An international virtual conference hosted by France to drum up support for the Lebanese Army kicked off Thursday, with the participation of 20 states and the support of the United Nations and Italy, the Lebanese military indicated in a tweet.
In her intervention, French Defense Minister Florence Parly said: “We are all concerned with the necessity that the Lebanese army remains capable of assuming its mission in preserving security and stability.”
Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini highlighted the necessity to fulfill the needs of the Lebanese army and to provide key support for the military institution, Lebanon’s National News Agency (NNA) reported.
In turn, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wrontecka indicated that the purpose of this conference is to support the Lebanese Army so that it remains effective and coherent.
For her part, Caretaker Defense Minister Zeina Akar said: “We should not abandon the Army, which is the guarantor of Lebanon's stability and the security of the Lebanese.”
“Today’s conference is an additional act of solidarity undertaken by the international community in support for the institution that constitutes the pillar of stability in the country,” said Akar.
“I would like to thank, in particular, French Minister Florence Parly, for organizing this meeting in collaboration with the Italian state,” she added.
“I would also like to thank the United Nations represented by the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon,” she continued.
Moreover, Akar highlighted the endeavors of the Lebanese Army in uncovering terrorist plots and terror rings, controlling the borders and fighting smuggling, securing the implementation of UN Resolution 1701, and coordinating the distribution of humanitarian aids dispatched to Lebanon following Beirut port blast.
For his part, Lebanese Army Chief General Joseph Aoun (photo) indicated that Lebanon had been facing an unprecedented economic crisis, with no looming solutions.
Heaping praise on the performance of the military amid the current conundrum, General Aoun highlighted the necessity to gather support for the army.
“Any tampering with the military institution will lead to the collapse of the Lebanese entity and to chaos,” he warned.
“We do believe that we will overcome this difficult and critical stage with the determination and will of our soldiers, as well as with the support of the Lebanese and the friendly states,” he underlined.
During his participation in the virtual event, Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, UAE Minister of State for Defense Affairs, emphasized that UAE’s support and encouragement for the exerted French efforts to support and enhance security and stability of the Middle East region, especially in Lebanon.
He also wished that the conference will achieve its goals so as to support for fraternal people of Lebanon, Emirates news agency WAM reported.
Al Bowardi said that the circumstances that the Lebanese people are currently going through are exceptional and require the concerted efforts of all.
He also stressed that the stability of the Lebanese Army and provision of basic support needs are necessary for the stability and security of Lebanese society, and that the UAE is following the situation in Lebanon with concern, and looks forward to its security, stability and prosperity, as well as to overcome these challenges to restore normalcy.