Italian Defense Minister Roberta Pinotti speaks during an interview with The Daily Star in Beirut, Tuesday, April 1, 2014. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Italian Defense Minister Senator Roberta Pinotti highlighted "intensified" coordination between her country and Lebanon to combat terrorism, saying Italy is committed to training Lebanese security personnel.Recently, Pinotti added, Italy has established an Italian Military Mission in Lebanon – a training center for Lebanese security personnel aimed at providing direct assistance within Lebanon.Speaking about the newly established Italian Military Mission in Lebanon, Pinotti explained that her government decided to use a military facility in the southern area of Assamayah, very close to the area of operations of UNIFIL's Italian contingent in Shamaa, in order to make use of the logistical resources the battalion already has and to facilitate an increased presence of the Lebanese Army south of the Litani River.In terms of fighting terrorism, Italy and Lebanon began collaborating "many decades ago" and coordination has never stopped, Pinotti said.Pinotti said that in light of the fact that Italy is one of the largest contributors to UNIFIL, Lebanon should not expect significant changes in Italy's contribution in the coming months.
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