Senior UK Defense Adviser Vows 'Continued Support, Friendship with Lebanese Army'
Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer, the UK's Defense Senior Adviser on the Middle East, has ended a two-day visit to Lebanon, the British embassy said on Tuesday.
During the visit he held meetings with President Michel Aoun, Speaker Nabih Berri, General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim and Army Commander General Joseph Aoun. This is General Lorimer’s third visit to Lebanon since November 2017.
Lorimer also addressed a dinner for graduates of UK military academies and institutions hosted by the Defense Attaché Lieutenant Colonel Alex Hilton. He also visited the Land Border Regiment Training Center at Rayak Airbase, and then met the Commander of 3rd Land Border Regiment at one of the surveillance towers overlooking the Lebanese- Syrian border, where he saw first-hand how the UK support is helping Lebanon keep its border safe and maintain stability of the country,” the embassy said.
At the end of his visit, General Lorimer said: “It is a great pleasure to be back in Lebanon. It is a testament of the strong and long-standing relationship with the Lebanese Armed Forces. My visit was an opportunity to see how current and future support to the Lebanese Armed Forces will reinforce Lebanon’s stability and the LAF’s vital role as the legitimate defender of Lebanon.”
"I was impressed to learn that we have helped to train 10,000 Lebanese soldiers and that the Army continues to develop its capability to completely secure the Syrian border. This is a remarkable achievement in such a short time," he added.
Benjamin Wastnage, the British Chargé D’affaires, said: “We are delighted to have General Sir John Lorimer back in Lebanon, as a demonstration of our continued support to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) – which every day, across the country, bravely and professionally defends Lebanon.”
“In this volatile region, it is the LAF that provides for Lebanon’s security, stability and prosperity. And I am proud that the UK continues to be one of the LAF’s largest and most impactful donors, and that the UK’s relationship with the LAF continues to strengthen,” he added.