Paoli honors Le Drian during ceremony at Sanawbar palace

APRIL 20, 2015 (REFERRING TO THE NATIONAL NEWS AGENCY – LEBANON) French Minister of Defense Jean-Yves Le Drian hailed the Lebanese army as the “source of pride” to all the Lebanese, saying the army deserves France’s support since it has to be the primary line of defense against any external threat.

Minister Le Drian’s words came during a ceremony held in his honor by the French Ambassador to Lebanon Patrice Paoli at the Sanawbar palace, in the presence of House Speaker Nabih Berri’s Representative, Mahmoud Berri, and Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s Representative, Deputy Prime Minister Defense Minister Samir Moqbel.

The ceremony was also attended by scores of political, diplomatic, security, economic and media dignitaries, notably US Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale, EU Ambassador Angelina Eichhorst, Saudi Arabia Ali Awad Asiri, Army Commander Jean Qahwaji, MP Sami Gemayel and UNIFIL delegation.

In his delivered word, Le Drian stressed the dire need for the Lebanese to unite for the sake of the election of a new president of the republic, saying “Lebanon should carry a message of hope to the entire region.”

The visiting Minister also renewed in his word the significance of the brotherly ties between Lebanon and France.