IN PHOTOS: Lebanon Military Parade Marks 74 Years of Country's Independence

Saad Hariri celebrates 'Lebanon's stability and Lebanon's Arab nature' in his dramatic return to Beirut

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A Lebanese unit of the Military College marches during a military parade to mark the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence from France in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017.
A Lebanese unit of the Military College marches during a military parade to mark the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence from France in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. Credit: Hussein Malla/AP
Haaretz
The Associated Press
Haaretz
The Associated Press

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri participated in celebrations marking Independence Day celebrations, his first official appearance since his resignation, marking 74 years of independence.

A few thousand of Hariri supporters converged on his residence in central Beirut amid tight security, in a show of support. Hariri pledged to stay in Lebanon.

“There is nothing more precious than our country,” he told them. “I am staying with you and I will keep going with you to be the first line of defense of Lebanon, its stability and its Arab nature.”

Hariri then repeated a phrase he coined after the resignation: “Lebanon first.”

Hariri announced on Wednesday that he was putting his resignation on hold to give way for more consultations, nearly three weeks after he unexpectedly announced he was stepping down.

It was a quick reversal — a day after his return to Lebanon — and a likely embarrassment to Saudi Arabia, which was widely seen as having orchestrated his resignation.

Lebanese policemen carrying Lebanese flags ride horses during a military parade to mark the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence from France in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017. Hours after returning to the country following a nearly three week puzzling absence, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri participated in Independence Day celebrations Wednesday, his first official appearance since he suddenly announced his resignation from abroad, stunning the country.
Lebanese policemen carrying Lebanese flags ride horses during a military parade to mark the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence from France in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Nov. 22, 2017.Credit: Hussein Malla/AP
Lebanese armed forces take part in a military parade for Independence Day celebrations marking 74 years since the end of France's mandate in Lebanon, on November 22, 2017 in Beirut.
Lebanese armed forces take part in a military parade for Independence Day celebrations marking 74 years since the end of France's mandate in Lebanon, on November 22, 2017 in Beirut.Credit: ANWAR AMRO/AFP
Lebanese General Security forces female cadets take part in a military parade for Independence Day celebrations marking 74 years since the end of France's mandate in Lebanon, on November 22, 2017 in Beirut.
Lebanese General Security forces female cadets take part in a military parade for Independence Day celebrations marking 74 years since the end of France's mandate in Lebanon, on November 22, 2017.Credit: ANWAR AMRO/AFP
Lebanese special forces policemen with their sniffer dog participate a military parade to mark the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence from France in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017.
Lebanese special forces policemen with their sniffer dog participate a military parade to mark the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence from France in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Nov. 22, 2017.Credit: Hussein Malla/AP
Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanon's prime minister from Saudi Arabia attends a military parade to celebrate the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence in downtown Beirut, Lebanon November 22, 2017.
Saad al-Hariri, who announced his resignation as Lebanon's prime minister from Saudi Arabia attends a military parade to celebrate the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence, Beirut, Nov. 22, 2017Credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS
Members of the Lebanese security forces take part in a military parade for Independence Day celebrations marking 74 years since the end of France's mandate in Lebanon, on November 22, 2017 in Beirut.
Members of the Lebanese security forces take part in a military parade for Independence Day celebrations marking 74 years since the end of France's mandate in Lebanon, on November 22, 2017 in Beirut.Credit: ANWAR AMRO/AFP
Lebanese soldiers take part in a military parade for Independence Day celebrations marking 74 years since the end of France's mandate in Lebanon, on November 22, 2017 in Beirut.
Lebanese soldiers take part in a military parade for Independence Day celebrations marking 74 years since the end of France's mandate in Lebanon, in Beirut, on November 22, 2017.Credit: ANWAR AMRO/AFP
Lebanese band members take part in a military parade to celebrate the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence in downtown Beirut, Lebanon November 22, 2017.
Lebanese band members take part in a military parade to celebrate the 74th anniversary of Lebanon's independence in downtown Beirut, Lebanon November 22, 2017. Credit: MOHAMED AZAKIR/REUTERS

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