Lebanese officers attend their graduation ceremony marking the 69th Army Day, at a military barracks in Beirut's suburb of Fayyadieh, Friday, Aug. 1, 2014. (The Daily Star/Lebanese Army Website, HO)
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Army commander Gen. Jean Kahwagi marked Army Day Friday with a pledge to shield Lebanon against Israeli threats and terrorism linked to regional turmoil as top leaders called for a swift election of a new president.Parliament's repeated failures to pick a successor to former President Michel Sleiman, whose six-year tenure ended on May 25, prompted the Army Command to cancel this year's Army Day celebrations. Kahwagi pointed out that the "difficult circumstances" through which the country was passing and the vacancy in the presidential post prompted the Army Command to cancel the Army Day celebrations in the absence of a president to sponsor the ceremony to distribute swords to graduating officers.Kahwagi received congratulations on Army Day from rival political leaders who, in addition to praising the military's role in maintaining the country's stability, called for a quick election of a president.
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