Concluding his official visit to Italy on Friday, Lebanese President Michel Aoun said "the crisis that arose after the announcement of resignation by Prime Minister Hariri has been put behind," focusing on "the importance of Lebanese national unity, security and financial stability."
Aoun met with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, who told the President that his government will "organize a special conference to support the Lebanese armed forces, and is in the process of making the necessary contacts to ensure this conference's success.”
Gentiloni also underlined the "continued support of his government for the UNIFIL mission, in accordance with the mandate given to it under resolution 1701."
On Friday Aoun arrived at the headquarters of the Italian government and held a meeting with the Prime Minister in the presence of the Lebanese accompanying delegation and Italian officials, concluding his three-day state visit to Italy.
“Lebanon plays a prominent role in consolidating stability in the Middle East," Gentiloni said, adding that "Italy is working to strengthen this role by maintaining stability, especially in the South, where an Italian contingents operates within the UNIFIL, in coordination with the Lebanese Army in the area."
He also stressed that his government "will continue to provide assistance to Lebanon according to the program set for this purpose, and looks forward to increasing trade cooperation and contributing to the various production projects, such as electricity and oil and gas exploration, especially that the top Italian company ENI will be handling oil and gas exploration from two fields, one in southern Lebanon and another in the north."
For his part, Aoun thanked his host for the firm commitment of the Italian Government to supporting Lebanon in various fields, and its support for the country's just causes at international forums.
"Italy's participation in the UNIFIL is key. Besides, Italy's role in the United Nations has a direct impact on the decisions of the international organization," the President said.
Raising the issue of displaced Syrians and Lebanon's position thereon, Aoun stressed on "the need for them to return to the safe areas in Syria," and underlining "the importance of the international community's cooperation with Lebanon to achieve this and remove the obstacles that hinder this return, in view of the negative repercussions this reality had on the situation in Lebanon."