Baabda Palace (French: Palais Présidentiel de Baabda), (Arabic: قصر بعبدا) is the official residence of the President of Lebanon. Built in 1956 on a hill in the mountain town of Baabda overlooking the Lebanese capital, Beirut. Whereas, the first President to reside in it was H.E. President Charles Helou.
The Baabda palace is surrounded by the Ministry of Defense and various other military posts. It started hosting ministerial meetings every other week after the usual venue of the ministerial meetings was abandoned due to security reasons in mid-2005. Now, the ministerial meetings are held in alternating order at Baabda Palace and the Grand Serail.
The Lebanese National Pact that was agreed in 1943, states that the President of the Lebanese Republic is always a Maronite Catholic. The Lebanese Constitution does not specify a location for the Presidency of the Republic, whereas Article 26 of the Constitution stipulates that "Beirut is the center of the Government and Chamber of Deputies Parliament".
The Presidential Residence was first in Administrative Beirut, namely in the Qantari area; it was then relocated to Sin el-Fil and Jounieh among other areas. As a matter of fact, the term Presidential Residence referred to the place where The President along with the Presidency administration settled in until the completion of the Presidential Palace of Baabda in the 1960s. And the first President to serve his term in Baabda was H.E. President Charles Helou.
The Summer Residence
Furthermore, the Presidential summer residence in Beiteddine also depended on the President's preference; it used to be where The President and His administration relocated to. Owned by the Lebanese government and run by the La Direction Générale des Antiquités et des Musées (Directorate General of Antiquities), the Beiteddine Palace then became the official presidential summer residence during the mandates of H.E. Bechara El Khoury and H.E. Camille Chamoun. During these Presidents' terms, all the Presidency's departments would move their offices to Beit Eddine in the summer, but such was not the case for all The Presidents. In deed, most Presidents moved to Beit Eddine in the summer even if it was for a short period of time, for example, H.E. Fouad Chehab moved to the official summer residence for only one day, and H.E. Elias Sarkis did so for specific meetings, namely for the Arab League meeting.
- "CHARLES HELOU - Prestige Magazine". 2015-01-20. Retrieved 2016-09-26.
- "Historical View". www.presidency.gov.lb. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Higher Defense Council stresses need to preserve civil peace". www.lbcgroup.tv. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
- "Berri Backs Baabda Palace Deal as Wage Hike Fails to See Light". www.naharnet.com. Retrieved 20 November 2012.
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