U.S. Army Mideast Commander Joseph Votel Visits Lebanon
U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) Commander General Joseph L. Votel visited Lebanon Tuesday as part of a multi-stop tour of the Middle East, the U.S. Embassy said.
Votel met with Army Commander General Jean Qahwagi and other key leaders of the Lebanese Armed Forces. He also observed Lebanese marine commando exercises at the Amchit military base.
During his meetings with the Lebanese army, Votel reaffirmed “the Lebanese-American partnership in countering the threat of terrorism and reiterated the United States’ long term commitment to supporting the LAF in its role as the sole defender of Lebanon,” the embassy said in a statement.
“As I have heard repeatedly from American military trainers here, the Lebanese Armed Forces are second to none. Their skills, professionalism, dedication to duty, and commitment to defend their country are unsurpassed,” Votel said in Amchit.
“America is proud to support Lebanon’s brave military members who risk their lives every day to keep this country safe,” he added.
“The LAF continue to do an extraordinary job in confronting extremist threats arising from across the Syrian border. The Force has demonstrated to enemies and friends alike that they are strong, fully capable of defending Lebanon’s borders, and have the support of the Lebanese people,” Votel went on to say.
“The LAF is a strong institution, and America has been and will continue to be the army’s steadfast and foremost security partner. The U.S. has provided over $1.4 billion dollars in security assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces since 2005,” the general added.