Abu Dhabi: People came from all over the capital to the Abu Dhabi Officer's Club, to celebrate Lebanon's 66th Independence Day, which marks the end of the French mandate and the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country in 1943.

"We would like to salute the leaders of the UAE, especially President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and congratulate them on the occasion of the UAE's National Day, which falls next week [December 2]. The UAE has been a good ally of Lebanon, continuously providing both military and charitable help, and we hope that bilateral relations between our two countries will continue to grow stronger," Mohammad Hajjar, Ambassador, Charges d'Affairs, said. "Lebanese expatriates [in the UAE] are very happy that we have been given the opportunity to live here, and represent [our country]," he added.

One topic that was discussed with much passion during the event was the recently established unity government with President Michel Sulaiman, Prime Minister Sa'ad Hariri and Hezbollah.

"We hope that the new government brings for Lebanon stability... and economical progress in every field," Hajjar said.

During the evening, Lebanese expatriates were shown a video montage that highlighted Lebanon's culture and heritage, and were entertained with traditional song and dance, including songs by legendary Lebanese singer Fairuz.