| 16 April 2024, Tuesday |

Defense Minister to his Italian Counterpart: We are committed to boosting military cooperation between both countries

Minister of National Defense Maurice Sleem affirmed today, “Lebanon’s adherence to strengthening the existing and continuing military cooperation with Italy,” highlighting “the important role played by the Italian force operating within the framework of UNIFIL in maintaining stability in southern Lebanon.”

“Lebanon and the Lebanese are keen on the UNIFIL peacekeeping forces and on enabling them to carry out their tasks to the fullest in accordance with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions,” he stressed.

Sleem’s words came during his meeting this afternoon with Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini, in the presence of Italian Ambassador Nicolita Bombardiere and the accompanying delegation.

“Lebanon adheres to the good relationship between UNIFIL and the local population that has been going on for decades,” he maintained.

Furthermore, Minister Sleem thanked Italy for the “active role it played in the aftermath of the Beirut port explosion in sending aid to Lebanon,” and praised “Ambassador Bombardieri’s efforts in the framework of the cooperation that took place between the Italian and Lebanese naval forces to complete the Lebanese naval charts for the first time in Lebanon’s history, particularly for their great importance in achieving economic development by facilitating maritime traffic.”

For his part, Minister Guerini confirmed “his country’s commitment to Lebanon and to continue participating in the international peacekeeping forces even after the handover of the UNIFIL command at the end of General Stefano Del Col’s mission soon.”

He also disclosed that “Italy is awaiting the response of the United Nations to its request to add an Italian ship to the navy’s fleet, and its full readiness to meet any needs requested by Lebanon in the field of military medicine support or military equipment.”

In this context, the Italian Defense Minister extended an invitation to his Lebanese counterpart to visit Italy to follow up on deliberations in the field of developing military cooperation between the two countries.

Guerini also indicated that his country is “following with interest all the efforts made in the framework of negotiations with the World Bank.”

  • NNA