Italian Foreign Minister visits UNIFIL

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14 Jul 2015

Italian Foreign Minister visits UNIFIL

Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Mr. Paolo Gentiloni today paid a visit to the headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in Naqoura, southern Lebanon and visited his country’s troops operating in UNIFIL.

The Foreign Minister and a delegation from Italy were joined on a tour of the UNIFIL Area of Operations along the Blue Line by UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander, Major-General Luciano Portolano.

Major-General Portolano welcomed Minister Gentiloni and the Italian Ambassador to Lebanon Mr. Massimo Marotti to UNIFIL and briefed him about the situation in the area of operations, the regional situation and issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701.

During his visit, the Foreign Minister reaffirmed his government’s commitment to Lebanon and expressed strong appreciation for UNIFIL’s contribution in attaining peace and stability in southern Lebanon.

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander said:” The visit of the Foreign Minister to UNIFIL is proof of the Italian Government’s support to the mission and its commitment to resolution 1701.”

“UNIFIL remains focused on fulfilling its mandate under UN Security Council resolution 1701, together with the Lebanese Armed Forces. The calm along the Blue Line is evidence of the strategic partnership between UNIFIL and the LAF, which continues to deliver under challenging regional conditions,” he added.

The Foreign Minister inspected an Honour Guard at the Italian Contingent Headquarters in Shamaa and met with members of the Italian contingent.

Italy currently has about 1100 troops working in UNIFIL. Today, UNIFIL comprises over 10,000 military personnel from 39 countries, including the Maritime Task Force, the only naval force in peacekeeping operations - and 1,000 civilian national and international staff.