The Ministry of National Defense in Yarze witnessed on Monday evening Lebanese-Italian talks between the Minister of National Defense Yacoub Riad Sarraf and his Italian counterpart Roberta Pinotti.
The Italian minister had made the visit to follow up on the results of the Rome II conference in support of the Lebanese Army and security forces.
A round of talks was held, dwelling mainly on the situation in Lebanon and the region. Minister Sarraf underscored the importance of cooperation between Lebanon and Italy and the promotion of bilateral agreements, pointing out that "Lebanon is seeking to strengthen its naval forces."
Sarraf also highlighted the ongoing coordination between the Lebanese Army and the UNIFIL force, which resulted in calm across the South. He stressed, in this context, "the need to uphold the neutrality of these forces," praising "the contribution of the Italian contingent within the UNIFIL, especially in the field of services and developmental projects which brought the two peoples closer together."
He also paid tribute to the "martyrs of the Italian contingent who fell while on duty in Lebanon."
"Lebanon is committed to international resolutions, especially the 1701," he said, stressing that the country "will not relinquish its rights and wealth, especially with regard to oil and water. International laws are clear in this regard," he went on to say, slamming "the ongoing Israeli attacks on Lebanese sovereignty by land, sea and air."
The Minister did not fail to tackle the Syrian refugees' crisis and the social, economic and security burdens that have fallen on Lebanon's shoulders as a result of this flow of displaced persons.
He reiterated his call to find a radical solution to this crisis and organize the return of Syrian refugees to safe areas in Syria as soon as possible, which will reflect positively on Lebanon," stressing that "Lebanon rejects any form of naturalization and will not bargain on this matter."
Sarraf finally thanked his Italian counterpart for "translating the obligations of the Rome II Conference, and for Italy's unyielding support to Lebanon."
In her turn, the Italian minister underlined "the keenness of her government on the stability of Lebanon, expressing her country's desire to strengthen cooperation with Lebanon through bilateral agreements.
Pinotti also shed light on the "major role played by the UNIFIL in southern Lebanon in maintaining stability and security," paying tribute to the martyrs of the Italian contingent who fell in Lebanon, and to the martyrs of the Lebanese Army.
On a different note, Minister Sarraf received a delegation from the Royal College of Defense Studies (RCDS) in the presence of British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter, with talks touching on the political and security situation in Lebanon and the region.
Sarraf praised the Lebanese army's efforts in combating terrorism and maintaining stability in Lebanon.
Source: National News Agency