Beirut - Two issues are the focus of the media in Lebanon: The paragraph dealing with Hezbollah arms in the ministerial policy statement and the dispute between Interior minister Ziad Baroud and ISF Director General Ashraf Rifi over discharging Police Brigadier Antoine Chakkour for disobeying orders
March 14 Christian ministers are insisting that the paragraph that deals with the resistance in the ministerial policy statement should include a statement that restricts the authority of declaration of war and peace to the state while the Hezbollah-led Shiite ministers are completely opposed to the idea .
In 2006 Hezbollah was criticized for initiating the war with Israel without consulting with the government. This is the reason behind March 14 Christian ministers’ action.
This is all related to the conflicting 2 states that exist in Lebanon ... The state of Lebanon vs the Hezbollah state
The dispute between Baroud and Rifi is an administrative matter that is being politicized . Rifi who is considered pro- March 14 has fired a pro -March 8 police officer , Antoine Chakkour, for disobeying orders without consulting with his boss , minister Baroud. This dispute is creating a 3 way split of the country ?the opposition is supporting Chakkour, March 14 is supporting Rifi and the centrists are supporting Baroud.
All these disputes are taking place on the eve of the independence day. Sunday , November 22 Lebanon celebrates its 66th anniversary of its Independence .
2:00pm President Michel Suleiman received cables on the occasion of independence day from Pope Benedict XVI and other world leaders.
1:55pm The Lebanese army command said the military opened anti-aircraft fire on an Israeli drone flying over Bint Jbeil on Saturday morning.
1:20pm Jumblatt called Baroud and stressed on the importance of respecting ranks inside Lebanese state institutions.
1:14pm MP Hani Qobaisi: Lebanon can only live through partnership and unity.
12:42pm MP Ammar Houry told al-Jadeed: We are in the stage of reshaping constitutional institutions.
11:42 MP Alain Aoun told Radio Free Lebanon: There is Lebanese consensus to take the issue of resistance arms to the dialogue table.
11:30 Minister Hussein Mneimneh: Dialogue is the foundation to resolve all differences. Reconciliations are one of the national unity government’s priorities.
11:28 MP Ahmad Fatfat said that politicizing the conflict between Ziad Baroud and ISF
Director General Ashraf Rifi over discharging Police Brigadier Antoine Chakkour for disobeying orders is unbeneficial
10:30 MP Elie Marouni told Future News: If the issue of Hezbollah’s arms will be discussed on the national dialogue table, then it should not be mentioned in the policy statement.
10:00 Minister Michel Pharaon told LBC: Discussions on the arms issue are focusing on the right of the state to decide on war and peace. The ministerial statement will see light in the next few days and will be similar to its predecessor.
9:59 Al-Sayegh: The policy statement should have a reference to a strong state.
8:00am President Michel Suleiman will address the Lebanese on the eve of independence day through direct dialogue with representatives of the press syndicate and journalists accredited to Baabda palace.
11:59 pm Mohamed ElBaradei, the departing chief of the United Nations' nuclear watchdog agency, said Iran's continued refusal to accept tighter scrutiny of its nuclear activities would likely force the international community to impose new sanctions.
10:30 pm As hope fades for an Iran nuclear deal before the end of the year, UN Security Council members discussed possible sanctions at a meeting in Brussels.
10:10 pm Al-Manar television Judicial Police Commander General Anwar Yehya said that evidence in the death of a mother, Grace Jalkh, and her three daughters in Bhersaf-Metn on Wednesday night points points to to a suicide. According to Yehya, the mother willingly poisoned a fruit salad, which she fed to her children and proceeded to consume herself.
9:00 pm Reuters: Herman Van Rompuy's appointment as the first European Union president provoked fears in Turkey that he might hinder Ankara's hopes of joining the bloc, with some media declaring outright that he is anti-Turkish.
8:30 pm A UN panel on Friday blasted Iran for "serious, ongoing and recurring" human rights violations, including violence against protesters after the disputed June presidential elections.
8:10 pm OTV : The opposition minsters discussed today the dispute between rifi and Shakour and declared their support for Shakour
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