Following Wednesday’s cabinet meeting at the Grand Serail , State Minister Jean Ogassapian briefed the media
Lebanese- Syrian delegations
Prime Minister Saad Hariri told the ministers that the Lebanese and Syrian delegations will continue to meet until a date is set for the his upcoming visit to Damascus;
(Hariri’s comments comes after Ogassapian headed a delegation to Damascus on Monday to discuss amending current bilateral agreements and signing new treaties).
Hariri described as threats the recent Israeli reports on advanced weaponry possessed by Hezbollah, a reference to the Scud missiles allegedly transferred to the Resistance from Syria. Ogassapian also said that the PM ruled out the possibility of a military confrontation between Hezbollah and Israel.
( Israeli President Shimon Peres accused Damascus last week of providing Hezbollah with the missiles.)
Hariri told the cabinet that he discussed the Israeli threats during his recent visit to Italy. He told Italian officials that Israel must withdraw from all occupied Lebanese territories and stop its threats and daily violations, a possible reference to Israeli flights over Lebanon and other violations of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
“Italian officials share a common point of view with the Lebanese regarding the situation in Lebanon ” the PM said and added that Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi expressed his willingness to encourage Italian investment in Lebanon. The PM also discussed with the Italians the possibility of Italian support for the Lebanese army and security forces.
The cabinet also discussed the upcoming May municipal elections, with Interior Minister Ziad Baroud saying that his ministry is ready to coordinate with the Ministry of Defense on the logistic, administrative and security levels. Baroud told the cabinet that an operation room will be formed to receive all complaints regarding administration and security issues during the elections, the state minister also said.
Baroud told the cabinet that 7000 people have been appointed to work during the voting for the municipal elections along with 15000 security forces.
Lebanese Women married to foreigners
The cabinet approved giving Lebanese women married to foreigners the right to grant their husbands and children after living in Lebanon for a year a three-year residency permit.