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Important dates in Franco-Lebanese relations

  • File - German Foreign Minister Frank-Walkter Steinmeier, Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov, Lebanese President Michel Sleimane, French President Francois Hollande, French Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Fabius, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, British Foreign Affairs Secretary William Hague, and Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Manuel Garcia-Margallo pose for a group photograph alongside other European Foreign Ministers during the joint Meeting of the International Support Group

BEIRUT: Following is a timeline detailing key dates that marked French-Lebanese ties: 1860: Napoleon III sends troops to Beirut to help end Druze-Christian strife.

1862: French Gen. Charles-Marie-Napoléon de Beaufort d’Hautpoul produces first map of Lebanon that vaguely resembles its modern outline.

1920: French Gen. Henri Gouraud announces the formation of the State of Greater Lebanon with “its historical and natural-geographical boundaries.”

1922: League of Nations grants France mandate power over Lebanon and Syria. France is charged with “duty of rendering administrative advice and assistance to the population.”

1926: Lebanese Constitution, inspired by French Third Republic, is penned. Greater Lebanon renamed Lebanese Republic.

1943: Lebanese leaders draft new Constitution, declaring Lebanon independent from France.

1946: Withdrawal of French Troops from Lebanon.

1982: French, Italian and American peacekeeping troops arrive in Beirut after Israeli invasion.

1983: Shiite militant kills 58 French paratroopers in suicide bomb at their Beirut barracks. Peacekeeping force withdraws in following months.

1996: France helps monitor truce after Israeli “Operation Grapes of Wrath” kills 200 Lebanese.

July 2007: International donors gather in Paris and pledge over $7.6 billion to help Lebanon recover from the 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah. France offers a 500 million euro loan. Lebanese political parties meeting in Saint Cloud, France in attempt to resolve political deadlock.

December 2007: French President Nicolas Sarkozy suspends ties with Syria over the latter’s alleged involvement in the Lebanese political crisis.

January 2014: Saudi Arabia pledges $3 billion in military aid to Lebanese Army to be provided and administered by the French.

March 2014: France hosts International Support Group for Lebanon summit in Paris.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on July 14, 2014, on page 3.
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Summary

BEIRUT: Following is a timeline detailing key dates that marked French-Lebanese ties: 1860: Napoleon III sends troops to Beirut to help end Druze-Christian strife.

1862: French Gen. Charles-Marie-Napoleon de Beaufort d'Hautpoul produces first map of Lebanon that vaguely resembles its modern outline.

1920: French Gen. Henri Gouraud announces the formation of the State of Greater Lebanon with "its historical and natural-geographical boundaries".

Greater Lebanon renamed Lebanese Republic.

1943: Lebanese leaders draft new Constitution, declaring Lebanon independent from France.


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