UNIFIL Says Not Notified about Italy’s Plan to Cut Troops in Lebanon

The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon said Wednesday that it hasn’t been informed by Italy about its intention to reduce the number of its troops in the south.

“UNIFIL hasn’t been officially notified about Italy’s intention to downsize its troops,” UNIFIL Spokesman Neeraj Singh told Akhbar al-Yawm agency.

Last week, Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said Italy would reduce its "excessive" contingent in Lebanon from around 1,800 personnel to 1,000.

"There are some budget requirements that are pushing us to reduce, as expected, our presence in international military missions," La Russa said.

“There is no change in UNIFIL’s military force as set by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701,” Singh said.

The spokesman told the agency that routine structure changes of contingents could take place. He reiterated that around 34 countries contribute 12,000 troops to UNIFIL.

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