On Tuesday, the UK Minister of the Armed Forces, James Heappey, reiterated his government’s support for the Lebanese Army during his one-day visit to Lebanon:
“In times of need, the UK stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Lebanon and our partners around the world to tackle shared challenges. In the current context, it is more important than ever that we continue to work together to combat threats to global peace and security.”
Minister Heappey met with the Lebanese Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, and Lebanon’s Minister of Defence, Maurice Sleem, to discuss military cooperation between the two countries.
Accompanied by the British ambassador to Lebanon, Ian Collard, and the British Embassy’s Defence Attaché, Lieutenant Colonel Lee Saunders, Minister Heappey visited the Third Land Border Regiment (LBR), at the borders with Syria in the Bekaa, to see how the UK projects help the Army maintain the country’s stability.
These projects helped make the area safer in regard to illegal activities such as smuggling.
“UK support has enabled the deployment of four Land Border Regiments (LBRs), the construction of over 78 border towers, provision of 350 Land Rovers, 100 armored patrol vehicles, and training of over 20,000 Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) personnel,” Heappey stated.
The British ambassador to Lebanon also gave a statement at the end of the Minister’s visit:
“The Lebanese Armed forces is crucial to ensuring Lebanon’s stability and safeguarding the Lebanese people during these challenging times.”
“Since 2010, the UK has committed over £87 million to optimize the LAF’s capabilities, which underlines the UK’s government to a safe and stable Lebanon,” he noted.