Prodi’s message to the Lebanese people

Linked with Samir Makdisi – Lebanon.

Beirut, Oct. 11, 2006 – Prodi has said that Italy’s primary aim was to help Lebanon rebuild and consolidate its democratic institutions. “This is a commitment that I have taken upon myself, and which I wish to carry forward jointly with Prime Minister Saniora – with whom we have very close ties of cooperation,” Prodi said in a message to the Lebanese people published by the English language Daily Star newspaper on Wednesday. He said that his visit to Lebanon was to “confirm Italy’s staunch support” for Lebanon and for Saniora’s government. … // … Prodi said the Italian government has recently appropriated a further 30 million euros ($37 million) in assistance, adding that Italian companies will be dedicating their efforts to rebuilding Lebanon’s roads and bridges, demolished by Israeli warplanes during Israel’s offensive on Lebanon this summer. … // … He said that Italy’s aim was to “guarantee” the implementation of U.N. Res. 1701 and help the Lebanese army take control of south Lebanon.

“It is crucially important that the resolution be implemented without hesitation or ambiguity, to guarantee stability and improve relations with Lebanon’s neighbors, and thereby achieve lasting peace,” Prodi said in his message. He said that UNIFIL “stands as evidence that with the support of the international community and its leading players, the United Nations can make all the difference, and can operate effectively to foster peace and development.” Prodi appealed to the Lebanese to brush off their differences and engage themselves in dialogue instead. … // … He said he hoped that with the help of Italy, the European Union, the United Nations and the international community, Lebanon “will now rapidly embark on her reconstruction, and rediscover the values and benefits of dialogue, understanding and coexistence.” (Read the whole article on naharnet.com).

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