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suleiman saudi grantPresident Michel Suleiman stressed on Sunday the need to devise a national defense strategy for Lebanon, while emphasizing that he seeks to hold the presidential elections on time.

He said: “The defense strategy should adhere to the army and the state.”

He made his remarks after attending a Sunday mass that commemorated the hundredth anniversary of the death of Saint Rafqa, which was held in the region of Jrabta.

Commenting on the presidential elections, Suleiman told reporters: “I am exerting all possible efforts to stage the presidential elections on time.”

“Suleiman: I seek to exercise democracy and portray Lebanon as democratic country at a time when Arab countries are aspiring to reach such a goal,” continued the president after the mass that was led by Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi.

The next president should base his actions on the constitution, he stressed.

“These actions should protect Lebanon and its sovereignty,” added Suleiman.

Al-Rahi meanwhile hoped during the sermon that all concerned parties would respond to Suleiman’s call to resume the national dialogue.

The presidential elections are set for May when Suleiman’s six-year term ends.

The president called on Friday for the resumption of the national dialogue on March 31 in order to continue discussions on a defense strategy.

Naharnet

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