Lebanese Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun (photo), headed to Italy to meet the invitation of the Italian Chief of the Defense Staff Admiral Giuseppe Cavo Dragone, the Lebanese Army announced in a tweet on Monday.
Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini told General Aoun that Rome will maintain its commitments within the UN Interim Force in Lebanon.
“I expressed to Gen. Aoun the proximity of Italy in the difficult moment that Lebanon is going through,” Guerini told Arab News after the meeting in Rome, which was also attended by Italy’s Chief of Joint Staff Giuseppe Cavo Dragone.
“I confirmed how strong the bond of friendship between Lebanon and Italy is. Our relationship is historical, and it’s founded on our common Mediterranean identity,” Guerini said, adding that Rome will continue to support the Lebanese Armed Forces.
Aoun’s visit to Rome is part of the Lebanese government’s efforts to raise political and financial support to cope with the country’s economic collapse.
According to the UN, more than 80% of Lebanon’s population live in a state of poverty. In the past three years, its currency has lost more than 95% of its value.
On 02 February 2022, the Lebanese Army announced it had received a boat and three vehicles in the form of a donation from Italy.
According to the Army’s statement, the handover ceremony was attended by the Ambassador of Italy to Lebanon, Nicoletta Bombardiere, the Chief of the Central Operation Command, General Francesco Paolo Figliuolo, and of the Italian Defense Attaché in Lebanon, Colonel Marco Zona.
During his address in the ceremony, General Figliuolo stressed the importance of partnership between the two friendly countries and expressing his country's commitment to continue providing military assistance to the Lebanese Army.
“The handover is part of the ongoing cooperation between Italy and Lebanon in the defense sector and as part of the follow-up to the second Rome conference and the international conference held via video conference under the auspices of the united nations, chaired by the ministers of defense of Italy and France in June 2021,” the Embassy said in a statement. More gear is expected to be delivered by the end of 2022.”
The delivery of vehicles and material falls within the continuous collaboration between Italy and Lebanon in the defense sector and the follow-up to the second Rome Conference and to the international videoconference under the aegis of the UN, co-chaired by the Ministers of Defense of Italy and France in June 2021. Further deliveries of material are expected by the end of 2022.