Italian FM Meets Officials: Lebanese Army Offered Necessary Support to Maintain Stabilityإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
Visiting Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini stressed on Saturday that the army should be offered all the necessary support to maintain stability in Lebanon.
“Offering support to the Lebanese army is very important to maintain local, regional and international security,” the FM said in a joint press conference with her Lebanese counterpart Jebran Bassil at the Bustros Palace.
She described the army as an “institution for unity” in Lebanon, adding that it's a “tool used to preserve stability and security in a country that has a conflict raging along its border.”
For his part, Bassil lauded Italy for exerting efforts to support the Lebanese army.
“A meeting will be held on June 17 to tackle the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed force,” he noted.
He said that “cooperation with Italy is various, in particular, in confronting terrorism and maintaining stability.”
Italy previously announced that the International Support Group for Lebanon will hold a meeting in Rome in June to boost the Lebanese Armed Forces' capabilities and ease the Syrian refugees crisis.
Mogherini arrived in Beirut on Friday night for a two-day visit to discuss with senior Lebanese officials the ongoing preparations for the Rome conference.
She had met earlier in the day Speaker Nabih Berri.
According to a statement issued by Berri's press office, the two officials tackled the latest developments in Lebanon and the region, in addition to the bilateral ties between the Lebanon and Italy.
The Italian diplomat also held talks with deputy Prime Minister Samir Moqbel.
She described the meeting as “excellent.”
“We will seek to make the Rome conference successful,” Mogherini said.
“This step will be a cornerstone for the international support for Lebanon and the region,” she added.
The diplomat stressed that “it is necessary for Lebanon to enjoy stability and security, which is a challenge.”
Following talks with Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi in Bkirki, the seat of the Maronite church issued a statement, saying Mogherini and the Cardinal agreed on the importance of electing a president for the Republic because an entity cannot survive without its leader.
Vacuum paralyzes all institutions and affects the National Pact of 1943 and democratic life in Lebanon, it said.
Mogherini is expected to inspect her country's contingent operating within the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL).
The Italian contingent is the largest of the 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping force.