Suleiman Calls for International Support to Armyإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
President Michel Suleiman urged on Sunday the International Support Group for Lebanon to meet its pledges during meetings expected to be held in France and Italy.
“The international cover should be provided to enable the Lebanese army to acquire its needs through Saudi Arabia's grant to the military to obtain French arms,” Suleiman said during a telephone conversation with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Ban and several other officials have contacted Suleiman on Sunday to congratulate him on the formation of Prime Minister Tammam Salam's cabinet.
On Saturday, PM Salam unveiled a compromise government, capping nearly 11 months of political wrangling.
Greek Orthodox Patriarch Youhanna X Yazigi and deputy head of the Higher Shiite Islamic Council Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan also congratulated Suleiman on formation of government.
“The army should be able to defend Lebanon, control the situation, preserve civil peace and confront terrorism,” Suleiman added.
The International Support Group for Lebanon is expected to meet in March in Paris at the invitation of France for the establishment of two funds the first to support Lebanon's economy and the second to aid the Syrian refugees in the country.
Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta and Foreign Minister Emma Bonino had confirmed during a short visits to Lebanon that the Rome conference aims at fortifying the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed Forces and easing the Syrian refugees crisis.
The support group was inaugurated in New York in September 2013,on the sidelines of the 68th session of the General Assembly. It undertook to work together to mobilize support for the sovereignty and state institutions of Lebanon and to highlight and promote efforts to assist the country where it was most affected by the Syrian crisis, including in respect of strengthening the capacity of the Lebanese Armed Forces, assistance to refugees, and structural and financial support to the government.
Lebanon is struggling under the weight of nearly one million Syrian refugees, who are testing its already limited resources.