US Embassy marks 15 years of law enforcement partnership with ISF


U.S. Ambassador Dorothy Shea met Thursday with Internal Security Forces chief Major General Imad Othman on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the signing of the first letter of agreement between the United States, through the Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), and the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF), on October 5, 2007.

Then-U.S. Ambassador Jeffrey Feltman signed the first letter of agreement providing an initial $60 million of assistance to strengthen the skills, equipment, and administration of the ISF on October 5, 2007. At the time, Ambassador Feltman said that “a strong army should be complimented by a well-trained and well-equipped police force, such as the ISF.”

“That vision remains true today,” a U.S. Embassy statement said.

“Since 2007, the United States has remained a steadfast partner of the ISF, having provided more than $210 million in law enforcement assistance for basic policing techniques, community policing, specialized investigation skills, tactical training, corrections reform, and communications infrastructure. In addition to constructing the modern ISF academy at Aramoun, the United States provided equipment and vehicles worth millions of dollars to improve civilian law enforcement,” the statement added.

“Through U.S. Department of State programs, the U.S. Embassy in Beirut has supported the travel of hundreds of ISF officers to international trainings and symposia, exposing them to global best practices and enabling them to share their own knowledge with colleagues from around the world. Through INL assistance and in collaboration with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), ISF officers have received premier law enforcement training from the FBI’s National Academy in Quantico, Virginia, and specialized trainings in Lebanon from FBI subject matter experts,” the statement said.

Ambassador Shea for her part said that “it is no secret that these are difficult times for Lebanon.”

“Throughout this challenging period, our support to the ISF has been unwavering and will continue,” she added.

“The United States is proud to continue to support and strengthen the ISF as a central institution to the future of the Lebanese state,” Shea went on to say.

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