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Rome 2 Conference: Int’l Protection, Improving Lebanese Army’s Capabilities

Rome 2 Conference: Int’l Protection, Improving Lebanese Army’s Capabilities

Saturday, 6 January, 2018 - 09:15
A convoy of Lebanese Army AIFV-B-C25 of the Maghaweer Regiment in Beirut October 22, 2012.(REUTERS/Mohamed Azakir)

The Lebanese government and the army leadership are preparing a well-studied agenda for the Rome 2 conference that is set to be held end of February to back the military and security institutions.

Observers said the conference aims at consolidating international protection for Lebanon’s security, and backing the capabilities of the Lebanese army and security forces as part of a US-led international plan for the country’s legitimate institutions to preserve the border are and stability.

The Lebanese cabinet discussed the conference’s arrangements during its session last Thursday.

Minister of State for Planning Affairs Michel Pharaon said the conference sets stage for the consolidation of international protection for Lebanon's security and stability, and for backing the Lebanese army.

Pharaon told Asharq Al-Awsat that the conference would add to the decisions taken in the Rome 1 conference that was held late 2014 and that led to a security plan, which resolved many security issues across Lebanon.

In the past years, Lebanon has been hit with car bombings in addition to the threat of extremist groups, including ISIS, that infiltrated the northeastern border town of Arsal in August 2014 and kidnapped Lebanese servicemen.

The terrorist threat subsided last year when the Lebanese army launched an operation to end the presence of extremist organizations on Lebanon’s eastern border with Syria.

“The stability of the security situation consolidates political, economic and fiscal stability,” Pharaon said.

A military source told Asharq Al-Awsat that the army is hoping for positive results from the Rome 2 conference regarding assistance to the armed forces.

“Experts from the army will be among the Lebanese delegation participating in the conference,” said the source.

The army leadership has come up with a five-year plan to improve the military’s combat capabilities, and will propose it at the conference that will be attended by several NATO countries, the source added.

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