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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 November 2018

Renowned French general pays tribute to fallen Emirati soldiers 

General Francois Lecointre, chief of defence staff at the French Army, visited Wahat Al Karama in Abu Dhabi

General François Lecointre, Chief of the Defence Staff of the French Army, visits Wahat Al Karama. Courtesy: Crown Prince Court
General François Lecointre, Chief of the Defence Staff of the French Army, visits Wahat Al Karama. Courtesy: Crown Prince Court

One of France's most senior soldiers laid at wreath at the UAE's armed forces memorial on Monday and paid tribute to Emirati soldiers who have died in the line of duty.

General Francois Lecointre, chief of defence staff at the French Army, visited Wahat Al Karama in Abu Dhabi on Monday.

General François Lecointre lays a wreath at Wahat Al Karama. Courtesy: Crown Prince Court
General François Lecointre lays a wreath at Wahat Al Karama. Courtesy: Crown Prince Court

He attended the Guard of Honour ceremony, then laid a wreath at Martyrs' Monument, which is made up of 31 panels leaning on one another in a symbol of solidarity between the leaders, people and soldiers of the UAE. The monument is located to the east of Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque and was completed in late 2016.

The general went on a tour and spoke with Sheikh Khalifa bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, executive director of the Martyrs' Families' Affairs Office, and concluded his trip by writing in the visitor's log.

General Lecointre is renowned in France and elsewhere for leading French UN peacekeepers in a rescue mission in what became known as the Battle of Vrbanja Bridge in 1995. The confrontation took place after the Serbs kidnapped French troops and threatened to execute them. The Serbs fled, leaving their hostages to be freed, after a 30-minute gun battle that saw four Serb soldiers and three French troops killed.

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