President Michel Aoun told Italian Defense Minister Lorenzo Guerini, whom he welcomed at the Baabda Palace this Friday, that Lebanon is willing to strengthen relations with Italy in all fields, especially in the economic field, building on the friendship established between the two countries.”
Aoun praised the Italian contingent’s participation in the UNIFIL force and its coordination with the Lebanese Army units deployed in the area of international operations.
During the meeting, which was attended by Italian Ambassador Massimo Marotti and the delegation accompanying the Italian Minister, as well as Minister of State for Presidential Affairs, Salim Jreissati, President Aoun reviewed the current situation in the country, stressing that “addressing the causes of popular movements wl be one of the main concerns of the future government.”
“Lebanon is currently suffering from several years of imbalance in the national economy, which was a rentier economy,” he said, stressing that “this imbalance will be addressed through the economic paper approved by the previous government which focuses on the importance of the production sectors.
The Head of State said “the international community has not responded to repeated Lebanese pleas to repatriate [displaced Syrians],” reiterating Lebanon’s rejection of the proposal submitted to the EU Parliament to integrate the displaced in host communities.
During the meeting, the Italian minister expressed his happiness to visit Lebanon for the first time since assuming his duties two months ago, affirming “the Italian government’s support for Lebanon in these difficult circumstances,” and stressing the role of the Italian forces operating within the UNIFIL.
He underscored his country’s desire “to develop Lebanese-Italian relations and push them forward in all fields,” stressing the “importance of Lebanon’s role in its surroundings and the world, hence the importance of its independence and stability.”
“Italy understands Lebanon’s position on the issue of displaced Syrians and will make efforts to help it overcome the repercussions this issue has on the Lebanese State and society,” he said.