BEIRUT - Italian foreign minister Federica Mogherini met with her Lebanese counterpart Gebran Bassil on Saturday during a two-day visit to Lebanon, ahead of a conference in Rome on June 17 to support the Lebanese army.

The conference that will bring together several countries and international organizations aims to demonstrate the political and international support for the Lebanese army as a tool for the unity for the country and to strengthen security in Lebanon and the region, Mogherini told reporters after meeting Bassil.

"It is important to support the Lebanese army, first of all as the country's military institution; secondly, as an instrument of stability and security for a country that is experiencing a conflict situation on its borders. The priority, not only for the region, but also for the international community, is to do it in such a way that this conflict does not have major security implications on Lebanon," she added at a joint news conference with Bassil at the Lebanese ministry of foreign affairs and emigrants in Beirut.


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