The roads near the U.N. building in downtown Beirut, ESCWA, were closed and traffic was directed to nearby streets on Friday after reports that the premises could be targeted in an attack similar to the bombings on UNIFIL patrols in the South.
Al-Liwaa daily reported that the road east of the building and another known as the ESCWA tunnel was closed upon a decision by the Internal Security Forces’ head of the Beirut traffic department Brig. Gen. Mohammed al-Ayyoubi.Full Story
U.N. Chief Ban Ki-Moon on Tuesday said that he is interested in seeing the Lebanese government secure the necessary funding for the Special Tribunal for Lebanon.
After meeting PM Najib Miqati in New York , Ki-Moon said that the “U.N. stresses on Lebanon’s stability, prosperity, and unity” adding that the U.N. is satisfied with the cooperation between the Lebanese Army and the UNIFIL.”Full Story
During his meeting with Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Friday, Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi told the premier that he had asked French President Nicolas Sarkozy to convince ex-PM Saad Hariri to return to Beirut and reconcile with Miqati, MTV and LBC television networks reported.
“I am ready for any positive step,” MTV quoted Miqati as telling al-Rahi.Full Story
Prime Minister Najib Miqati on Sunday confirmed remarks attributed to him by a WikiLeaks document about describing Hizbullah as a “tumor,” but stressed that his words were taken out of context and that he had described the Shiite party as a “non-malignant tumor.”
“Everything published by WikiLeaks about me is true, but some remarks were taken out of context. I did describe Hizbullah as a ‘tumor,’ but I stressed that it is a ‘non-malignant tumor’,” Miqati said in an interview on Al-Jadeed television.Full Story
Prime Minister Najib Miqati will probably meet with Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz during his visit to the country to perform the Omra.
Sources told al-Liwaa newspaper on Friday that the Lebanese officials are observing how the official Saudi reception of the PM will be.Full Story
A ministerial meeting held Monday failed to reach a final agreement on an electricity plan suggested by Energy and Water Minister Jebran Bassil, under which $1.2 billion would be earmarked to buy 700 Megawatts of electricity.
“The four-phase plan, which will cost the state $5 billion, should be flawless legally and administratively in order to gain approval,” ministerial sources told LBC television.Full Story
The staff of the U.S. Treasury Department, which is in charge of following up on the financial activities of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s family and entourage, believe that they are getting closer to unveiling a link between Assad’s financial interests and Premier Najib Miqati and his brother Taha, who is also a businessman.
According to a U.S. report to be published Friday by the Kuwaiti daily al-Rai, the set of sanctions recently imposed on Syriatel -- Syria’s largest mobile phone operator owned by Assad’s cousin Rami Makhlouf -- were supposed to be expanded to include either Miqati or his brother Taha for their role in establishing the Syrian firm and introducing the cellphone technology to the Syrian market more than a decade ago.Full Story
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas inaugurated Wednesday the Palestinian embassy in Lebanon and hoisted the Palestinian flag atop its building, after the Lebanese cabinet officially recognized the state of Palestine and approved to raise the level of diplomatic representation with it.
Flanked by Prime Minister Najib Miqati, the Palestinian leader also unveiled a plaque commemorating the event.Full Story
The government faces the biggest test ever of bridging the gap among its different members this week after a dispute erupted over a draft law aimed at granting Energy Minister Jebran Bassil $1.2 billion to build plants to produce 700 Megawatts of electricity.
The cabinet meets at President Michel Suleiman’s summer residence in Beiteddine on Thursday amid threats by MP Michel Aoun’s Free Patriotic Movement to withdraw its ministers from the government over accusations that Premier Najib Miqati contributed to blocking the draft law proposed by Aoun in parliament.Full Story
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is expected to head to Beirut next week to meet with top Lebanese officials, As Safir newspaper reported on Friday.
“Abbas will visit Lebanon on Aug. 16 and 17,” Palestinian sources told the daily.Full Story