- Title: Military parade marks Lebanon Independence Day
- Date: 22nd November 2016
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (NOVEMBER 22, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MILITARY SALUTE LEBANESE ARMY CHIEF GENERAL JEAN KAHWAJI WALKING LEBANESE PRIME MINISTER-DESIGNATE SAAD HARIRI WALKING
- Embargoed: 7th December 2016 13:09
- Keywords: independence day parade celebration Michel Aoun
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA00159J11ED
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDIT CONTAINS CONVERTED 4:3 MATERIAL
Lebanon held a military parade in Beirut on Tuesday (November 22) to mark the country's Independence Day, the first such celebration in three years after they were halted in the absence of a president.
Troops marched in formation to military tunes and planes flew overhead during the ceremony, which was attended by Lebanese president Michel Aoun and other officials.
The Lebanese parliament elected the former army commander as president in October, ending a 29-month presidential vacuum.
In a speech broadcast on television on the eve of Independence Day, Aoun called on Lebanese to be united in trying times.
"The Lebanese people are feeling that their stability is threatened, especially with the limited resources of the armed forces in the face of the threats. That is why, in this situation, strengthening national unity becomes an utmost necessity and a priority because it safeguards Lebanon and its stability and shields it from what is happening around it," he said.
The election of Aoun last month paved the way for a new political agreement that would see a thaw in a crisis that has dragged on since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. Prime minister-designate Saad Hariri has been trying to form a new government since the election.
But on Monday (November 21), Hariri indicated his efforts to form one faced "stumbling blocks", testing hopes he could quickly steer the country out of its political crisis.
November 22 marks the day Lebanon gained independence from France 73 years ago, in 1943.
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