The Croatian Armed Forces Chief-of-Staff, General Drago Lovric, has been awarded the Order of the Legion of Honour, the highest French decoration awarded to senior office-holders, friends of the French Republic, for his outstanding contribution to peace and stability in Europe and his active participation in strengthening the security of the two countries, within NATO and the European Union.

The decision to award Lovric the title of Commander of the Order of the Legion of Honour was made by French President Francois Hollande on 5 January 2016 and the date when it will be presented to Lovric will be announced in due course, the Croatian Defence Ministry said in a statement.

The Order of the Legion of Honour was established by Napoleon Bonaparte on 19 May 1802 to acknowledge military or civilian merits regardless of the recipient's origin, religion or place of birth, which at the time was a revolutionary idea entirely in line with the ideas of the French Revolution. A recipient had to meet one condition - to be committed to the basic ideas of the French Revolution - freedom, equality and brotherhood.

The Order of the Legion of Honour is bestowed annually on 3,000 people, of whom two-thirds are civilians and one-third are military personnel.

Lovric has said that he is honoured to have been awarded the order which the French Republic bestows on individuals promoting the ideas of freedom, equality and brotherhood and considers it as a mark of recognition not only to himself but to the Croatian Armed Forces as well in preserving global peace and developing the friendship, partnership and alliance between the two countries.

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