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MEA And The USA  
User currently offlineCedars747 From Norway, joined Dec 2005, 2721 posts, RR: 19
Posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 2695 times:

I can't understand why MEA Middle East Airlines of Lebanon can't have the right to fly to USA and Canada.I know,many will answer "bcs of terrorism " others "bcs of the Marines killed in BEY"ect.....why MEA can fly to France knowing that French soldiers where also killed in BEY,same goes for British....that's history by the way ,in war people die !I really don't get it ...Royal Jordanian will soon fly twice a day to the US with a lot of Lebanese on board ,is it fair that MEA can't have a little piece of the cake? can anyone explain to me please!
Alex!!!


Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !
21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineWingsoffaith78 From United States of America, joined Feb 2006, 14 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 2674 times:

how is politics BS sound to you simple and clean

User currently offlineMarkATL From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 539 posts, RR: 8
Reply 2, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2569 times:

The policy does seem outdated, especially now that the Syrians are out.


"...left my home in Georgia, 'n headed for the "Frisco" Bay...
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 3, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2562 times:

Cedars747,

This has been discussed a number of times in the past.

It's not a ban specifically against MEA. It's a ban against all direct flights between the US and Lebanon and it was placed during the civil war and again, for purely political reasons.

Maybe they will lift the ban in the few years, who knows what will happen.

MEA has a codeshare agreement with Air France soley for this reason. Together, the two airlines operate three daily flights between CDG and BEY.

Air France flies a daily 777-300ER to Beirut (the only destination in the Middle East to get AF 773ERs) while MEA flies a daily A321-200 and a daily A330-200.

That's 709 seats daily.

MEA also has interline agreements with several US carriers.

My family just booked an itinerary through United Airlines that includes a segment operated by MEA (LHR-BEY-LHR).

By the way, MEA does have ticket offices in New York and Los Angeles. They will book you a complete itinerary from the US to Beirut.

In Canada, they have ticket offices in Toronto and Montreal.

[Edited 2006-04-02 09:22:34]


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineCedars747 From Norway, joined Dec 2005, 2721 posts, RR: 19
Reply 4, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 2532 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 3):
By the way, MEA does have ticket offices in New York and Los Angeles. They will book you a complete itinerary from the US to Beirut.

In Canada, they have ticket offices in Toronto and Montreal.

That's why i can't get it. Why no flights?
Alex !!!

[Edited 2006-04-02 10:39:53]


Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !
User currently offlineOD720 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2003, 1924 posts, RR: 33
Reply 5, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2517 times:

Quoting Wingsoffaith78 (Reply 1):
how is politics BS sound to you simple and clean

Very well said indeed!


User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24834 posts, RR: 46
Reply 6, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2515 times:

While I dont want to get into political discussions much of the US restrictions on Lebanon has to do with Iranian backed Hezbollah, a UN recognized terrorist organisation having partial control over security at Beirut's Airport.

While Hezbollah has a political wing "Party of God", until its militias are fully disarmed, and the group moves away from openly supporting terrorism and the destruction of Israel, the US is unlikely to soften its stance.


Here is a Reuters article on the subject only a few days ago;
http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/news...b937a44e4dc0ad176630a75756dfed.htm



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineCedars747 From Norway, joined Dec 2005, 2721 posts, RR: 19
Reply 7, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2508 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 6):
UN recognized terrorist organisation having partial control over security at Beirut's Airport.

So why AF and others fly to BEY ?
Alex!!!



Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !
User currently offlineMarkATL From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 539 posts, RR: 8
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2483 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 6):
UN recognized terrorist organisation having partial control over security at Beirut's Airport.

Where is that stated in the article? If that's the official reason, it's pretty weak and hypocriticle. Under that criteria I gues air service to Saudia Arabia, The Philipines, Columbia, Malaysia, India and Pakistan (think Kashmire), etc. should all be cut.

[Edited 2006-04-02 17:48:40]


"...left my home in Georgia, 'n headed for the "Frisco" Bay...
User currently offlineME AVN FAN From Switzerland, joined May 2002, 13920 posts, RR: 25
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2443 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 6):
organisation having partial control over security at Beirut's Airport.

isn't that simply nonsense ? They never had control, not even partial, over security at Beirut Airport. Who is distributing such stories ? OK, again, during the civil war, matters were different.


User currently offlineCedars747 From Norway, joined Dec 2005, 2721 posts, RR: 19
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 2443 times:

Quoting MarkATL (Reply 8):
Where is that stated in the article? If that's the official reason, it's pretty weak and hypocriticle. Under that criteria I gues air service to Saudia Arabia, The Philipines, Columbia, Malaysia, India and Pakistan (think Kashmire), etc. should all be cut.

Verry well said !
That 's my point of view.Why Lebanon has to pay for all ?
Alex!!!



Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2376 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 6):
While I dont want to get into political discussions much of the US restrictions on Lebanon has to do with Iranian backed Hezbollah, a UN recognized terrorist organisation having partial control over security at Beirut's Airport.

I sincerely hope this is a late April Fools joke.

Security at the airport is controled by a division of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) which works under the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities.

Hezbollah has absolutely nothing to do with controling security at the airport. Whoever told you this either a) doesn't know what he is talking about b) is lying to you.

All security employees working in Beirut airport are legal government employees of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) working under and taking orders from the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities.

Around the airport premises, the Lebanese Army maintains a checkpoint into the entrance of the airport and mans several security bunkers around the airport. The Lebanese Army work under the Ministry of National Defense.

And by the way, the UN does not recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. They recognize it as a militia, but they have not placed it in their list of terrorist organizations.

And while we're on the topic of security, Beirut airport has been ranked as among the best airports in the world, both regionally and internationally, for its security by the ICAO (A UN organization) during an audit conducted in February:

Jalal Haidar, president of Aviation Security for ICAO said: "Rafik Hariri International Airport is one of the best airports in the world in terms of its design. There is also evidence that its security standards are among the best regionally and internationally."

He added that the security and administration teams are "highly competent and have great experience."

Haidar said that ICAO had recently conducted a security evaluation at the airport, and the results were encouraging.

Shawq added: "The results and recommendations of the conference will positively reflect on the status of our airports and countries here in the Arab world, and the conference organizers believe that Lebanon has taken an important step in ensuring safe air travel."

He also noted that Lebanon's airport "will undoubtedly benefit from this conference because there will be a unified network of information between the Arab countries."

Next week, an ICAO team will arrive in Beirut to do a follow-up on Lebanon's compliance with international safety standards.


http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article....n_id=1&categ_id=3&article_id=22150

It's considered a role model for other airports around the world who are working to improve their security measures.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8052 posts, RR: 54
Reply 12, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2372 times:

Quoting Cedars747 (Reply 10):
That 's my point of view.Why Lebanon has to pay for all ?

Because unlike countries like Colombia, Uzbekistan or the Philippines, the Lebanese wouldn't tolerate US military action on their soil, which is why the US Marines suffered their highest ever post-WW2 death toll in Beirut: 241 killed. The Americans are like small children when stuff like this happens, and they are sulking to this very day, in a different century. Lies about Hezbollah (who are in any case a legit political party whose military wing liberated south Lebanon from another brutal and unlawful occupier) controlling Beirut airport are proof of what a disgrace the US State Dept are. See also: Air Canada being forbidden to start flights to BEY.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineCedars747 From Norway, joined Dec 2005, 2721 posts, RR: 19
Reply 13, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2366 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 11):
Security at the airport is controled by a division of the Internal Security Forces (ISF) which works under the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities.

Thanks BA for this amazing info.......People should know every thing about the situation at Rafik Hariri International Airport
Many people ignore the reality ,they still thinking about BEY of the 80's
Alex!!!



Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !
User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24834 posts, RR: 46
Reply 14, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2361 times:

Again, I dont like to discuss politics on this board, however its important to understand the back ground to the lack of air service between the US and Lebanon.

Quoting MarkATL (Reply 8):
Where is that stated in the article? If that's the official reason, it's pretty weak and hypocriticle. Under that criteria I gues air service to Saudia Arabia, The Philipines, Columbia, Malaysia, India and Pakistan (think Kashmire), etc. should all be cut.

U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559 renewed in 2004, amongst other things, requires Hezbollah and local militias to be disbanded.

As far as the countries you listed have central governments that do not include members of recognized terrorist organisations, such as with the case of Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Quoting ME AVN FAN (Reply 9):
isn't that simply nonsense ? They never had control, not even partial, over security at Beirut Airport

The connection is via Hezbollah being part in the current government of Lebanon, and ability to exert control over things such as the airport. (For instance who/how is vetting done for airport access ID's?)
In addition its own militias on whim could likely operate with little resistance from the Lebanese army if they wished to act at/around the airport.


While I agree Lebanon has come a long way, and is on its way to regaining previous title of "Paris of the Middle East", there are still many thorny issues that must be addressed before Lebanon can expect full political and commercial ties.

And don't think the US, is the only country with such hard views on Hezbollah. In 2004 its liberal neighbor to the North, Canada enacted legislation recognizing Hezbollah as a terrorist organisation and making membership in such illegal in Canada.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 15, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2341 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 14):
Again, I dont like to discuss politics on this board, however its important to understand the back ground to the lack of air service between the US and Lebanon.

You say you don't want to discuss politics on this board, but you've already turned this thread into a political discussion.

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 14):
The connection is via Hezbollah being part in the current government of Lebanon, and ability to exert control over things such as the airport. (For instance who/how is vetting done for airport access ID's?)

Hezbollah is not itself the government. They are one of MANY parties that have a certain number of seats in parliament.

They have only 13 of the 128 seats of the parliament.

The largest party is the Current for the Future led by Saad Hariri. They hold 36 of the 128 seats in parliament.

What you are saying is the equivalent of saying that because the Democrats are part of the US government, they have the ability to exert control over security at US airports, specifically the Democrat party.

No country in the world would tolerate allowing flights to an airport that has its security controled by a non-government or non-government authorized entity. Plain and simple.

Security at every single government facility in Lebanon (the airport being a government facility), is controled by official security government employees only.

Security at the Presidential Palace id controled by the Republican Guard Brigade, a special branch of the Lebanese Army that travels with the president wherever he goes.

Security at other government buildings such as the parliament, the Grand Serail (Prime Minister's and Cabinets offices) is controled by the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

There are only two agencies that control security at government buildings, either the Lebanese Army which operates under the Ministry of Defense or the Internal Security Forces (ISF) which operates under the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities.

Two independent government branches.

You might as well be saying the Irish Republican Army controls security at Irish airports.

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 14):
In addition its own militias on whim could likely operate with little resistance from the Lebanese army if they wished to act at/around the airport.

Only if they wanted to start a bloodbath which isn't in the interest of anyone.

Particularly since now Hezbollah is a legal party that holds seats in the parliament. They're a legal party.

A confrontation between Hezbollah and the Lebanese Army could only happen if the country falls back into civil war (God forbid). Infact, if the country falls back into civil war, the Lebanese Army itself would disintegrate.

You seem to have the impression that Lebanon is like Somalia and is in a state of anarchy. I'm sorry, but this is far from true, especially now that the Syrians are out.

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 14):
While I agree Lebanon has come a long way, and is on its way to regaining previous title of "Paris of the Middle East", there are still many thorny issues that must be addressed before Lebanon can expect full political and commercial ties.

Lebanon has full political and commercial ties with every country in the world (except Israel).

The US doesn't have any sanctions on Lebanon. It's only a ban on direct flights and was placed by the hardline Reagan Administration during the civil war.

Foreign investment in Lebanon has never been higher. This past weekend, a $600 million project in central Beirut was launched, and two projects worth $1.5 billion will be announced very soon.

http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story...ticle=139688&Sn=BUSI&IssueID=29013
http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/Story...ticle=139610&Sn=BUSI&IssueID=29012

Now can we please get back on topic?

[Edited 2006-04-02 21:08:43]


"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
User currently offlineLaxintl From United States of America, joined May 2000, 24834 posts, RR: 46
Reply 16, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 15):
Now can we please get back on topic?

Sure, MEA will not operate to the US until the political issues surrounding Hezbollah, its militia, support of terrorism, the financial backing by Iran, and continued calls for the destruction of Israel by are resolved, along with the bigger picture of ensuring Lebanon is on a stable path to peace.

Like it or not, they are interlinked.

Quoting BA (Reply 15):
Foreign investment in Lebanon has never been higher

Glad to hear it.

Again, dont take my comments as an ignorant or naive poster. I've been to and enjoyed Lebanon on more then one occasion, however have a strong but yet pragmatic understanding, having grown up around the world being member of the diplomatic community (not US btw).

I truly wish the best for Lebanon, and glad to see MEA back on its feet after the decades long suffering it has endured.



From the desert to the sea, to all of Southern California
User currently offlineYyz717 From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 16245 posts, RR: 56
Reply 17, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 2315 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 16):
Sure, MEA will not operate to the US until the political issues surrounding Hezbollah, its militia, support of terrorism, the financial backing by Iran, and continued calls for the destruction of Israel by are resolved, along with the bigger picture of ensuring Lebanon is on a stable path to peace.

These are valid reasons to keep MEA out of North America.

Moreover, I would prefer that the EU and the rest of the civilized West ban MEA for the same reasons until Lebanon can clean up its act.

I really don't see the advantage of ANY Western ties to Lebanon given its de facto control by Syria, support of terrorism, the deaths of the Marines in the 1980's and their refusal to recognize Israel.



Panam, TWA, Ansett, Eastern.......AC next? Might be good for Canada.
User currently offlineNYCFlyer From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1387 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2290 times:

Quoting BA (Reply 3):
Cedars747,

This has been discussed a number of times in the past.

It's not a ban specifically against MEA. It's a ban against all direct flights between the US and Lebanon and it was placed during the civil war and again, for purely political reasons.

This is not the only historical anachronism in the U.S. stance towards Lebanon. U.S. State Department employees assigned to the Embassy in Beirut live under the strictest living regulations of any city in the world (except Baghdad/Kabul). They can't even go to the bathroom without security following them inside. They aren't allowed out past 10pm (which is hell when you live in a nightlife-rich city). Canadians, Australians, Brits all have full freedoms. All State Dept. staff I know there are royally p-o'd, but changes in security are slow in the making.

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 14):
While I agree Lebanon has come a long way, and is on its way to regaining previous title of "Paris of the Middle East",

There is no "on its way." Beirut HAS fully recovered its title the Paris of the Middle East. Beautiful city, great people, totally safe. Go there sometime.


User currently offlineCedars747 From Norway, joined Dec 2005, 2721 posts, RR: 19
Reply 19, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 2290 times:

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 17):
Moreover, I would prefer that the EU and the rest of the civilized West ban MEA for the same reasons until Lebanon can clean up its act.

The EU realise that the USA is acting unfairly with Lebanon,and you can see the results,most airlines of Europe and the rest of the civilized world as you said have daily flights to BEY and MEA fly to many destinasions around the world
Alex!!!

[Edited 2006-04-02 21:57:47]


Tengo una pasion por la aviacion !لدي شغف للطيران !I have a passion for aviation !
User currently offlineMEA From Australia, joined Jan 2001, 631 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 11 hours ago) and read 2201 times:

Quoting Cedars747 (Reply 19):
I really don't see the advantage of ANY Western ties to Lebanon given its de facto control by Syria, support of terrorism, the deaths of the Marines in the 1980's and their refusal to recognize Israel.

Why don't we just ban EK, SV, SU, RJ, LY et al for having people who support or finance terrorism in those carriers respective countries?

Come to think of it, didn't the American government support Saddam, the Taliban and numerous other leaders and countries involved in dubious activities. Why don't we impose a blanket ban on every American airline flying into Europe. I have a better idea, let's ban Air Canada too, you guys are part of the USA aren't you?

Why don't you take a trip to Lebanon and find out what the place is really like. What happened in the 80s is history and Lebanon is looking to the future. Hence, Syria's exit from the country and the current political climate where the country is working on re-building politically, mentally and physically.

Isolation does no country any favours just look at what happened in Afghanistan and Iraq and the current situation with Iran and what ever happened to North Korea?

MEA's acceptance into SkyTeam should see it's relationship with Europe and the rest of the West only strengthen.


User currently offlineBA From United States of America, joined May 2000, 11153 posts, RR: 59
Reply 21, posted (8 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2107 times:

Quoting Laxintl (Reply 16):
Sure, MEA will not operate to the US until the political issues surrounding Hezbollah, its militia, support of terrorism, the financial backing by Iran, and continued calls for the destruction of Israel by are resolved, along with the bigger picture of ensuring Lebanon is on a stable path to peace.

Like it or not, they are interlinked.

Actually, I don't entirely agree with this.

US-Lebanese relations have been consistently improving for the past year, despite the issue of Hezbollah, and the reason why they have been improving is because of the new government that is in place.

The US increased aid to Lebanon in 2005 and is going to be supplying even more aid in 2006 through the USAID program as a result of new agreements signed with the Lebanese government.

The same has been happening with the EU.

MEA has not signaled any interest in launching flights to North America which is why there haven't been any talks about signing for air service agreements to permit direct flights between the two countries. In a few years, the ban on direct flights may be lifted, and it doesn't necessarily have to be contingent on resolving the status of Hezbollah as has been evident in the change in relations over the past year.

Time will tell, but you seem to be linking Hezbollah into the equation far too deeply and I disagree with this. One year ago, I would have agreed with you, but the political climate between the US and Lebanon is now completely different.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 17):
These are valid reasons to keep MEA out of North America.

You don't have to hide how much you hate MEA and Lebanon. You've shown it in the past.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 17):
Moreover, I would prefer that the EU and the rest of the civilized West ban MEA for the same reasons until Lebanon can clean up its act.

Dream on, it's not going to happen. Out of all the countries in the Arab world, Lebanon is the one with the closest relations with the European Union.

Lebanon receives more European dignitaries than any other Arab country.

Yesterday, the EU-Lebanon Association Agreement, which was signed in summer 2002, ratified by all member states last February, and came into full effect yesterday!

You can read about it here:
http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/lebanon/intro/ag.htm

In addition to the above agreement, Lebanon has been a member of the Euro-Med partnership since 2003.

Lebanon also has entered into a free trade agreement with the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), which consists of Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland (the prosperous non-EU states).

http://secretariat.efta.int/Web/Exte...Relations/PartnerCountries/Lebanon

Lebanon is scheduled to ascend into the World Trade Organization (WTO) later this year after having been an observer member since 1999.
http://www.wto.org/english/theWTO_e/acc_e/a1_liban_e.htm

On an aviation related note, Lebanon is the first country in the region to sign an open skies policy with the EU. It was signed in November 2004.

Lebanon has historically always been the Arab country with the warmest relations with Europe, especially France because of the colonial ties.

It's the most western country in the Arab world. It's even more westernized than Turkey.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 17):
I really don't see the advantage of ANY Western ties to Lebanon given its de facto control by Syria

It seems like you haven't been following the news. Lebanon is no longer "de facto controled" by Syria. Syrian troops withdrew in April under pressure and elections were held in May which completely revamped the parliament which now consists of an anti-Syrian majority.

These elections were monitored by international observers are were said to be completely 100% free.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 17):
support of terrorism

Lebanon doesn't support terrorism and consistently has been arresting suspected terrorist and has arrested several Al-Qaeda and suspected Al-Qaeda members in the past.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 17):
the deaths of the Marines in the 1980's

In the 1975-1990 civil war, more than 200,000 people were killed, besides the marines.

Wars are ugly. In wars people day.

If the majority of Lebanese had your mentality, they would still be slaughtering each other.

I'm thankful that the Lebanese have learned to forget and move on.

Quoting Yyz717 (Reply 17):
and their refusal to recognize Israel.

Lebanon will not recognize Israel until the Palestinian/Israeli crisis is solved, which is of great interest to Lebanon as there are 400,000 Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Lebanon is a sovereign nation and is free to make its own decisions about various issues, including relations with Israel.

Any country that is not a puppet state of the west is considered "uncivilized" and evil to you.

Quoting NYCFlyer (Reply 18):
This is not the only historical anachronism in the U.S. stance towards Lebanon. U.S. State Department employees assigned to the Embassy in Beirut live under the strictest living regulations of any city in the world (except Baghdad/Kabul). They can't even go to the bathroom without security following them inside. They aren't allowed out past 10pm (which is hell when you live in a nightlife-rich city). Canadians, Australians, Brits all have full freedoms. All State Dept. staff I know there are royally p-o'd, but changes in security are slow in the making.

This is very true. If you've seen the new embassy compound area in the Beirut Central District, it is just a regular ordinary compound with security comparable to other embassies around the world.

The Italian embassy is right on Nejmeh square, the heart of the city where there are cafes, restaurants, retail stores, etc.

It's only the US embassy that has such strict security and regulations.

Interestingly, the US is building a new embassy in Baabda, near the Presidential Palace, so the current one in Awkar will eventually be closed down.

Quoting MEA" class=quote target=_blank>MEA (Reply 20):
MEA's acceptance into SkyTeam should see it's relationship with Europe and the rest of the West only strengthen.

There are 709 seats daily between Beirut and Paris on three flights (2 on MEA and 1 on Air France).

Beirut being the only Middle East destination in the Air France network to receive the 777-300ER is also reflective of the close relationship between Lebanon and Europe, specifically France.

MEA's close partnership with Air France, which they've had since 1998 is the reason why they will be joining SkyTeam as an associate member. Air France is sponsoring them.

In the future, this will hopefully lead to even better connection opportunities to North and South America.



"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
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