BEIRUT: Lebanese Army chief Gen. Jean Kahwagi said Wednesday the military has demonstrated its ability to protect Lebanon from regional repercussions and combat terrorism, which he described as a threat to international peace.
“The Lebanese Army proved it is up to the challenge, in terms of preserving security, protecting Lebanon [from] regional dangers, and fighting terrorism, which is a global danger that has become a threat to international peace and humanity,” Kahwagi said in a speech at ceremony organized by the Italian Embassy in Baabda.
“We voice our readiness to ensure that constitutional deadlines are kept, [confirm] our perseverance to secure civil peace against effects of this critical stage in the region, as well as our readiness to make sacrifices for the sake of protecting coexistence among this country's people,” he added.
He also said the Army respected the Taif Accord “which set the foundations for civil peace in Lebanon.”
Lebanon has been rocked by a series of car bombs mostly in the Beirut southern suburbs where Hezbollah enjoys broad support. Some of the bombings were claimed by radical Syrian rebel groups, in retaliation to the group’s military involvement in Syria.
The Army has also been a target of attacks in the northern city of Tripoli and the coastal city of Sidon in the past year.
In his speech, Kahwagi said the Lebanese Army would continue to implement the U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 in coordination with the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, praising Italy for committing to Lebanon’s security and stability.
“We never forgot the efforts made by the Italian army for the sake of Lebanon's stability...when the [Italian] military participated as a peacekeeping force for the first time in 1982...We will never forget Italian peacekeepers with the U.N. Interim force in Lebanon,” he said.
“We continue to work to implement Resolution 1701 in coordination with the peacekeepers to preserve stability in border areas and preserving the right to defend out land, people and resources from any Israeli aggression,” he added.
The Italian ambassador also honored Kahwagi with Italy's Order of Merit, with the rank of "Commander."