Lebanon cabinet to meet today


The National News Agency (NNA) reported on Monday that Prime Minister Saad Hariri returned to Beirut on Sunday night after a three-day visit to Jeddah.

The Lebanese cabinet is reportedly scheduled to convene on Monday at the Baabda Palace to discuss the 2011 state budget and Justice Minister Ibrahim Najjar’s report on the false witnesses case.

Prominent ministerial sources have reportedly told the An Nahar newspaper on Monday that arrest warrants by the Syrian judiciary against a number of Lebanese individuals may end up being the main topic of discussion during the meeting.

The pro-Syrian newspaper As Safir quoted on Monday ministerial sources as saying that Najjar’s report is unlikely to be discusses because the ministers did not receive a copy of it until Sunday night, while protocol demands that they receive it beforehand to properly address it at Cabinet.

Sources close to president Michel Suleiman also expect that the discussion of funding the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will also be delayed until the proper atmosphere for it is available.

Prominent March 14 sources told As Safir that Lebanon is obligated to pay its dues to the STL because it was established under Chapter Seven of the U.N. charter, adding that, legally, it would be incorrect to to subject this issue to a vote or discussion because Lebanon is not free in tackling this matter.

March 14 MPs withdrew from the September 16 evening session of the Parliamentary Budget and Finance Commission to prevent it from reaching a quorum when March 8 MPs called for voting on a 2010 state budget clause pertaining to Lebanon’s funding of the STL.