Italy’s President visits UNIFIL and the Italian troops

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13 May 2016

Italy’s President visits UNIFIL and the Italian troops

The President of Italy, His Excellency Sergio Mattarella, today visited the Italian troops based in Sector West headquarters of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), in Shamaa in the southern part of the country.

UNIFIL Head of Mission and Force Commander Major-General Luciano Portolano welcomed the President who was accompanied by the Italian Minister of Defence Roberta Pinotti and the Chief of Defence General Staff of Italian Armed Forces General Claudio Graziano. Also present to receive the President were UNIFIL’s Sector West Commander Brigadier-General Arturo Nitti.

Major-General Portolano briefed the President about the situation in UNIFIL’s area of operations and issues related to the implementation of UNIFIL’s mandate under the UN Security Council Resolution 1701 (2006).

UNIFIL Head of Mission Portolano emphasized the importance of the visit as a testament to the strong support of the Italian Government for the Mission and the commitment to peace and stability in the region.

During the visit, the Italian President inspected a Guard of Honour at the UNIFIL base in Shamaa.

Italy accounts for about 1,200 of UNIFIL’s 10,500 peacekeeping troops from 40 countries, including the Maritime Task Force, the only naval force in peacekeeping operations - and 1,000 civilian national and international staff.