UK Armed Forces Minister visits Lebanon

The UK Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey MP, conducted his first visit to Lebanon this week.

Accompanied by the British Ambassador to Lebanon, HE Dr. Ian Collard, and the British Embassy’s Defence Attaché, Lt. Col Lee Saunders, Mr Heappey met Lebanon's caretaker Minister of Defence, Maurice Sleem, and the Lebanese Army Commander, General Joseph Aoun, to discuss the ongoing military cooperation between the UK and Lebanon.

Mr Heappey met with senior Lebanese officers from the Third Land Border Regiments (LBRs) who operate on the border with Syria. The UK is working to enhance the capabilities of the four LBRs and their efforts to counter cross-border smuggling and terrorist activity; helping with the construction of over 78 border towers, providing 350 Land Rovers and 100 armoured patrol vehicles, and training over 20,000 Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) personnel. 

At the end of his visit, Minister Heappey said:

The UK and Lebanon are close friends and partners. I was proud to see first-hand the positive impact of the military cooperation between our two countries that has spanned more than a decade.

In times of need, the UK stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Lebanon and our partners around the world to tackle shared challenges. In the current context, it is more important than ever that we continue to work together to combat threats to global peace and security.

I have greatly enjoyed my first visit to this beautiful country and hope to return.

The British Ambassador to Lebanon, Dr. Ian Collard, said:

I am delighted to host the Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, on his first visit to Lebanon. The Lebanese Armed Forces is crucial to ensuring Lebanon’s stability and safeguarding the Lebanese people during these challenging times. Since 2010, the UK has committed over £87 million to optimise the LAF’s capabilities which underlines the UK’s government commitment to a safe and stable Lebanon.