Sa’ad Hariri was addressing representatives of around 40 countries and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at a Thursday conference in Rome, Italy, aimed at rallying financial support for Lebanon’s Armed Forces (LAF).
Israel “remains the primary threat to Lebanon,” Hariri said, noting, “We will be sending more LAF troops to the south, and we stress our intention to deploy another regiment.”
The regime staged two wholesale wars against Lebanon in 2000 and 2006 to defeat the country’s resistance movement of Hezbollah, which is Lebanon’s de facto military power.
The regime fell short of the ambition in both cases in the face of strong resistance by Hezbollah, backed by the National Army, and instead saw its myth of invincibility being dealt a serious blow.
Hariri’s comments come amid mounting speculation that Israel is preparing for another act of aggression against Lebanon, which would be focused on weakening its resistance movement.
The regime violates Lebanon’s airspace on an almost daily basis by sending in drones on spy missions. The Israeli military has also been recurrently targeting Hezbollah targets in Syria, where the movement has been successfully helping the Syrian government fight off Takfiri terrorism.
Hezbollah has warned that a crushing response awaits the Israeli enemy if it opts for a new war on Lebanon.
Hariri further complained that “Israel continues to make plans to build walls on reservation areas along the Blue Line,” referring to the UN-designated line, which set the limits for Israel’s 2000 withdrawal from southern Lebanon.
Lebanon says the wall passes through territory, which belongs to Lebanon but is located on Blue Line. President Michel Aoun has said the wall would breach Lebanese territory at 13 different points, calling for “corrections” along the Blue Line.
Hariri further presented the conference with five-year plans outlining the future of Lebanon’s military and security services.
Addressing the event, the UN chief also urged the world community to “express its full support” for Lebanon.
“It is now absolutely essential for the international community to show the same solidarity, a strong solidarity with Lebanon,” said the UN chief, adding, “Lebanon is a fundamental pillar of stability in the region. This status is the product of tremendous hard work on the part of leaders and citizens alike.”
During the forum, France had pledged to give nearly $500 million to support the Lebanese army, while the European Union offered $61.5 million and the United Kingdom gave $13 million.