- Title: Lebanon celebrates Army Day for first time in 4 years
- Date: 1st August 2017
- Summary: FAYADIYEH, LEBANON (AUGUST 1, 2017) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF AOUN PASSING SWORDS TO ARMY OFFICERS GRADUATING THIS YEAR DURING CEREMONY VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WATCHING THE EVENT VARIOUS OF HELICOPTERS FLYING OVERHEAD DURING CEREMONY
- Embargoed: 15th August 2017 15:22
- Keywords: National Army Day Lebanese military Lebanon military academy Lebanese President Michel Aoun Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri
- Location: FAYADIYEH, LEBANON
- City: FAYADIYEH, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0056SBRU51
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Lebanon celebrated its 72nd National Army Day on Tuesday (August 1), the first such anniversary ceremony held since 2013.
The ceremony, held at Lebanon's military academy, was put on hold for three consecutive years due to a parliamentary vacuum and the absence of a president to lead the military graduation process.
This year President Michel Aoun led the ceremony and military parade at the Fayadiyeh barracks near Beirut, where army cadets go through three years of training before graduating.
Aoun spoke of the challenges the army faces at a time of regional instability.
"In the midst of the political tensions, and the differences in opinions, you form the rock that ensures the safety of your country and your people," Aoun said, praising the army officers.
Last week, Lebanon's Hezbollah said that they were close to defeating Nusra Front militants in the battle along Syrian-Lebanese border in the region of Jroud Arsal.
They group said they would be ready to hand over territory they had captured if the Lebanese army requests it.
The Lebanese army had not taken part in the offensive and had set up defensive positions around Arsal.
"And to ensure tranquility and safety there (Jroud Arsal), as we look now to our armed forces that are on guard to achieve a new victory and free what is left from land that terror conquered for years," Aoun said.
The Lebanese army is a big recipient of U.S. and British military support.
Religious leaders joined Aoun at the ceremony along with Prime minister Saad al-Hariri and Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri.
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