Republic Muhammad Rashid Kabbani, that the situation in Lebanon is deeply tied to the incidents in Syria.

"We would never be able to live in freedom as long as the region lacks democracy," he said, uttering his support for the Arab revolutions particularly the riots in Syria aimed at establishing a democratic state for the Syrian people.

Gemayel affirmed also that the Christians' situation in Lebanon is good provided that there is true conviviality between them and Muslims.

On the other hand, Sheikh Kabbani met with the Greek Ambassador to Lebanon Panos Kalegopoulos who came on a farewell visit.

The Ambassador assured in this regard that the Christian-Islamic ties must be based on mutual consent and respect.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 


Politics - Sheikh Hassan receives Terro, Gemayel, others
 

Thu 10/11/2011 15:42

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Druze Sheikh Akl Naim Hassan received on Thursday at the Druze house in Verdun Displaced Persons Minister Aladdine Terro, who related to the host his ministry's works.

Terro said the conciliation in the Chouf region of Obeih would be the biggest, hoping that such conciliation would reach Kfarselwan and Brih.

Hassan also received Deputy Nadim Gemayel, who stressed on the communication between the Druze and Maronite confessions, as both of them have been essential throughout history in the establishment of a strong state.

Among the Sheikh's visitors: Roman Catholic Archbishop Kyrillos Bustros and Lebanese Army senior Amin Al-Aram.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 


Politics - Charbel for respecting laws, enhancing municipal works
 

Thu 10/11/2011 15:09

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel stressed on the necessity of abiding by laws and enhancing municipal works via developmental projects.

The aim of these projects, said Charbel, is to boost developmental balance among regions and contribute to the national renaissance workshop.

The minister's words came on Thursday in the context of his meeting, at his ministerial office, with mayors and members in the municipal councils of various Lebanese towns.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 





 

Politics - Sleiman votes again for Jeita, receives visitors
 

Thu 10/11/2011 14:52

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman cast on Thursday a new vote for Jeita Grotto, reminding of his demands for the employees of public institutions and all Lebanese citizens to vote as much as possible for said grotto, in the Natural Seven Wonders competition.

As for Sleiman's visitors, he received in the course of the day at Baabda Presidential Palace Press Syndicate Chief, Muhammad Baalbecki, who shared the president in the voting.

Sleiman also received Lebanese Army Chief General Jean Qahwaji, who briefed the host on the actual security situation in the country.

Batroun Deputy Boutros Harb and his wife also visited the President, thanking him for Sleiman's condolences on the death of Harb's wife's mother. The visit was an opportunity to review recent developments at the local and regional scenes.

Head of the Constitutional Council Issam Sleiman met with the President and engaged with him in talks relevant to the council's works.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved
 

 

 


 

 


Politics - Abdallah meets Gemayel: returning to Palestinian is our ultimate goal
 

Thu 10/11/2011 14:47

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Head of Kataeb party, former President Amin Gemayel, tackled latest developments with the Palestinian Ambassador to Lebanon Abdallah Abdallah who confirmed that returning to Palestine is the refugees' ultimate aspiration.

Abdallah who thanked Gemayel for his support to the Palestinian cause uttered the people's resolve to establish an independent state, with Jerusalem as a capital, and to allow the return of Palestinians who had been expelled from their country since 1948.

Both men tackled as well the repercussions of the region's developments on Lebanon and Palestine. They also discussed the Palestinian refugees' conditions, affirming that those should live in total dignity until their return home.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Political, developmental affairs on Aridi's agenda today
 

Thu 10/11/2011 14:46

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Minister of Public Works and Transportation, Ghazi Aridi, on Thursday met with Member of Parliament Hikmat Dib over the current situation on both local and regional arenas, as well as over salaries grid relevant to public sector's engineers.

He later received Deputies Qassem Abdul Aziz and Al-Walid Soukariyah, with talks featuring high on the works conducted by the Ministry in Maaraboun region.

Afterwards, Aridi respectively met with municipal delegations of Aramoun, Tarshish, Iqlim Kharroub, and Shoueifat.

Director General of Urbanism, engineer Elias Tawil, had also been to Aridi's office today, for a meeting over an array of daily life affairs.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Siniora meets French official
 

Thu 10/11/2011 14:38

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Head of Future parliamentary bloc, Member of Parliament Fouad Siniora, on Thursday met with Alex Le Cour Grand-Maison from the French Foreign Ministry, over the current situation in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.

R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 




 

Politics - Abu Faour launches social hotline 1714
 

Thu 10/11/2011 14:26

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Social Affairs Minister Wael Abu Faour announced the hotline number 1714 as means of receiving public complaints and demands in regard to social matters.

Abu Faour stressed on Thursday in his press conference at his ministerial office that his ministry's priority was giving social issues a national dimension. He wrapped up on calling upon the Lebanese government to approach the Syrian refugees issue from a humanitarian view, far from any political background.

A.M.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

Politics - Granting nationality for expatriates of Lebanese origins highlights Rahi's talks
 

Thu 10/11/2011 14:22

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Rahi received Thursday at Bkirki Patriarchate Deputy Naamtallah Abi Nasr with whom he tackled the law suggestion for people who are of Lebanese origins to regain their nationality. This suggestion was presented by Deputy Abi Nasr and will be discussed in the cabinet session.

Rahi also received former Prime Minister Salim Al-Hoss who shed light on Bkirki's pioneer role in consolidating national unity, particularly in light of the Arab unrest.

"These stances contribute in protecting Christians of the Middle East," he said.

on another note, the follow up and coordination committee of the Maronite gathering held a regular meeting in presence of Deputies Simon Abi Ramia, Elie Keyrouz, Emile Rahmeh, Fouad Saad, Elie Aoun and Hadi Hobeish.

The committee tackled general topics of concern for all the Lebanese on top of which the recuperation of nationalities as well as the Christian presence within the ministries and the public institutions.

Separately, the coordinator of the "Orient Christians' conference" Maroun Karam informed Rahi of the ongoing preparations for the conference to be held at USEK on November 18 and 19 under the patronization of the Maronite patriarch.

Amongst Bkirki's visitors were also the Greek Ambassador to Lebanon, Panos Kalogeropoulos, the Parliament Member Estphan Doueihy, the head of the Maronite Central Council Wadih Khazen, and the FSI officer, Colonel Fouad Hemayed Khoury.
D.K.
 

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Politics - Ogassapian: Government should act to cease security breaches
 

Thu 10/11/2011 14:15

NNA - 10/11/2011 MP Jean Ogassapian criticized Thursday the government silence over security breaches in terms of Syrian-Lebanese borders violations and Syrian citizens' abduction.

Ogassapian told Al-Sharek radio that all similar practices are a flagrant violation to the Lebanese security and sovereignty and that government's failure to take political and diplomatic actions is unjustified and suspicious.

"It is possible to summon Syrian Ambassador and be informed of these breaches," he said referring to all types of violations to Lebanese borders and to Syrian citizens' human rights.

Future bloc member stressed the need to return to dialogue with resumption from the subject of Hezbollah weapons.
"These weapons ought to be under the state's control," he said pointing out major threats Lebanon will be subject to if ever the government neglects STL issue.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Hbeish refuses media embargo on Syrian refugees
 

Thu 10/11/2011 12:55

NNA - 10/11/2011 Declaring of the possibility of March 14 members' going to Wadi Khaled, MP Hady Hbeish refused Thursday the media embargo imposed on Syrian refugees there.

Future bloc members also conveyed March 14 support to Syrian protesters and Syrian revolution.
"We are not a government to recognize the Syrian transitional council but we handle this issue clearly and utter support to this revolution," he told the Al-Jadeed Chanel.



L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Geagea tackles developments with Andraos
 

Thu 10/11/2011 12:53

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Lebanese Forces bloc head, Samir Geagea, tackled with the Future Movement's vice head, Antoine Andraos, latest developments at the local and regional scenes.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahra: Hariri's return soon, final
 

Thu 10/11/2011 12:48

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Parliament member Antoine Zahra said Thursday that the return of former Prime Minister Saad Hariri to Lebanon is soon and final.

The Lebanese Forces bloc member said Hariri had to leave the country, yet despite his absence he kept constant contact with his allies.

"If Hariri were in Lebanon, he would've avoided the clash with House Speaker Nabih Berri," he added.

Zahra also estimated that Prime Minister Najib Mikati is trying to earn time regarding the issue of the special tribunal's funding.

"In fact, the Hezbollah secretary general, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, had ordered to submit this financing subject to the cabinet," the MP declared, assuring that Mikati will not resign, waiting for the course of the developments in the region in general and Syria in particular to be cleared out.

Zahra saw that putting the funding issue for voting reflects Lebanon's so called commitment to the international resolutions.

"We only call for treating the Syrian refugees in a human way," said Zahra who confirmed that this compassion has nothing to do with embracing the presence of Syrian armed troupes in Lebanon.

Zahra indicated that his camp has information regarding the murder of some Syrians at the Lebanese borders.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman votes to Jeita Grotto
 

Thu 10/11/2011 12:21

NNA - 10/11/2011 - President Michel Sleiman voted on Thursday for Jeita Grotto on the voting day held for all workers at the Palace.

Sleiman said "today and tomorrow till 11:00 am we will vote without talking and I think all the Lebanese will do so".

Sleiman called on earlier all the Lebanese and official institutions to vote.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Pharaon: Let's go back to dialogue without vacillation
 

Thu 10/11/2011 12:13
NNA - 10/11/2011 - Parliament member Michel Pharaon called for returning to the dialogue table without any hesitation and with no threatening whatsoever over the illegitimate arms issue.

The Deputy who delivered a word during the Homentmen club's dinner on its 90th anniversary said we should agree on a sole defense strategy which protects Lebanon from the Israeli jeopardy as well as from the internal dangers.

"We lately shifted from political and electoral battles to values and morals skirmish," he noted, assuring that there's no way for dialogue and democratic competition when a certain party keeps breaking the concept of justice, freedom and equality, hence adopting "double standards" method as to weaken the Lebanese state.

"How could we possibly build Lebanon while exposing its constitutional and security institutions, challenging the international community, and dragging the country into axes which threaten the people and the state itself," he wondered.

Deputy Pharaon confirmed in this regard the importance of struggling for these values which immunize Lebanon's civil peace, constants, freedom and sovereignty.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour meets Polish Ambassador

Thu 10/11/2011 12:12

NNA - 10/11/2011 - Foreign and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour met on Thursday with Polish Ambassador to Lebanon Thomas Nigodgiz and discussed bilateral ties.

 
NNA 2011 All rights reserved

Politics - Nahhas: Imposing sanctions on bank sector will be political
 

Thu 10/11/2011 10:18
NNA - 10/11/2011 - Labor Minister Charble Nahhas said if sanctions were imposed on banking sector then this step should be viewed as political.

Nahhas assured the Lebanese that there is no need to worry about imposing sanctions on the Lebanese banks, pointing out that the banking control commission have a set of rules and guidelines drafted by the Central Bank and all bankers are fully aware about these guidelines, warning however, that if sanctions were applied then they should be seen as a political step.

On the other hand, the minister said on Thursday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio concerning wages increase "I did not finish my report concerning wages increase", revealing that a meeting for the index committee will be held on Friday in order to narrow differences between all sides on this issue before the cabinet will be compelled to take a decision on this issue if the workers and private sector failed to reach a common understanding.
A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Kadiri: We are not politically investing Syrian refugees' issue
 

Thu 10/11/2011 10:15

NNA - 10/11/2011 MP Ziad Kadiri said Thursday that Premier Mikati attempts to depict that the opposition is politically investing in Syrian refugees' issue.

Future bloc member told voice of Lebanon-Freedom and Dignity- radio that opposition is handling such an issue from a humanitarian and national approach.

"MP Walid Jumblatt fears of a security custodianship comeback are in place," he said and noted that March 14 shall proceed in questioning the government on previous security scandals that did not fall short on abduction and plotting operations, but it expanded to attacks against protesters in Beirut and other Lebanese regions.

L.W.

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Politics - Manjian: Tribunal funding decision is with cabinet
 

Thu 10/11/2011 10:05

NNA - 10/11/2011 - State Minister Panos Manjian told Voice of Lebanon that the decision to fund the international tribunal should be done in a democratic way and through cabinet voting.

"Prime Minister Najib Mikati was very clear when he said in London that the Cabinet will take a decision on funding the tribunal. But each side in the cabinet has his own views about this issue and in the end the decision should be voted on democratically in the government," the minister said.

He dismissed reports that the Cabinet will turn into a caretaker cabinet once it resigns.

"These (reports) are only wishful thinking and they express the aspirations of some sides in Lebanon. But these wishes will not materialize," the minister said.

He hoped that the debate over the 2012 draft budget will be completed before the end of this year.

Manjian explained that the administrative appointments for key posts in the government are being prepared away from the glare of the media.

He stressed that allocating key posts based on political and religious affiliation is nothing new in Lebanon, noting that all previous governments have practiced these allocations.

Asked about the abduction of Syrians in Lebanon, the minister said that Interior Minister Marwan Charbel has vehemently denied such reports and only talked about the disappearance of Syrian opposition figure Chabli al Ossaimi.

"No one accepts in principle the abduction in any country whether this person was Syrian, Lebanese or any other nationality. Any person who seeks refuge in Lebanon is a guest of Lebanon and the Lebanese security forces must provide protection for him," the minister said.

O.H

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Politics - Mikati winds up his visit to Britain
 

Wed 9/11/2011 21:24

NNA - 09/11/2011 - Prime Minister, Najib Mikati, returned on Wednesday evening to Beirut, winding up an official visit to Britain where he met with his British counterpart, David Cameron, and a number of British officials.

Shortly upon his arrival in Beirut, Premier Mikati contacted by phone Supreme Relief Body Chief, Ibrahim Bashir, giving instructions to follow up the humanitarian situation of Syrian refugees coming to Lebanon.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Pietton: No will from Damascus to implement Arabs initiative
 

Wed 9/11/2011 18:37

NNA - 09/11/2011 - French Ambassador Denis Pietton said Damascus showed thus far no will for implementing the Arab League's initiative with the daily fall of victims in the country.

The French Ambassador to Lebanon, Denis Pietton, visited on Wednesday the headquarters of the Maronite League, wherein he met with the President of said league, Joseph Tarabay.
Interviewed after the visit, Pietton indicated that the security situation in Syria has not yet changed since the launch of the Arab League's initiative more than a week ago, as cruel deeds are still ongoing ruthlessly in the country. For this reason, Pietton said, France has "announced the death" of this initiative.
A.M>

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Politics - Sleiman keen on maintaining citizens' security, safety
 

Wed 9/11/2011 18:15

NNA - 9/11/2011 - President of the Republic, Michel Sleiman, on Wednesday capitalized the obligation that security apparatuses intensify efforts amid the current stage to preserve stability and citizens' safety.

General Security Chief, Brigadier Abbas Ibrahim, Internal Security Forces Chief, Major General Ashraf Rifi, Army Intelligence Chief, General Edmond Fadel, and State Security Director General, Brigadier George Qaraa, had been respectively to Baabda palace today to brief the President over the current security situation in the country.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Flouting international resolutions puts Lebanon at stake, says Hbeish
 

Wed 9/11/2011 17:44

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Hadi Hbeish on Wednesday told MTV channel Lebanon would be standing on the brink of the abyss if international resolutions were not respected.

He said the Lebanese were waiting for Lebanese President Michel Sleiman and Prime Minister Najib Mikati to translate within the cabinet their commitment to pay Lebanon's share of funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, a UN-backed court probing the 2005 killing of former Premier Rafik Hariri.

But Future Deputy demurred on conflicting stances within the government; as March 8 forces avow they would not accept to fund STL, Premier Mikati clearly said he was confident that there would be voting over the STL funding item within the cabinet.

In another development, he revealed that North Deputies would be soon meeting to discuss the siege imposed on Syrian refugees.

Besides, he said former Prime Minister Saad Hariri would return soon to Lebanon.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Sleiman receives memorial stamps from Sehnaoui
 

Wed 9/11/2011 17:31

NNA - 9/11/2011 President of the Republic Michel Sleiman received on Wednesday the first copy of four memorial stamps from Telecommunication Minister Nicholas Sehnaoui at Baabda Palace.
Four memorial stamps were launched on November 5, 2011, marking the third anniversary of President Sleiman's assumption of presidency.
The ceremony took place at Baabda Palace in presence of Postal Directorate General Chief Mohammed Zuheir Youssef and "Liban Post" Company Director General Khalil Daoud, who handed the President a memorial shield on the occasion.
Copies of stamps were placed besides the official picture of President Sleiman at the Palace's Hall, to be added to the grouping of other Presidents' pictures since the times of Independence.
-----------------L.Y

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Politics - Rifi meets Connelly
 

Wed 9/11/2011 17:06

NNA - Internal Security Forces chief, Major General Ashraf Rifi, met on Wednesday at his office with American Ambassador to Lebanon, Maura Connelly, who congratulated him on the occasion of Adha Day. Talks also touched on the general security situation.

 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Jumblatt highlights political constants, reconfirms right for political asylum
 

Wed 9/11/2011 16:45

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Head of the Progressive Socialist Party (PSP), MP Walid Jumblatt deemed it necessary to remind of the basic political constants in light of the escalating developments and changes in the region at more than one level.

In a statement delivered Wednesday, Jumblatt reiterated PSP's total snub for using the Lebanese territories to shake the Syrian stability and security or even to carry out aggressive attempts from inside Lebanon.

"The PSP reconfirms the right of political asylum as per the constitution and as stipulated by the Lebanese laws building on respecting the freedom of expression in compliance with the Lebanese historical role as a defender of diversity, plurality and freedom," he noted.

"Therefore the Syrian activists have the right to express their opinion freely without being subject to any pressure or nuisance from any side whatsoever," the PSP leader said.

Jumblatt wondered how true and accurate is the information regarding the kidnapping of Syrian activists from inside Lebanon while the destinies of the kidnapped Jassem brothers and Shebly Al-Aissami are still ambiguous.

He accordingly called on the Supreme Commission for Relief to assume its responsibility and provide human, social and medical aid for the Syrian refugees until the reestablishment of peace in Syria.

Separately, Jumblatt asked how the Interior Minister could possibly have information regarding the return of political assassinations in the country. The Deputy said it is necessary to address this topic adequately instead of devoting huge efforts for finding a new electoral law and promoting for proportionality.

He finally called for keeping the Lebanese Army away from the conflict in Syria, underscoring the major role it plays in facing the Israeli enemy.
D.K.

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Politics - Charbel upbeat over security situation
 

Wed 9/11/2011 16:36

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Marwan Charbel, on Wednesday reassured the public opinion over the local security situation and called all parties to be aware of likely dangers so as to eschew any trouble in light of the current critical juncture.

Addressing a delegation of Lebanese parties, forces, and personalities' Gathering, the Minister said security apparatuses were adamant to impose security, order, and stability.

On a different note, he revealed that the new electoral project law contributed to jettisoning sectarianism and paving the way towards true citizenship.

Besides, Minister Charbel respectively met today with Deputy Hadi Hbeish, former Minister Elias Saba, Head of Jbeil municipality Ziad Hawat, and Mount Lebanon Mufti Sheikh Mohammad Ali Jouzo.



R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved

 

 

 

 


Politics - Makari from Audi's: Hariri wants to correct mistakes in politics
 

Wed 9/11/2011 15:57

NNA - 09/11/2011 - Deputy Farid Makari said former Prime Minister Saad Hariri outlived a political experience that was full of incidents within short period and wanted to correct his mistakes in this concern.

Former Deputy House Speaker, Member of Parliament, Farid Moukarri, visited on Wednesday Beirut Greek Orthodox Archbishop Elias Audi at Ashrafieh Bishopric to check on his well-being. The visit was an opportunity to review recent developments at the local and regional scenes.

Interviewed after the visit, Makari said the tension in the relation between Hariri and House Speaker Nabih Berri was due to the last year's stances of Berri and March 8 camp towards the former.

Makari criticized Prime Minister Najib Mikati's position regarding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon - probing the assassination of Martyr Rafic Hariri - , saying that the Premier was serving his personal interest in this concern, by trying to satisfy both the public majority and the international organizations on the one side and March 8 on the other.

Among Archbishop Audi's visitors: Deputies Antoine Saad and Henry Helou.

A.M>

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zasypkin meets Mansour, utters concern over situation in Syria
 

Wed 9/11/2011 15:42

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Foreign Affairs and Expatriates Minister Adnan Mansour received Wednesday the Russian Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin who called upon the Syrian authorities to adopt all needed measures as to guarantee the citizens' rights.

The Ambassador said then again that the opposition's duty is to keep distance from the armed extremists who seek the failure of the Arab initiative.

"We are concerned over the ongoing violence in Syria," he said, noting that the Syrian regime has adopted, during the past few days, a series of reform measures to pave the way for dialogue.

In this regard Zasypkin called on Arab poles to put great efforts into calming the situation in Syria, putting terms to the bloodshed, and reestablishing consent within the Syrian fabric.

"We are pretty sure this would also meet the Lebanese interests," he added.

When asked about the Russian position in case of the Arab initiative's failure, Zasypkin said "despite our approval over this initiative, we are realistic enough to know that trying to put it into action is a very hard task."

"We do not want to talk about the initiative's failure at this crucial stage. What we really want to shed light on are the efforts that could be deployed to push it forward. This is the Russian current stance," he declared.

Separately, Minister Mansour received a delegation of the Argentinean Senate whereby they tackled bilateral cooperation at the economic and commercial levels.
D.K.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - March 14 steps up campaign against government, Syria
 

Wed 9/11/2011 15:22

NNA - 9/11/2011 - March 14 forces on Wednesday cautioned against what they termed as "the obedience" of Mikati-led government to the Syrian regime, holding the incumbent authority accountable for the frenzied security situation.

March 14 convened today in a periodic meeting in Ashrafieh, and sternly slammed the government for shrugging off continuous security incidents and flouting international commitments.

The arrest of two Syrian citizens at Rafik Hariri International Airport last Sunday earned the forces' sharp rebuke, who avowed they would resort to human rights organizations so as to secure the respect of related charters.

In another development, March 14 vehemently denounced PM Najib Mikati's decision, handed to the Higher Relief Committee, hereby abstaining from allocating aid to Syrian refugees in Lebanon, especially in Akkar.

They also lashed out at a "no-media zone" which the security forces had imposed on Wadi Khaled.

Besides, March 14 forces, who did not fail to rekindle the obligation to fully respect UN resolutions 1701 and 1757, said they were not dismayed at Syria's thwarting the Arab initiative. They called the Arab ministerial council, to meet next Saturday, to take firm measures to face the Syrian regime, protect civilians, and speed up the Arab and international recognition of the Syrian National Council.




R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Zahraman: necessary to set up camps for Syrian refugees
 

Wed 9/11/2011 15:09

NNA - 09/11/2011 - Deputy Khalid Zahraman said it was necessary to set up camps for the Syrian refugees in Lebanon, refusing any politicization of the refugees file.

Interviewed on ANB TV on Wednesday, Deputy Khalid Zahraman, from the Future Bloc, said the Syrian refugees issue was humanitarian worth to be given enough concern by the Lebanese government.
"Helping the refugees in Lebanon should be under the supervision of the government and the security apparatus�and the government must resort to the United Nations to support them if it found itself unable to do," said Zahraman.

Zahraman added to say that what pressed them to look into the refugees' case were the High Relief Committees' instructions of non-receiving wounded or sick refugees, except those whose situation was critical.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved








 

Politics - Dialogue re-launching tops talks between Sleiman, Berri
 

Wed 9/11/2011 14:28

NNA - 09/11/2011 - Lebanese President Michel Sleiman focused in his talks with House Speaker Nabih Berri on the significance of re-launching the national dialogue among politicians.

President of the Lebanese Republic, General Michel Sleiman, received on Wednesday at Baabda Presidential Palace House Speaker Nabih Berri, with talks featuring high on the importance of conducting the dialogue which has stopped a long while. Berri affirmed he was not against continuing the course of the earlier dialogue with all its items.

Separately, Sleiman received former House Speaker Hussein Al-Husseini and discussed with him the election law for upcoming parliamentary polls in 2013.

Afterwards, Sleiman met with the Parliamentary Administration and Justice Commission head, Deputy Robert Ghanem, and reviewed with him the commission's works.

Among Baabda's visitors: former Ministers Michael Daher and Naji Boustani.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved









 

Politics - Rahi itinerants today
 

Wed 9/11/2011 14:21


NNA - 9/11/2011 Maronite Patriarch Marbeshara Boutros Rahi received in Bkerki today the Roman Catholic Bishop for Mexico and Latin America, Antonio Shedrawi.

Both men engaged in talks concerning the Christians situation in foreign countries.

Rahi also met with a delegation of the Assyrian Church of the East headed by Bishop Mar Aprim Khamis.
The delegation also included Bishop of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mar Narsai Benyamin.

Rahi also received several religious figures with whom he tackled major pastoral activities.

Moreover Rahi met with former Minister Jean Obeid and discussed with him recent developments.


L.W.

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Politics - Gemayel, Taquet tackle bilateral ties
 

Wed 9/11/2011 14:20

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Head of Kataeb Party, Amine Gemayel, on Wednesday met with the Belgian ambassador, Colette Taquet, over bilateral ties on all political and economic levels.

The pair also shed light on the necessity for Lebanon to respect international commitments as well as on the importance of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, probing the 2005 assassination of statesman Rafik Hariri.

Talks also touched on the current situation in Lebanon and the broader Arab region.


R.A.H.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved






 

Politics - Khoreis: Hariri is deepening schism through sectarian rhetoric
 

Wed 9/11/2011 13:20

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Parliament member Ali Khoreis said former Prime Minister Saad Hariri is deepening the gap between the Lebanese through sectarian and confessional speeches.

The Deputy told Sawt Al-Mada radio station Wednesday that Hariri must not be resident abroad for long voicing stances at the behest of certain big countries.

"The campaign targeting House Speaker Nabih Berri reflects Hariri's failure and lack of maturity," he accused.

"The decision of not voting for Berri in 2013 is Hariri's own business," he said assuring that neither his vote nor the votes of those he represents will be needed.

As for the divergence regarding the special tribunal's funding, Khoreis said this issue ought to be discussed away from tension and anarchy.
D.K.

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Politics - Sleiman, Berri tackle re-launching inter-Lebanese dialogue
 

Wed 9/11/2011 10:36

NNA - 9/11/2011 Lebanese President is currently engaging in talks concerning re-launching the inter-Lebanese dialogue with House Speaker Nabih Berri.

Both men are also tackling the most recent up-to-dates.


L.W.

NNA 2011 All rights reserved



 

Politics - Maroni: Cabinet founded to hamper STL's work
 

Wed 9/11/2011 10:27

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Member of Parliament Elie Maroni told Voice of Lebanon "Voice of Freedom and Dignity" that this cabinet was set up for the sole purpose of hampering the work of the international tribunal for Lebanon.

"This cabinet was founded to disrupt the work of the tribunal and all the promises made by Prime Minister Najib Mikati are not implementable."

The MP pointed to horrific number of the Christians in public departments and to the properties sold to non Christians in Lebanon.

He added that these issues will be discussed in the meeting in Bkirki today with the Maronite leaders to find appropriate solutions.

Maroni said it is imperative to appoint qualified Christians in public offices.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mansour: We ought to help Syria overcome its crisis
 

Wed 9/11/2011 10:21

NNA - 9/11/2011 Foreign Affairs Minister said Wednesday that Arabs ought to help Syria overcome its crisis to the advantage of all neighboring countries.

Minister Adnan Mansour told voice of Lebanon -Freedom and Dignity- radio that the call to aid Syria is addressed to Arab Ministers to implement Arab initiative.


L.W.
 

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Charbel: Political calm reflects positively on situation
 

Wed 9/11/2011 10:17

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Interior and Municipalities Minister Marwan Charbel stressed that political calm reflects positively on the general situation in the country.

He disclosed a new security plan formulated by the Interior Ministry which calls for setting up security patorls consisting of civilian dressed security personnel who will work around the clock.

"Security situation today is calm and excellent", Charbel said on Monday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio.

Concerning officers' promotion issue from colonel and above, Charbel said "stalemate concerning this issue still exists due to political interventions", promising the signing of promotion decrees imminently.

Charbel confirmed that he received positive feedbacks from all sides concerning elections law, pointing out that the decision is at the end up to the parliament.

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Youssef: Aoun's party gives false impression to people
 

Wed 9/11/2011 09:43

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Deputy Ghazi Youssef said that Change and Reform bloc gave the false impression to the public that it achieved victories in several battles.

The MP held Aoun's bloc responsible for the existence of media battle between them.

"Future bloc and its figures were subject to void accusations", which forced them to respond to such accusations, the MP added on Monday to "Voice of Lebanon" radio.

The MP confirmed that the tension is increasing due to the state's absence, hoping that media debates would stop to calm the street.

Concerning reviving dialogue table, Youssef said that before heading to dialogue table we should think that there are constitutional institutions which should fulfill their work.

The MP ruled out "dialogue table would be the appropriate place to tackle these issues".

On the other hand, Youssef announced that all March 14 forces are with developing electoral law, adding that "we have to conduct an objective study to this law to be later discussed in the committees".

A.A.M

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


Politics - Mikati meets Ashton in London
 

Wed 9/11/2011 09:28

NNA - 9/11/2011 - Prime Minister Najib Mikati received at his residence in London Catherine Ashton the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

Discussions between both sides focused on the situation in Lebanon, Middle East and ties with the European Union.

Talks also touched on the current stability in Lebanon in comparison to the political and security turmoil in the surrounding countries.

Both sides underlined the need to establish stability in the region with the help of the international community and Europe in particular.

Mikati assured Ashton that Lebanon is committed to all international resolutions.

During his talks, the prime minister stressed that comprehensive peace in the region is the key for stability in this area.

"Peace can only be attained through a solution to the Palestinian cause and the full restoration of Arab rights by fully implementing all Security Council resolutions," Mikati said, adding that justice should be selective.

He called on the European Union to help Lebanon demarcate the water border and economic zone to ensure Lebanon's best economic interests.

For her part, Ashton expressed understanding to the Lebanese position in respect to some of the issues in the Middle East and most notably those related to Syria.

But the European official emphasized at the same time that Lebanon should abide by all Security Council resolutions.

She added that the Arab League has a major role in solving Middle East problems and assist in the transformation of the Arab world to a new era.

O.H

NNA 2011 All rights reserved


News from 4 October 2011 till 15 October 2011  -----   News from 15 October till 24 October 2011 - News from 25 October till 8 November 2011