NNA – President of the Republic, General Michel Aoun, praised the role played by the Italian force operating within the UNIFIL in the South, stressing “the sacrifices of its men to achieve security and stability in the South and for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701.”
During a meeting at Baabda Palace with Italian Defense Minister, Roberta Pinotti, in the presence of Italian Ambassador to Lebanon, Massimo Marotti, and an official delegation, Aoun praised the bilateral cooperation between Lebanon and Italy, stressing the need to strengthen it in all fields, particularly in terms of “military training and exchange of experiences between the Italian and Lebanese armies.”
“Lebanon and Italy continue to face the same challenges as migration, displacement, terrorism and security threats,” Aoun said.
“The Lebanese army and other security services continue to fight terrorism and hunt down its sleeping cells. Lebanon renews the call for the safe return of displaced Syrians to the stable areas inside Syria,” he said.
The President spoke of “the continuing Israeli threats against Lebanon and the hostile actions that hinder the return of stability to its southern region.”
He also stressed the need to strengthen economic and trade cooperation between the two countries, finally thanking Italy for “its role in supporting the Lebanese economy and activating trade exchange,” and relaying, through Minister Pinotti, his “greetings to Italian President, Sergio Matarilla, and the Italian government as president and members.”
In her turn, the Italian minister congratulated Lebanon, on behalf of her government, on the election of a President of the Republic in her capacity as the first Italian minister to visit Lebanon since the elections.
Pinotti reiterated her country’s efforts to strengthen relations between Lebanon and Italy, deeming her country’s participation in the UNIFIL as “a contributor to the stability of southern Lebanon.”
She also highlighted her country’s readiness “to help ease the burden of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.”
“We will continue to assist the Lebanese armed forces to ensure their success in the tasks assigned to them,” she concluded.