The following are a selection of stories from Lebanese newspapers that may be of interest to The Daily Star readers. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
Christian attempts to dissuade Rai from visiting occupied lands
An ‘all-inclusive compromise’ after May 25?
Several officials will boycott the National Dialogue Session, the last before the term of President Michel Sleiman expires on May 25, March 8 sources said.
Hezbollah MP Mohammed Raad, Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, Marada movement leader MP Suleiman Frangieh, the head of the Syrian Socialist Nationalist Party, MP Assaad Hardan, as well as MP Talal Arslan, who heads the Lebanese Democratic Party, are expected to skip the Dialogue.
March 8 officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, described the Dialogue as “useless” and said that Sleiman’s term was over.
They said it would be better for the president not to hold this session.
As for the fate of Dialogue after Sleiman’s term ends, sources said Speaker Nabih Berri might take over the Dialogue initiative, as he did in 2006.
Sources said the Dialogue would seek to find an all-inclusive compromise that includes the posts of president, prime minister, and the parliamentary elections’ law.
Rai to An-Nahar: Criticizing the visit is shameful and ineffective
Lebanese forces MP George Adwan will hand Monday in the study conducted by the parliamentary committee of the wage hike draft bill.
Parliamentary sources said a session to address the wage hike would be held Thursday or Friday of this week and that Speaker Nabih Berri is set to call for the Parliament session in less than 48 hours.
Meanwhile, Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai slammed critics of his visit to Occupied Jerusalem and said “there is no need for all this fuss in Lebanon.”
Diplomatic sources said that Israel has informed the Vatican that it has some conditions for the patriarch’s visit to the Holy Land, mostly having to do with his statement that he would not shake hands with any Israeli officials.
Israel might send an Israeli delegation to visit Rai to embarrass him and push him to reconsider his stance on Israel after the visit.
Aoun informs Hezbollah: Relieved over communication with Hariri
Contacts over the presidential election continue among political rivals. Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil met Hezbollah’s top security official, Wafik Safa, and informed him of the results of his latest meeting with former Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Paris.
Bassil informed Safa that the Free Patriotic Movement leadership is optimistic over contacts with the Future Movement. Safa responded that Hezbollah would be happy for the reassurance of its ally.
Gemayel announces candidacy today
Kataeb party leader Amin Gemayel is expected on Monday to officially announce his candidacy for the presidency.
The announcement will take place after the weekly meeting of the party's politburo at its headquarters in Saifi and following planned talks with Metn MP Michel al-Murr.
Kataeb officials said that Gemayel has received the support of Speaker Nabih Berri and National Struggle Front head MP Walid Jumblatt.
The officials said there was a need to find an alternative to the candidacy of Lebanese Forces chief Samir Geagea, who is Gemayel's ally in the March 14 alliance. They also said Gemayel needs to gain the support of his March 14 allies.