News story: UK will help Lebanese Armed Forces train over 2,000 troops in the coming

#1
Ministry of Defence said:
The Foreign Secretary William Hague gave a statement to the media following his meeting with the Lebanese President Michel Sleiman today. He said:
It is a pleasure to be here in Lebanon on my first visit as Foreign Secretary. This is a hugely important country, because of its diversity, its democracy, and its role in the region. Lebanon is a very important partner for the UK as we seek to work together to address the region’s problems and to also take up its opportunities. We are committed to doing everything we can, to support peace and stability here and more widely.
President Sleiman and I had a very warm and productive meeting this morning. We our discussed bilateral relations and of course we discussed the situation in the region. On behalf of the Prime Minister, I handed the President a letter setting out an enhanced offer of support for Lebanon’s stability.
The UK recognises in particular the critical role played by the Lebanese Armed Forces in maintaining stability. That is why we are increasing our training assistance package. We will help the Lebanese Armed Forces train over 2,000 troops in the coming year. This is in addition to the joint activities we already have planned with the armed forces, including equipment and training support, part of the ever closer work the UK is doing with the Lebanese army and the Internal Security Forces. I shall shortly be meeting senior officers of the Lebanese Armed Forces.
President Sleiman and I discussed internal political developments. We noted the Parliamentary process on a draft election law. In these difficult times, it is important that political forces in Lebanon come together in a spirit of dialogue and consensus to agree a process that respects the constitutional timetable for this year’s elections.
We also discussed our trade relationship. I am delighted that trade between the UK and Lebanon increased by 11% last year. British and Lebanese companies can benefit considerably from working together and we stand ready to help develop transparent mechanisms for oil and gas revenue.
Yesterday evening I also met Prime Minister Mikati. We discussed the importance of both stability in Lebanon and inclusive dialogue in the run-up to elections. We agreed, as I have with the president today, on the urgent need to make progress in the Middle East Peace Process, and I welcomed Lebanon’s commitment to cooperate with the Bulgarian investigation into the bombing of a bus in Bourgas.
The situation in Syria remains of enormous concern. The appalling humanitarian crisis, the loss of life, and the threat to regional security cannot be ignored or underestimated. As we have always said, the senseless killing must be brought to an end through a credible political process leading to transition.
Lebanon has taken in Syrian refugees and is giving support and shelter to hundreds of thousands. Lebanon and those who have sought refuge here should not have to stand alone. Later on today I will be announcing UK aid allocated to helping Syrian refugees in Lebanon.
Our friendship with Lebanon, in the face of these challenges, remains staunch and unquestionable.
[h=4]Further Information[/h]Follow the Foreign Secretary on twitter @WilliamJHague and share your views on the future of Lebanon using #FSinBeriut
Before arriving in Lebanon the Foreign Secretary visited Qatar
British Embassy in Beirut website



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#3
Surely strong Lebanese forces will prevent Iran/Hezbollah from taking over?
 
#4
Surely strong Lebanese forces will prevent Iran/Hezbollah from taking over?
In 2006 they stood back and let the Hezbollah crack on when the IDF invaded. There was an obvious presence everywhere but they didn't engage the IDF - even when they were hit by Israeli aircraft.
 
#5
In 2006 they stood back and let the Hezbollah crack on when the IDF invaded. There was an obvious presence everywhere but they didn't engage the IDF - even when they were hit by Israeli aircraft.
I'm trying to work out what the implication is. Are you suggesting that they gave Hezbollah tacit support by allowing them to operate unimpeded, or that they sat back while the Israelis cleaned up for them?
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#8
Op Hyperion (as part of MNF) in 1983 went really well! BritForLeb all over again? I do not think the USMC and the French Paras would want to go back there again having lost 241 and 57 in 2 truck bombings.

I hope they get something better than Ferrets as protection!
 
#11
Stability in Lebanon?

Has the Minister not noted that the main cause of instability in Lebanon has been that rather bad tempered and chippy lot in Israel?
 
#12
Stability in Lebanon?

Has the Minister not noted that the main cause of instability in Lebanon hadps been that rather bad tempered and chippy lot in Israel?
Strengthening the Lebanese state (as opposed to Hezbollah) would reduce the infulence of both Israel and Iran.
 
#16
Britain going to a muslim country to help the locals. What could possibly go wrong? They are of course well known for showing their appreciation after all.
 
#17
Bollocks, nothing has changed since we were last ionvolved in that shit hole of a country!
Not such a shit hole my friend. I still keep my leg there!

South Lebanon is dominated by Hizbollah and that is not likely to change for the foreseeable future. Hizbollah enjoys wide support throughout the region and is seen as a militia as well as a political party providing clinics, ambulances and schools. They also enjoy that support because they are seen locally as the only resistance to Israeli intervention.
 
B

bokkatankie

Guest
#18
Not such a shit hole my friend. I still keep my leg there!

South Lebanon is dominated by Hizbollah and that is not likely to change for the foreseeable future. Hizbollah enjoys wide support throughout the region and is seen as a militia as well as a political party providing clinics, ambulances and schools. They also enjoy that support because they are seen locally as the only resistance to Israeli intervention.
My view of the place is, sadly tainted by my experience there, admittedly a long time ago! Whenever I have tried to set up a reunion in Beirut the response has been a polite no thanks to are you ****ing mad.

Watching the news and reading up on the subject one can see that whilst there has been some level of improvement many of the underlying problems remain (these appear to be made worse by the situation in Syria). The car bomb is still as popular as ever.

I am not sure that British training teams will be able to improve an army that is endemically corrupt and split along tribal and religious lines but I am sure that if the FCO thinks it is a good idea then, of course, it is.

The UK element of the MNF, back in 1983, was the only contingent not to have anyone killed, at the time it was said that this was because we had done so much to help in WW2 and after. The US suffered worst, then the French and then the Italians. Personally I think it had more to do with luck on our side than good will.

K13eod, were you with HALO or similar? Oddly in the Beirut area mines and IED (roadside type) were not our main concern. The IDF had done quite alot of booby trapping in the bases they vacated and one certainly took care entering any other building in the city. For us it was more small arms, rockets, artillery and mortar along with truck, car and even APC bombs.
 
#20
I'm trying to work out what the implication is. Are you suggesting that they gave Hezbollah tacit support by allowing them to operate unimpeded, or that they sat back while the Israelis cleaned up for them?
Yes, they allowed them to operate unimpeded.

Although they lost a lot of men, their South Beirut HQ (and a square kilometre of adjoining buildings flattened) the Hezbollah gave the IDF a nasty shock and by no means 'lost' the conflict. I'd suggest that there wasn't a lot of cleaning up going on.

The collateral damage inflicted by the IDF had an impact on the families of official military personnel living in the South as much as those of the Hezbollah. Furthermore, apart from the airstrike I witnessed I'm sure there where other incidents of IDF attacks on Lebanese Military positions.
 

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