Italian ambassador reaffirms $2.4 million pledge to Lebanese Army, ISF

President Michel Aoun Tuesday met with Italian Ambassador to Lebanon Massimo Marotti, who reaffirmed the $2.4 million pledge his country made to the Lebanese Army and security forces during the Rome II conference.
According to a statement from the presidency, Marotti briefed Aoun on steps that will be taken to implement the pledge.
Italy did not disclose the amount pledged at the time of the conference, which was held in the Italian capital on March 15 to garner support for Lebanese security forces.
In a sit-down with Prime Minister Saad Hariri on Friday, Marotti announced that Italy donated $2.4 million to the Lebanese Army and Internal Security Forces, and also that a program to train the Army in 2018 would be doubled.
In the meeting with Aoun on Tuesday, the ambassador reiterated that Italy will work to provide additional training to the Lebanese Army this year and is examining the Italian Army’s continued participation in the United Nations Interim Forces In Lebanon deployed in the south, according to the statement.
Italy currently holds the second largest contributing block in UNIFIL, with 1,073 units deployed to keep peace along the demarcation line with Israel.
The ambassador also noted his country’s nomination of an Italian Major General to head UNIFIL in Lebanon after the expiration of the term of the current head of mission, Irish Maj. Gen. Michel Beary.
Aoun in turn thanked the diplomat for his country’s support and stressed on the bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Daily Star