An international virtual conference hosted by France to drum up support for the Lebanese army has been held with the participation of 20 states and the support of the United Nations and Italy, the Lebanese military indicated in a tweet on Thursday.
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 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.
In his intervention, 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.
For her part, 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.”
In turn, UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon Joanna Wrontecka indicated that the purpose of today’s conference was to support the Lebanese army so that it should remain effective and coherent.