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Italian PM arrives in Beirut on one-day visit

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Baku, December 22 AZERTAC

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi arrived in Beirut on Monday for a one-day visit which will see him meet with Lebanese officials and inspect his country‘s troops in the south of the country.

The premier will first inspect the Italian contingent operating as a part of the United Nations Interim Force (UNIFIL) in southern Lebanon and will meet with its commander, Italian General Luciano Portolano.

He is later due to meet with his Lebanese counterpart Tammam Salam and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri in the capital Beirut.

Italy has more than 1,000 troops operating in the UNIFIL force in southern Lebanon.

UNIFIL was created by the UN Security Council in 1978 to confirm Israeli withdrawal from Lebanon, maintain international peace and security and assist the Lebanese government in restoring its authority in the area.

In 2006 and following the July conflict between Israel and Lebanon, the Security Council, based on resolution 1701, enhanced UNIFIL‘s mandate and capacity to ensure calm at countries‘ joint border.

The UNIFIL currently comprises over 10,000 military personnel from 38 countries.

Renzi‘s visit came two days after three rockets had been fired from southern Lebanon into northern Israel by unidentified militants, following the assassination of Hezbollah senior member Samir al-Quntar by an Israeli airstrike in the Syrian capital Damascus.

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