Michel Suleiman

French president vows support for Lebanon during visit

French President Francois Hollande said Saturday his country will stand by Lebanon to boost security in the tiny Arab country that is "surrounded by crisis and wars" and urged the parliament to elect a new president whose post has been vacant for nearly two years.

Hollande said Paris will give immediate assistance to boost Lebanon's capabilities in fighting terrorism, adding that the defense ministers from the two countries will discuss the details.

Holland's visit to Lebanon is the start of a regional tour that will take him to Egypt and Jordan. During his two-day visit to Lebanon, the French president is scheduled to meet senior officials and visit a group of...