Visitors of the Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun
The Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun received in his office in Yarzeh the Deputy Undersecretary of the Air Force for International Affairs Ms. Heidi H. Grant who was heading an accompanying delegation with the presence of US Ambassador Ms. Elizabeth Richard where they discussed the relations of cooperation between both countries as well as the US aid program in terms of the armament of the Lebanese Air Force. Ambassador Richard recited a joint speech on behalf of the US side in which she commended the achievements of the LAF in facing terrorism at the borders and inside Lebanon. Ms. Richard also pointed out that its country’s government had recently transferred 42.9 million$ to the Government of Lebanon through which the government of Lebanon can request reimbursement for some of the LAF’s costs in securing Lebanon’s borders, particularly in the fight against extremist groups. Ms. Richard also expressed the commitment of the US to a secure, stable, democratic and prosperous Lebanon through different development projects and to the partnership with the LAF. What she said in audio: …..
Furthermore, General Aoun expressed his appreciation to the US authorities for their support to the LAF and expressed his appreciation to MS. Grant’s care for Lebanon and its army. General Aoun also commended her exceptional role in boosting the capabilities of the Lebanese Air Force and confirmed that the LAF appreciates the historical strategic partnership between both armies. What he said in audio: ….
The joint press statement for the US side recited by US Ambassador Ms. Elizabeth Richard
We are pleased to have with us Ms. Heidi Grant, the deputy undersecretary of the airforce for international affairs. She comes to Lebanon following the arrival of the first of the Super Tucano A29 attack aircraft, just 2 weeks ago, to help further advance of the LAF’s development of its AirForce. So we’re delighted to have her here to continue this path that we and the LAF are on together to develop the capability of the force.
Her visit is a wonderful opportunity for us to officially announce that the US government has just transferred 42.9 million$ of department of defense funds to the government of Lebanon through the ministry of finance. This funding is a part of a border operations reimbursement program, through which the government of Lebanon can request reimbursement for some of the LAF’s costs in securing Lebanon’s borders, particularly in the fight against ISIS and other extremist groups.
As we have seen, the LAF have done an excellent job in stopping the advance of these groups in to Lebanon’s northeast border and the Army continues to prevent their spread into and throughout Lebanon. This reimbursement to the government of Lebanon was based on invoices prepared by Lebanese ministry of finance on behalf of the ministry of defense and the army for this year from October 2017-March 2017.
The US government and the US Embassy are looking forward to coordinating with government of Lebanon and the LAF regarding the use of these reimbursed funds.
I want to say here that the US remains committed to a secure, stable, democratic and prosperous Lebanon. We are very proud of all our efforts across the country to help the people of Lebanon, through education, micro-finance for startups and support to medium businesses, and programs that improve the agricultural sector, our electricity and solar energy and water projects and there is so much more. We’re very proud of all of this that is meant to help the Lebanese people and I want to say today that we are particularly proud of our partnership with the LAF so thank you very much General Aoun and all the team for what you’re doing. I am very happy to be here and I am very happy for this grant.
The speech of the Armed Forces Commander General Joseph Aoun
Once again, I would like to welcome each and every one of you, especially Ms. Heidi Grant, our champ, the Air Force Champ.
Thank you for what you did to raise the level of the Air Force into a very exceptional level. We are looking forward to keep supporting us to be able to do our job, and we really value and appreciate our historical strategic partnership and we are looking forward to continuing this partnership, thank you again.
We really appreciate your support, and you’re always carrying the LAF in particular and Lebanon in general in your heart and in your mind. Thank you very much, really and God Bless you.