Lebanese children in Army uniform watch as soldiers (not pictured) parade a day ahead of Army Day in Sidon, Friday, July 31, 2015. (The Daily Star/Mohammed Zaatari)
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Lebanese leaders marked Army Day Friday with calls for the quick election of a new president, as Army chief Gen. Jean Kahwagi urged the military to be ready to confront threats posed by Syria-based Islamist militants and Israel.U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale expressed continued U.S. support for the Army, stressing that regional developments – a clear allusion to Iran's nuclear deal with world powers – have not altered America's policy toward Lebanon. Kahwagi called for military unity in the face of political divisions that have led to the 14-month-long presidential vacuum.Gen. Walid Salman, who read Kahwagi's Order of the Day to the soldiers.While voicing U.S. continued support for the Lebanese Army, Hale criticized Lebanese political leaders for failing to get state institutions functioning and end the presidential vacuum.
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