LISBON, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa on Sunday praised the contribution of the country’s armed forces to peace, warning that the use of the military institutions for “power games” will not be tolerated.
“We will not tolerate a repetition of the use of the armed forces at the service of personal or group interests, of power games, as the soldiers fought as they do every day in central Africa, north, east and south of Europe, in the Gulf of Guinea, for the country and humanity,” he told a grand military parade ceremony marking the 100 anniversary of the end of the first world war.
After laying a wreath at the monument to the combatants of the Great War, during which 111,000 Portuguese soldiers fought and over 8,000 died, Rebelo de Sousa, also the supreme commander of the armed forces, said those soldiers fought for understanding against hatred, for an open Europe against a closed Europe and there is a lesson from 100 years ago to learn.
The president also said that without the Portuguese military, there is no freedom, no security, no democracy and no peace in the country.
More than 4,500 soldiers and police including 160 former combatants and 80 foreign military personnel from Germany, the United States, France and Britain participated in the parade along Avenida da Liberdade in downtown Lisbon.