Monday, September 16, 2019
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BRITISH MINISTER FOR SECURITY FROM LEBANON: ‘YOUR SECURITY IS OUR SECURITY’

Minister of State for Security the Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP has ended a two day visit to Lebanon, where he highlighted the strength of the UK's security partnership with Lebanon. During his two days, the Minister met Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil and Interior Minister Nohad Machnouk; the heads of the Armed Forces, Internal Security Forces and General Security, as well as other senior security chiefs; and witnessed UK projects to support the Lebanese Armed Forces and Internal Security Forces.

The UK has committed $100m since 2011 to supporting Lebanese security through our partnership with Lebanese security forces.

During his visit to Hamat Air Base, Minister Wallace learned how the LAF are effectively countering Daesh in the Qalamoun; discussed UK support to secure 100% of Lebanon's border with Syria by 2019; and observed a live training demonstration on counter IED, as well as a new LAF training component on International Humanitarian Law, where he addressed LAF officers and spoke to them about the important of respect for humanitarian law and human rights. By 2019, the UK will have trained around 11,000 soldiers for frontline operations across Lebanon.

The Security Minister discussed internal security with Director General Imad Osman, and visited the ISF Academy where the UK is supporting the establishment of a strategic planning capability and helping train officers. He also visited the UK-supported model police stations at Ras Beirut, and the sites of the next model police stations across Hamra; and discussed with the Inspector General how improved and increased inspections across ISF police stations and facilities would improve professionalism, standards, and human rights.

With Minister Bassil, he discussed bilateral relations, recent tragic events in the UK, and ongoing security cooperation.

At the end of his visit Minister Wallace said:

"It is a privilege to visit Lebanon for the first time.

More than ever, the UK is committed to working with countries in this region and around the whole world to tackle head on the threat from terrorism and violent extremism.

The UK has provided $100m of security assistance to Lebanon since 2011. Lebanon is a strong and effective partner for the UK on security and counter-terrorism, and I leave Lebanon impressed by the commitment and determination of Lebanon's security agencies. Our investments in Lebanese security are specifically designed to safeguard Lebanese stability and ensure the Lebanese state has the means to defend Lebanon 24/7.

To finish, I would like to say this: the UK and Lebanon have a shared interest in security, stability and prosperity, standing side by side in the face of terrorism. We are committed to ensuring Lebanon's sovereignty is maintained, from the border regions at Tfail to the streets of Beirut."

Source: National News Agency