Guido Crosetto greets Italy’s UNIFIL soldiers. On Monday, the Italian Defence Minister travelled to Shama, Lebanon, headquarters of the Italian division of the UN’s peacekeeping missions. He wanted to convey “the attention, respect and closeness of the State” and personally meet them, as he explained in an official note.
- “The greatest defence we have is the respect that we have earned, that you have earned […] the relationship that has been established with the Lebanese people, with the Lebanese Armed Forces and with all the actors in the field,” he told the Italian soldiers, who have been working under the UN to stabilise the area bordering Israel since 1978.
Remember the UN’s contribution. “The Blue Helmets have a fundamental role in peacemaking and protecting the population,” added Minister Crosetto, recalling that their presence is even more fundamental today in the face of new challenges and difficulties.
No two ways about it. In closing, the Italian Defence Minister remarked that it’s “necessary to make a clear distinction between Hamas, which is a terrorist organisation that aims to destroy Israel, and the fate of the Palestinian people. Italy, for its part, is moving at 360 degrees” to ensure “a de-escalation of the conflict,” he said, echoing the message brought by Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni at the Cairo Peace Conference.
- “It would be dramatic if these events inflame the Islamic world and trigger a new war between the West and Islam,” he added, noting this is the first time he had seen such concerted efforts to prevent the situation from deteriorating.