In a press release by the British Embassy in Beirut, it said: "As part of his farewell meetings as British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hugo Shorter attended the High Level Steering Committee, with US Ambassador Elizabeth Richard and the Lebanese Army's Commander General Joseph Aoun at the new Land Border Training Center at Rayak. The discussions focused on the Lebanese Army's efforts to secure 100% of the Lebanese-Syrian border by 2019.
During the meeting, Ambassador Shorter inaugurated the Land Border Training Center at Rayak. This Centre will support the Land Border regiments deployed along the totality of the Lebanese borders with Syria. The UK has committed over Pound 60 million to this project in recent years, alongside significant contributions from the US and other international donors.
Noting the extensive success of the Lebanese Armed Forces, Ambassador Shorter congratulated LAF Commander on the upcoming anniversary of Fajr el Jouroud which saw the defeat of Daesh in Lebanon, and reaffirmed the UK's support to the Lebanese Armed Forces as the sole defender of Lebanon, providing security to all citizens including near-border communities.
After the meeting Ambassador Shorter said:
'It has always been a privilege to meet the Commander of the Lebanese Army General Joseph Aoun and discuss progress on the UK's Land Border Project. It has been a privilege to serve as ambassador to Lebanon for three incredible years. I have seen firsthand how the army has continued to transform over this period. It is a respected and professional army that has shown its ability to protect Lebanon from the biggest regional and internal threats and challenges.
I am pleased that the UK and the US will continue helping the LAF construct and equip additional Protected Border Observation Posts and Forward Operating Bases to support the Land Border Regiments deliver their mission - maintaining security within Lebanon.
The UK has been a true friend and ally of the LAF. Since the start of the Syrian crisis in 2011, the UK has invested more than Pound 60 million in support of stability. We've worked on the establishment of four Land Border Regiments deployed along the border from north to south, provided training and mentoring for thousands of troops, and selected the LAF's brightest and best to study at our finest military institutions. This can only confirm the strength and effectiveness of this institution.
The UK is proud to be a key partner and ally to the Lebanese Army'.
Source: National News Agency