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Newly elected Lebanese President Michel Aoun reviews the honour guards upon arrival to the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, Lebanon October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Aziz Taher
Newly elected Lebanese President Michel Aoun reviews the honour guards upon arrival to the presidential palace in Baabda, near Beirut, Lebanon October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Aziz Taher

In an address to the nation on the eve of Lebanon’s Independence Day,  President Michel Aoun called on Monday  for “immunizing independence” and stressed  that the army has the ability to defend Lebanon’s borders should its capabilities be boosted.

“We must immunize independence through refraining from seeking help from foreign forces… to achieve partisan interests at the expense of the public interest,” said Aoun

“Enhancing national unity is a top necessity and priority because it would immunize Lebanon and secure its stability,” Aoun added.

He noted that “we have brothers who live in border regions in the North and the South and they represent Lebanon’s first protection shield.”

“We must give them special care in order to develop their towns and villages,” Aoun stressed.

Hailing the Lebanese army for “gaining citizens’ confidence and being their source of security and serenity,” the president underlined that the army “can do on the borders what it is doing inside the country should its technical and training capabilities be boosted.”

“When dangers threaten the country, the army remains its security valve and the firm core of its national unity,” Aoun added.

He also called for “liberating civil servants from the culture of corruption.”

 In his oath of office  Aoun pledged to endorse an “independent foreign policy” and to protect Lebanon from “the fires burning across the region.”

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