Beirut- US Ambassador to Beirut Elizabeth Richard reiterated on Monday America’s support for the Lebanese army “as the sole provider of security and stability to the Lebanese people,” stressing Washington’s long-term commitment to Lebanon.
Richard spoke at Beirut Port during the delivery of Bradley Fighting Vehicles and armored field artillery ammunition supply vehicles to the Lebanese Armed Forces.
“We are here at the Port of Beirut to mark the delivery of eight M2A2 Bradley Fighting Vehicles. These are the very first of a total shipment of 32 Bradleys that will be delivered in the coming months. This contribution to the Lebanese Armed Forces represents an investment of over 100 million dollars. It will provide the Lebanese Armed Forces with new capabilities to protect Lebanon, to protect its borders, and to fight terrorists,” the diplomat said.
“Over the next several months, the Army will undergo intensive training on how to operate and maintain this new, very sophisticated combat system,” she stated.
“Over the last few years, as you know, the United States has intensified its engagement and support to the Lebanese Army. I would just like you to review how in the past 12 months alone; the United States has provided the following defense articles to the Lebanese Army: 40 M198 howitzers, 50 armored Humvees, an Armed Cessna aircraft with hellfire missiles, 55 mortar systems, 50 Mark-19 automatic grenade launchers, 1,100 machine guns, including 800 50 caliber machine guns, 4,000 M4 rifles, over half a million rounds of ammunition, 320 night vision devices and thermal sights and 360 secure communication radios,” Richard added.
The ambassador also stressed that the US support for Lebanon is based on the shared interests of the American people and the Lebanese people. “Our support is based on the principle that we share the same goals for stability and security in this country, and we share the view that the Lebanese Armed Forces need to maintain their rightful place as the sole provider of security and stability to the Lebanese people.”
“On behalf of the American people, I am pleased to once again demonstrate our long-term commitment to Lebanon, and our support long term to the Army – and only the army – as it fights terrorism and defends the borders of this country,” she added.