Suleiman, Michel

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Michel Suleiman (mēshĕl´ sōōlāmän´, slā´män), 1948–, Lebanese army officer, president of Lebanon (2008–14). He joined the army in 1967, graduated from Lebanon's military academy in 1970, and rose through the officer ranks. An infantry commander (1993–98), he was appointed army commander in 1998 and, heading the army for a decade, kept the military united and neutral during the political turmoil and sectarian violence in Lebanon from 2005 to 2008. Suleiman also gained prominence during the army's successful battle with Islamist militants in N Lebanon in 2007. After a standoff between feuding political factions that left the presidency vacant for six months, Suleiman was elected to the office by parliament in May, 2008.