Following Ambassador Hugo Shorter’s call on President General Michel Aoun at Baabda Palace, the Embassy released the following statement from the Ambassador:
In my meeting with President Aoun I welcomed the strong and dynamic bilateral ties between the UK and Lebanon, most recently marked by the visit of the Royal Navy’s flagship HMS Ocean this weekend.
The UK is a strong believer in Lebanese institutions, supporting the Lebanese Armed Forces with $77m since 2011 to train 11,000 soldiers by 2019; supporting the Internal Security Forces with $25m over three years to build its effectiveness and its public support; working with the Ministry of Social Affairs to bring tangible benefits to communities affected by the refugee crisis; with the Ministry of Education to provide free schoolbooks and a free, quality education to every child; and with the Central Bank to create jobs in the high-potential tech sector.
We discussed the framework of international agreements and Security Council resolutions, aimed at protecting Lebanon’s stability and security which have set out shared commitments to ensuring the full exercise by the Lebanese state of its sovereignty across its territory.
We also discussed the upcoming elections, and I reiterated my hope that these will take place in a timely manner, under an electoral law agreed by the Lebanese. I believe that is what the Lebanese people expect, and that they deserve to make their voice heard.
The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with Lebanon for security, stability and prosperity.