The 3rd day of General Aoun in the USA
The Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun continued his visit to the USA along with an accompanying delegation of officers where he met with several officials in the US Army in a wide scale meeting in the Pentagon. The meeting included Lebanese and US officials in order to discuss the relations between both armies and express appreciation to the US military aid as well as put forth a new plan for future LAF needs. General Aoun then visited the Arlington national cemetery and put a wreath of flowers on the tomb of the unknown soldier.
Moreover, the Lebanese Ambassador to the USA Mr. Gabriel Issa organized an official dinner in the honor of General Aoun and the accompanying delegation in which the US Ambassador to Lebanon Ms. Elizabeth Richard, the minister of Health Alex Azar and the Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs for the U.S. Department of the Treasury were present in addition to several Lebanese and US figures.
General Aoun delivered a speech in which he said: “First off, I would like to extend my deep pride in the renewed gatherings joining us. This gathering will be added to a long series of meetings in the stages of cooperation and coordination between the United States Armed Forces and LAF. The United States have repeatedly shown a keen interest in supporting the security and stability of Lebanon through the process of developing LAF’s capabilities in terms of procuring state of the art weaponry, equipment and training programs. It is a precious confidence that we take pride in just as we admire the high level of the partnership that we forged together in order to confront the dangers that are threatening us, particularly the danger of terrorism and its criminal schemes aimed at assaulting the values and security of free Nations.
The Lebanese Armed Forces have achieved major accomplishments in fighting terrorism, whether through forcing terrorist organizations out of our eastern borders after the “Dawn of the Outskirts” operation, or through pursuing and eradicating their cells inside the country. Undoubtedly, the massive support offered by the United States of America as an efficient partner has highly contributed to these victories.
However, despite the importance of our achievements, they are merely a phase in a long war against terrorism, that requires close cooperation and complete coordination between us. We are fully confident that we will achieve ultimate victory over terrorism, thanks to the determination and sacrifices of the Lebanese Armed Forces, but also thanks to the constant support offered by our allies, particularly the United States of America.
In this frame, I would like to highlight the importance of the Lebanese Embassy in the United States of America, through its ambassador and diplomatic team. It has played quite a valuable role in strengthening the ties between both countries, let alone the role of the Lebanese community that has always been an exemplary representative of our nation and its openness towards the people of the world.
In the end, allow me to express my appreciation to your kind hospitality. In addition, I would like to thank Senator Robert Karem, the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, for his interest in backing up Lebanon and its Armed Forces. I am hopeful that this visit will contribute to strengthening the relations between our countries and Armed Forces in a way that contributes to achieving our joint interests and objectives.”
Ambassador Richard also delivered a speech in which she stress the role of the LAF and commended its combat skills, regardless of its capabilities and confirmed that the support to the LAF will persist.
Moreover, Ambassador Gabriel Issa expressed his appreciation to the US Ambassador for her constant support to the LAF and stated that the Lebanese Embassy in the USA will carry on with its efforts with the US authorities in order to keep supporting the LAF.