Lebanon News

Lebanon's Arabic press digest – Aug. 29, 2014

Lebanon's Arabic press digest.

The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.


Obama dispatches Kerry to region to form anti-ISIS alliance

Diplomatic efforts intensified Thursday to stop the advance by ISIS militants who have killed dozens of Syrian soldiers in captivity trying to withdraw from the perimeter of Tabqa airfield in the Raqqa province.

U.S. President Barack Obama has dispatched Secretary of State John Kerry to the Middle East to build a regional alliance to confront terrorist like ISIS.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk told Al-Joumhouria that he would visit Gen. Michel Aoun to discuss the “serious situation” in Arsal.


Berri stands united ‘in Cabinet’ with electricity contract workers

Prime Minister Tammam Salam touched upon the electricity issue during a Cabinet meeting Thursday, highlighting the negative impact of the protests of electricity contract workers on the electric utility.

Ministerial sources said Transportation Minister Ghazi Zeaiter, member of Speaker Nabih Berri’s parliamentary bloc, expressed his solidarity with the contract workers during the Cabinet meeting.

“We have to apply the law, which provides for making these contract workers full-time employees and close this case," Zeaiter was quoted as telling the Cabinet.

Change and Reform bloc member, Energy Minister Artur Nazarian, reiterated his coalition’s rejection of the contract workers’ demands.


U.S. backing, Saudi-French contract finalized

Two most important developments in the coming hours and days are the arrival of a large-scale U.S. assistance to the Lebanese Army and overcoming most of the obstacles that have delayed a French arms deal as part of a $3 billion Saudi grant to bolster Lebanon's military capabilities.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam said contacts were ongoing to pave the way for a speedy action toward the $3billion Saudi grant, whereas the most recent $1 billion Saudi grant was already being used.

Salam said he would convene two Cabinet sessions Tuesday and Thursday and announced he would visit Qatar and the UAE.


Jumblatt promotes Obeid

Al-Akhbar has learned that MP Walid Jumblatt has recommended the election of former Minister Jean Obeid as Lebanon’s next president.

Jumblatt told several officials involved in the presidential election issue that he still backs Progressive Socialist Party candidate Henry Helou, but acknowledged that “in the end everyone will have to choose a consensus candidate” after the withdrawal of MP Michel Aoun and Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea.

Jumblatt supports Obeid because he believes he could garner everyone’s support.

Bkirki reportedly did not mind or put a veto on Obeid.





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