De gauche à droite, Marc Tourelle, maire de Noisy-le-Roi, SE. M. l'ambassadeur du Liban, Rami Adwan, Marie-Hélène Aubert, maire de Jouy-en-Josas et vie présidente du conseil départemental des Yvelines, Jacques Alexis, maire de Bailly et Bertrand Cognard, conseiller départemental des Yvelines

NNA – President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, asserted that the celebration of Army Day comes this year in difficult circumstances the country is going through, under the weight of the accelerating regional and international developments in light of the widening life and economic difficulties faced by the military, and a large segment of the Lebanese.

The President also stressed that he spares no effort to alleviate these difficulties within the available capabilities, and strives to keep Lebanon away from all interactions and influences.

President Aoun noted that in parallel with Lebanon’s keenness to maintain calm and stability on its southern borders and stressed “Concern for our rights in our territorial waters and natural resources, which are rights that cannot be tolerated under any consideration”.

The President stated that “The on-going indirect negotiations to demarcate southern maritime borders’ first and last goal, is to preserve Lebanon’s rights, and to reach, through cooperation with the American mediator, conclusions that protect our rights and wealth, and achieve, upon the conclusion of negotiations, an opportunity to restore the economic situation in the country.

“From my position, and as a reflection of my assumption of my constitutional responsibilities, I reiterate that, as I committed to holding the parliamentary elections, I will work with all my might, in order to provide the appropriate conditions for the election of a new president who will continue the arduous reform process that we have begun” President Aoun said.

On the other hand, President Aoun indicated that “This national achievement can only be achieved if the new parliament, president and members, assumes its responsibilities in choosing whom the Lebanese find the personality and the appropriate qualifications to assume this responsibility”.

In this context, President Aoun hoped that “The fate of the presidential elections will not be similar to the fate of forming the new government”, stressing that “The failure to form a government exposes the country to further turmoil and deepens economic and financial difficulties. The responsibility of those concerned is essential in preventing the country from further deterioration and slack”.

President Aoun’s positions came in a speech he delivered during the ceremony he presided over this morning to hand the swords of the 123 graduating officers, including 46 female officers, in a course called the “Centennial of the Military College”, on the occasion of the 77th anniversary of the Lebanese Army on August 1, at the Military Academy in ShukriGhanem barracks in Fiyadiye.

The ceremony was called for by the Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, and attended by Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, Parliament Deputy Speaker Elias Bou Saab, Minister of Interior and Municipalities Bassam Mawlawi, and a number of ministers and representatives, and leaders of the security services. 

Dean and staff of the diplomatic corps, Arab and foreign military attaches accredited in Lebanon, a delegation from the UNIFIL command, the dean of the consular corps and staff of the judiciary, senior civil and military officials, captains of the liberal professions, representatives of religious and spiritual authorities, presidents of universities and municipalities, in addition to the families of graduate officers also attended.

Celebration:

The celebration began with the arrival of the army’s flag, the Chief of Staff of the Army, Major General Amin Al-Aram, the Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, and then the Minister of National Defense Maurice Sleem, in the midst of the specified reception ceremony for each of them. 

After that, Premier Mikati and then Speaker Berri arrived, and honor ceremonies were given to them.

At 9:00am, the President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, arrived, and the music played the instrument of preparedness, and after the presentation of weapons, the melody of exaltation was played, then the national anthem. 

Then President Aoun went to the stadium and reviewed the forces, accompanied by the Minister of Defense and the Army Commander. Upon his arrival at the official podium, the celebrations of the passing of formations of the Air Force began, which included a squadron of helicopters, some of which carried the Lebanese and army flags. 

Then the War College flag from the graduating course was handed over to the first year of the second year. After that, the graduating course advanced, singing the anthem of the Military College, and its members stood in the middle of the stadium, where the pioneer of the previous course, Lieutenant Imad Jaber, from the President of the Republic, asked to name the graduating course, saying: “In the name of these boys, I ask to name their course the “Centenary of the Military College”. President Aoun replied: “Let your session be called the Centenary of the Military Academy”.

 

Reading Decrees and Handing Over Swords:

After that, Defense Minister Maurice Sleem read the decree promoting the army’s 95 cadets in the Land, Air and Navy, and the Minister of Interior and Municipalities, Bassam Mawlawi, read out the decree promoting the 8 cadets of the officers of the General Directorate of the Internal Security Forces, and the decree promoting the cadets of the General Directorate’s officers, for General Security, numbering 14, officers, and a decree to promote the students of State Security officers, numbering 6.

As a result, President Aoun handed the graduating officers of 2022 swords, after which the army flag was presented to the President of the Republic. 

 

President’s Speech:

Then President Aoun delivered the following speech:

“Dear guests,

Today, Army Day summarizes all that we believe in as Lebanese, from the meanings of patriotism and sacrifice for the sake of the land, the people, security, and unity. Indeed, this year’s celebrationdeepens all these meanings, due to the magnitude of the challenges facing the military institution as a result of the difficult and exhausting economic conditions for all of its members, as well as for the entire Lebanese people.

I extend my greetings from the heart, to the solid Lebanon Army, which is firmly rooted in its principles and ethics.

Salute to every officer and one of his members. I say to you, with pride and confidence, that you are Lebanon’s guarantee and bridge beyond its harsh crises that stifled the glimmer of hope in the hearts of the Lebanese.

Graduated officers,

Today you receive a sword that symbolizes a lot in your military career.

So seek, from now on, to transform this sword into a word of righteousness in the face of corruption, and a diligent work to support the truth without discrimination, and as a dam to defend the land, the homeland and the people.

You wanted your course to bear the name “Centenary of the Military College,” and this in itself reflects the history of the men’s quarry in which you trained, and the difficulties, challenges, and wars that it went through, which only increased its originality, hardness, and strength.

How happy am I to see here today, that for the first time in the officers’ graduation ceremony, your number of male officers is equal with female officers, crowning the door that I opened for women when I assumed command of the army, to be among the officers in the military institution.

O soldiers,

The celebration of the Army Day comes in difficult circumstances that the country is going through. In addition to the security challenges that you bear the responsibility to confront, the size of the life and economic difficulties that the military facing is expanding, like a wide segment of the Lebanese.

Be confident that I will spare no effort to alleviate these difficulties on your shoulders, within the available capabilities.

I am well aware of how much you struggle, face, and get tired, to continue to perform your duty.

I also realize that you have never failed to fulfilthis duty, because the military values ​​you were raised on are deeply rooted in your souls.

O Lebanese,

Lebanon is experiencing the brunt of the rapid regional and international developments. And we strive, in light of the atmosphere charged with events, to keep our country away from all interactions and influences.

Hence our keenness to maintain calm and stability on our southern borders, a mission that UNIFIL forces faithfully and professionally carry out in cooperation and coordination with the army. In this context, I salute the memory of the martyrs of these forces, whose blood was mixed with the blood of the soldiers who watched over Lebanon’s security and the integrity of its territories.

In parallel, we affirm our keenness on our rights in our territorial waters and natural resources, which cannot be tolerated under any consideration. The on-going indirect negotiations to demarcate the southern maritime borders, whose first and last goal is to preserve Lebanon’s rights, and through cooperation with the American mediator, reach conclusions that protect our rights and wealth, and upon the conclusion of the negotiations, an opportunity to restore the economic situation in the country is achieved.

O Lebanese,

In the midst of this many challenges and confrontations, Lebanon is still without a government despite the passage of about two and a half months since the start of the mandate of the new parliament, which resulted from elections in which the citizen freely expressed his options. 

Despite the bet that the parliamentary elections will not happen, Lebanon has a new parliament, a bet that is unfortunately repeated today, in the context of talk about the failure of holding the presidential elections.

From my position, and as a reflection of my constitutional responsibilities, I reiterate that, as I committed to holding the parliamentary elections, I will work with all my strength to provide the appropriate conditions for the election of a new president who will continue the arduous reform process that we have begun.

However, this national achievement can only be achieved if the new parliament, President and members, assumes its responsibilities in choosing whom the Lebanese find the personality and qualifications appropriate to assume this responsibility. 

I hope that the fate of the presidential elections will not be similar to the fate of the formation of the new government, which has not yet had the necessary ingredients and criteria to be an effective government capable of carrying out its responsibilities now and in the future.

I stress in this context that the failure to form a government exposes the country to further turmoil and deepens economic and financial difficulties. The responsibility of those concerned is essential in preventing the country from being subjected to further deterioration and slack.

Graduated officers,

This is the last time I hand over swords to the graduates of this college.

Congratulations on this blessed day, you swore to preserve Lebanon, follow the guidance of your oath, and here is your chance. Believe in the future of your country, and strive to make it better for you and all the people of the country.

Long live the army, long live Lebanon”.

Salutation:

After the President’s speech, a video clip produced by the Army Command – Orientation Directorate was shown. 

Then the commander of the parade, Brigadier General P.S.C. George Saqr, ordered the participating forces to prepare for the salute show, which he participated in successively: army music, army flag, flag of the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces, flag of the General Directorate of General Security, flag of the General Directorate of State Security, flag of the General Directorate of Customs, and the War College second year, the Military College – the first year, the Institute of Education – the Colonel’s School, the Navy, the Air Force, the Military Police, the Republican Guard Brigade, the Eighth Infantry Brigade, the Second Intervention Regiment, the General Directorate of Internal Security Forces, the General Directorate of General Security, the General Directorate For State Security, the General Directorate of Customs, a group of the helicopters of the Air Force, the Anti-Terrorism and Espionage Branch, the Airborne Regiment, the Commandos Regiment, and the Sea Commandos Regiment.

After the salute show ended, graduating officers marched singing the army anthem, and when they reached the end of the stadium, the officers threw their hats amidst the applause of the audience.

As a result, the leader of the parade presented President Aoun, announcing the end of the celebration.

 

Souvenir Photo:

Then President Aoun, the Parliament Speaker and Prime Minister, the ministers of Defense and Interior, the army commander, the chief of staff, the general directors of the internal security forces, General Security and State Security, the president of the Higher Customs Council and its director general, and the commander of the military college headed to the square of honor where they shook hands with the college officers and took a commemorative photo of the graduating officers. 

Then everyone entered the hall of honor and the army commander raised the cup to drink to the President of the Republic. The college commander, Brigadier General George Saqr, presented the gift to President Aoun, who handed it to the graduate student, shook hands, and then cut the cake.

Golden Record:

After taking memorial photos, the President signed the Military College’s golden record, where he wrote the following word:

“Today, you wore the swords of your fathers, and you flaunted them under the sun of the homeland, which called you to respond to the call to defend it, so you stayed.

You are graduates of the Military College Centenary Course. I congratulate you and pray that you become a role model for Lebanon’s young men and women in patriotism, in fulfilmentof your oath, which was followed in your name, for the first time, a graduate who is at the forefront of the first batch of graduates from your college.

Be a value to your people, and your country is a sign of its recovery, so that it will grow in you forever, as is the right, which is its impenetrable fortress”.

Speaker Berri also took note of the following:

“Your land does not know death…and glory is yours”.

 

Prime Minister Mikati wrote the following:

“The army and the sacrifices of its members that made a history of giving and granting remain the valve of people’s safety, the safety of the country, and the title of sovereignty and the authority of the state”.

 

Minister Sleem wrote the following:

“Congratulations to the centenary of the Military College, here is the birthplace of leaders who wield their swords to defend the homeland and preserve the land and the people, no matter how severe the challenges.

Congratulations to the army on its feast, and it will remain the impregnable fortress of our dear Lebanon. 

Every Army Day and you are well”.

 

Minister Mawlawi wrote the following:

“All pride in our armed forces, which play a major role in preserving the security of the homeland and protecting its children. And our heartfelt double congratulations to the officers graduating this year in particular, who believing in legitimacy, chose to serve and sacrifice in difficult circumstances to build the state”.

 

The Army Commander wrote the following:

“Today, you are going off as officers, male and female, to your military units, equipped with what you have acquired from the Military College in terms of military and civil sciences and national values, bearing on your shoulders the responsibility of a homeland and the future of a people.

You chose for your session the designation of the Centenary of the Military College, this ancient national edifice from which the best leaders graduate, so be up to the aspirations of your leadership and the hopes of your people.

I am proud of you, heroic officers, and I have full confidence that you will prove to everyone your position as true, successful and competent leaders”.

At the end of the ceremony, the Army Command – Orientation Directorate distributed a booklet that included a speech by the President of the Republic, an order of the day for the Army Commander, and an overview of the most important stations of the Lebanese Army. — Presidency Press Office

 

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