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Lebanese Interior Minister: Stable, Continuous Cooperation between Aoun, Hariri | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Interior Minister Nohad al-Machnouk coordinating the handover ceremony at the ISF headquarters (NNA)

Beirut – Lebanese Interior Minister Nohad al-Machnouk said that cooperation between President Michel Aoun and Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri was steady and continuous to better serve the country’s interests.

The interior minister coordinated the handover of the director-general position of the Internal Security Forces at the ISF headquarters on Thursday.

The ceremony installed newly appointed Maj. Gen. Imad Othman and officially ended the term of former Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Basbous.

Addressing the ceremony, Machnouk said that the government was witnessing a new era of positive developments.

“The cooperation between President Aoun and Prime Minister Hariri is serious, stable and ongoing at the state’s service,” he stated.

A ceremony was also held Thursday at the Defense ministry in Yarze, where outgoing Army Commander Gen. Jean Kawhagi passed the leadership of the Army Command to Gen. Joseph Aoun, who pledged to keep the military away from sectarian strife.

“I vow to keep the military institution impregnable against the venom of sectarian and regional [turmoil],” Aoun said.

The outgoing commander expressed his confidence his successor’s capabilities.

“I have full confidence in the capacity of this institution to face dangers and challenges … and in your personal ability to assume its command with high competence, in a new era presided over by his excellency the president, Gen. Michel Aoun, who is fully aware of the national role of this institution,” Kahwagi stated.

Also on Thursday, the ISF received a US grant of approximately $1 million dollars’ worth of equipment.

US Ambassador to Lebanon Elizabeth H. Richard attended the ceremony, highlighting US commitment to Lebanon’s state institutions.

In a statement, Richard said the US was proud to deliver this much-needed equipment and reiterated America’s partnership with Lebanon in the fight against terrorism and extremism.

“The gear and equipment delivered today is part of the US State Department’s Anti-terrorism Assistance (ATA) program, which also included five courses of training to advance the ISF as a sophisticated, capable, and professional police force,” Richard stated.

“The equipment and training is part of long-standing US support to develop Lebanon’s border and internal security,” she added.