President Francois Hollande pledged France's support for stability and unity in Lebanon during a three-hour visit Sunday in the wake of the recent killing of domestic intelligence chief Wissam al-Hassan, DPA reported.
"France will confront with all its power anyone who seeks to destabilize Lebanon in order to guarantee its independence, security and unity," Hollande told a joint press conference with his Lebanese counterpart Michel Suleiman in the capital Beirut.
"I came at a decisive moment after the assassination of a wonderful person, Wissam al-Hassan, and I would like to voice our solidarity."
France's participation in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon and its military support for Lebanon were part of its bid to support stability in the country, the French leader said.
There was a need to protect Lebanon and prevent a spillover of the 20-month conflict in neighbouring Syria, he added.
"Amid the peculiar situation in Syria, we offer all guarantees for stability and unity."
Al-Hassan was killed in a bomb attack in Beirut on October 19, which Lebanon's opposition blamed on Syria. Deadly clashes between supporters and opponents of the Syrian government erupted in Lebanon afterwards.
"We ask everyone to overcome this incident and work together through dialogue and cooperation to prevent future crises," Suleiman told the press conference.
"I affirmed to President Hollande our keenness to distance Lebanon from negative repercussions from Syria, noting that Syrians should be able to achieve reform and democracy away from the violence that has reached alarming levels, and without military intervention," he said.
Hollande's trip to Lebanon was the first by a French president since his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy visited Beirut in June 2008. He departed for Saudi Arabia for talks expected to focus on Syria, Iran's nuclear programme and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.