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Following the cabinet session at the Baabda palace Information Minister Tarek Mitri briefed the media as follows on the issues that were discussed:

World cup – Football ( Soccer)

An agreement was reached between Al-Jazeera television and the syndicates of restaurant and hotel owners to broadcast World Cup matches in their establishments.

Mitri voiced hope that a similar agreement would be reached with Al-Jazeera to allow people to watch the matches at home without any additional charge.

2010 Budget

The cabinet discussed several clauses of the draft 2010 state budget law. The remaining clauses would be addressed in a cabinet session on Tuesday.

Progress has been achieved thanks to the meeting earlier in the day between Finance Minister Rayya al-Hassan and Telecommunications Minister Charbel Nahhas. Both ministers made useful proposals .

Suleiman’s visit to Syria

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman briefed the cabinet on his planned visit to Damascus on June 15 for a Lebanese-Syrian summit.

Official exams

Education Minister Hassan Mneimneh briefed the cabinet regarding his negotiations with public secondary school teachers over their proposed boycott of the grading of official exams. This comes after the teachers last week threatened not to grade the exams unless their pay-raise demands were met.

The cabinet agreed to reject any attempts by the teachers to refuse to grade of the exams agreed to hold the Teachers Union responsible

Regional Strategic Cooperation

The ministers examined the draft agreement and suggested amendments to the agreement that will be presented to the Supreme Council for Strategic Cooperation between Lebanon, Jordan, Syria and Turkey.

Iran sanctions

The cabinet is undecided regarding Lebanon’s position regarding the proposed sanction resolution the US is expected to present to the UN Security Council later in the week. “I do not know when the cabinet will meet to discuss it, although it is a matter of great importance,” Mitri added.

According to observers Lebanon may abstain from voting due to the pressure from Hezbollah which is backed by Iran. Observers are of the opinion that if Lebanon votes for the sanctions, Hezbollah could repeat the May 2008 uprising. In May 2008 Hezbollah occupied the western part of Beirut and tried to occupy the Druze stronghold of Mt Lebanon.

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