Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Tuesday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
Qatar ends Lebanon travel warning, receives Mikati
“Ayoub” problem leads to National Dialogue?
Amid a political stalemate as politicians took a break from debate on an election law and the return to hot-button security issues, Qatar made a significant initiative toward Lebanon when Doha received Prime Minister Najib Mikati for the first time since the formation of the current government.
The move was considered to be as good as lifting Qatar’s travel advisory on Lebanon in light of several considerations, notably to help Lebanon overcome the repercussions of the Syria crisis.
The stance was clearly made by Qatar’s Emir during talks with Mikati in Doha Monday.
Reports have it that Qatar pledged to get in touch with the concerned Arab countries in order to push toward ending Gulf travel warnings in Lebanon after a spate of kidnappings.
Circles close to the March 14 coalition cast a cloud of doubt over the fate of National Dialogue at Baabda Palace in light of the repercussions left behind Hezbollah’s launch of a drone over Israel and the ensuing bickering by politicians.
These circles told An-Nahar that none of the March 14 parties intend to boycott the next dialogue session, but raised fears that some may have hidden goals aimed at torpedoing dialogue.
FSA says two Hezbollah members killed, Feltman expresses concerns over “Ayoub” plan
President Michel Sleiman and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri made several stances Monday as Prime Minister Najib Mikati wound up a brief visit to Qatar, which voiced its readiness to make new investments in Lebanon.
Sources close to Mikati told Al-Joumhouria that the visit was the first step toward ending Gulf travel warnings to Lebanon.
Meanwhile, Hezbollah carried on its ferocious campaign against the Future Movement, accusing it of interfering in the Syria crisis.
Hezbollah MP Nawwaf Mousawi, responding to former Prime Minister Fouad Siniora regarding the “Ayoub” drone, said Siniora’s “regressive and defeatist policy against the Zionist enemy allowed hijacking of 850-square kilometers of [Lebanon's] exclusive economic zone and the squandering of tens of billions worth of oil and gas revenues."
Port scandal referred to public prosecutor’s office
Explosive Cabinet meeting Wednesday
Mikati in Qatar, the beginning of breakthrough in Gulf travel warnings
Heated rhetoric between Hezbollah, Future
Charbel: We are waiting for outcome of Roumieh prison probe
Positive signs from Turkey regarding Lebanese hostages
Interior Minister Marwan Charbel told Al-Liwaa that he would take firm legal measures against those who helped three Fatah al-Islam inmates escape Roumieh prison.
Charbel said similar measures would be taken regarding the illegal seizure of billions of dollars at Beirut port by smuggling goods and merchandise without passing them through customs.
He said the port scandal issue was now in the hands of the public prosecutor’s office.
The Cabinet will meet in an ordinary session at the Grand Serail Tuesday afternoon.
However, ministerial sources said a Cabinet meeting scheduled for Wednesday at Baabda Palace to discuss a salary raise is likely to be explosive.
Interior Minister prepares alternative draft law to proportional representation, briefs Berri about it
Growing fears over risk posed by Iran’s calculations for Hezbollah
Political bickering over the Iranian-made drone dispatched by Hezbollah over Israel has remained a major point of contention.
The Central News Agency, citing well-informed sources, said Interior Minister Marwan Charbel – when he prepared an election law at the behest of President Michel Sleiman – had kept in mind other options.
So in this regard he has prepared several other formulas, among them is one that is based on both proportional representation and a majority system which would be carried out in two phases:
First, each sect would be allowed to vote for its MPs. Secondly, the Lebanese would vote for those who got the highest number of votes in Phase 1.
Sources said this formula would strip voting rights from Lebanese expatriates.