Lebanese press round-up: April 6, 2012

Press round-up for Friday, April 6th from the morning edition of Lebanon’s An-Nahar, Al-Akhbar, As-Safir, and Ad-Diyar newspapers.

Note: There is no press round-up on Sundays

  • Opening Titles

A group possibly targeted Geagea, according to investigations

Two Turkish power-generating ships…. “Without commissions?”

  • Local News

Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said that “the attempt to assassinate Geagea was serious based on investigations carried out by the security agencies” associated with the ministry of interior.

Sources taking part in the investigation into Geagea’s murder, told An-Nahar that experts from the Internal Security Forces discovered the holes which were caused by the two bullets, in addition to the traces they left on the wall in Maarab. The experts sent the bullets’ traces to the forensic laboratory to determine the type of the rifle or two rifles from which the bullets were shot.

Although the sources confirmed that the wrongdoers did not leave the bullets’ cartridges in the wooden area, they casted doubts on the possibility of the gunfire being produced electronically, or electrically. The sources added that modern sniper rifles do not recoil upon firing and the professional snipers who use them can aim at their target with precision.

The sources denied that Fatah al-Islam militants could have used such sophisticated sniper rifles, adding that that Fatah al-Islam’s weapons were old.

It was known that the General Secretariat of the March 14 forces started preparing for holding an all-encompassing meeting in Maarab next week to condemn the attempt to assassinate Geagea and to discuss the latest developments.

A long meeting for the ministerial committee tasked with discussing the issue of renting power-generating ships put a hypothetical end to the disagreement that erupted between Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Energy Minister Gebran Bassil and Minister of Finance Mohammad al-Safadi over this subject.

Following the committee’s meeting, it was announced that an agreement was reached with the Turkish company “Karadeniz” to rent two ships that can generate 270 Megawatts after the company lowered its price by 9 percent. Meanwhile, US Company “Raymarine” was excluded after it refused to lower its price and since it is incapable of providing the ships before seven months.

  • Opening Titles

CIA recruiting Lebanese students in US universities

Geagea: I am the living martyr

  • Local News

Al-Akhbar said that a network of Lebanese students decided to gather Lebanese clubs in US universities and “safeguard the interests of the students and provide job opportunities for them” through “introduction sessions” run and funded by the CIA in order to turn those students into spies.

The security investigations did not show anything new in the “assassination attempt” against head of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea.

While the debates continue on the truth [behind] what happened, it appears that this was not the first time Geagea announced that he miraculously escaped an assassination attempt.

  • Opening Titles

Annan hopes [for] the cease of violence at 6 am on April 12 and the Security Council supports his plan

Damascus: The withdrawal from cities [would happen] on the condition arming and funding [for rebels] are stopped

  • Local News

A Syrian official accused yesterday Arab and regional countries of nurturing a civil war in Syria, pointing out that the stances of some countries serve as a declaration of war and aggression against Syria, accusing these countries of working to abort the mission of the UN and the Arab League’s envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan.

He clarified that the withdrawal of Syrian security forces from cities [would happen] on a condition that Annan’s plan is [implemented, through asking the countries that are arming and funding to stop arming and funding, and that Annan guarantees that.”

The official,  who requested anonymity during his interviews with journalists in Damascus, said that Annan, Syria and many other countries wish to make the plan of the international envoy succeed, but “this is not the stance of all countries,” in a reference to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and also the United States.

Annan, who will be visiting Teheran on April 11, said that the Syrian authorities informed him that they began to gradually withdraw the forces from three cities, but the reports still show that the level of victims in Syria is “disturbing.”

Annan stressed before the UN General Assembly via a video [conference] in Geneva, that “the Syrian army and the gunmen must stop all kinds of violence acts by 6 am on April 12 Syrian time if the government abided by the final date to stop the fighting on April 10.”

  • Opening Titles

Charbel: What happened was an assassination attempt…March 8 doubted the story

The efforts failed… Al-Rai did not call and delegated Sayah

Geagea satisfied with the investigation and Lebanese Forces displeased with Aounist movement’s campaign

  • Local News

Minister of Interior Marwan Charbel confirmed that the “forensic investigators were able to determine the place used to target the leader of the Lebanese Forces Samir Geagea” and considered what happened an assassination attempt.

Some sources affiliated with majority parties downplayed the story and the information Geagea gave about the accident, and they stressed that the story and data were fabricated and a crime movie. The sources pointed out that claims that Geagea’s role was targeted are unreasonable.

Efforts made by a former Maronite minister failed to break the ice between Rai and Geagea due to their recent standpoints. The minister did not succeed in convincing Rai to telephone Geagea to congratulate him for his safety and only delegated his aide Bishop Ibrahim Sayah to make a congratulatory phone call to Geagea.

It was known that Geagea received a phone call from Berri, who congratulated him on his safety. What was remarkable was that no phone calls took place between Geagea and Aoun, and none of the officials affiliated with Aoun’s movement contacted Maarab.

Geagea announced that he is pleased with the efforts made by the security agencies and he pointed out that the surveillance system at Maarab revealed that those responsible for the murder attempt shot the bullets from a distance of 4 kilometers, adding that those who were monitoring Geagea’s residence seemed to have worked independently from the those who carried out the mission on the ground. Geagea also said that Maarab’s security was not infiltrated as some have claimed.