Following are summaries of some of the main stories in a selection of Lebanese newspapers Sunday. The Daily Star cannot vouch for the accuracy of these reports.
Hariri welcomes [planned] visit of Pope, says will increase people’s conviction in their country
Last week ended with the continuing aggression by the Assadist regime on Lebanon’s sovereignty, territory, people, institutions and symbols, both directly and through intermediaries, after the uncovering of its terrorist plans to bring strife and extend the fire engulfing it into its neighbor.
Meanwhile, Lebanon entered the stage of preparations for the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the country in the middle of this month. [Former] Prime Minister Saad Hariri said the visit would “increase the conviction of the Lebanese people in the civilized and humane meaning of their nation and its role in this East, and in the importance of the partnership it is based on.”
The Assadist aggression continued amid a silence by the dissociation government as though it weren’t even present.
This stood in stark contrast to President Michel Sleiman, who was officially notified of what had taken place and held a series of calls “that looked into the bombardment of Lebanese areas bordering Syria and discussed with Lebanese Army head Gen. Jean Kahwaji the circumstances surrounding the firing of shells that resulted in the wounding of one Army soldier and damage to several houses and the entrance to Mashaari al-Qaa and the kidnapping of a citizen.
He was also briefed of the steps taken with Syrian officials concerning these operations who vowed to bring to account those who carried out the shelling and apologized over the mistake that took place without the knowledge of the relevant leadership and vowed this would not recur.”
Geagea lifts the banner of ‘Ending remnants of [Syrian] tutelage’
As preparation intensified for the visit to Lebanon by Pope Benedict XVI between Sept. 14 and Sept. 16, the speech by the head of the Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, during the annual commemoration of “Martyrs of the Lebanese resistance” was an important focal point for the March 14 coalition in general and its Christian elements in particular.
In the speech, Geagea referred to “the axis of pure evil – its head in Damascus: its lackeys in Lebanon.”
Geagea launched a scathing attack on this axis in the context of the arrest of former Information Minister Michel Samaha.
He referred to the regime as “the regime of prisons and graves.”
He asked: “Do you see now who the true infidels are? And who is the real Al-Qaeda in Lebanon? Did you clearly see what the alliance of minorities is?”
Siniora contacts Berri and praises him on Sadr commemoration speech
Future parliamentary leader MP Fouad Siniora had a telephone conversation Saturday with Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in which, according to a statement from Siniora’s office, he praised the speaker over the speech he made in Nabatieh Friday for stressing “national and Islamic unity, a rejection of strife and calling for the higher Arab interests.”
Siniora expressed hope “that this speech will be a start for continuing of contacts in the future.”
Sources close to Siniora told Al-Hayat that Siniora had informed Berri that he would visit him soon “for a cup of coffee.”
The sources clarified that the Berri’s most recent stance “stood out in terms of its boldness.”