The British ambassador to Lebanon Hugo shorter and the Minister of Interior Nohad Al-Machnouk signed a Memorandum of Understanding today at Aramoun Training Facility that anchors future co-operation with the Internal Security Forces worth £13million from the Conflict, Security and Stability Fund over the next three years. The MOU was signed in the presence of Major General Ibrahim Basbous, senior ISF officers, British police attaché Rob Shepherd, and representatives from the British policing force.
This MOU confirms the UK’s support as agreed when the Minister of Interior visited London earlier this year. We are proudly supporting his plan to establish a credible police force for all of Lebanon, and will work with General Basbous in every way we can to help the ISF meet the security challenges Lebanon faces every day. In particular, we will continue to work on establishing a community-led police force across the whole of Beirut and beyond; working with the ISF’s Academy to improve the professionalism of new recruits and train experienced officers in the skills needed to engage with communities and respond to their needs; and with the new Strategic Planning Team, the Mobile Forces, and the Inspectorate General, we will help improve long term planning, accountability, and respect for Human Rights.
After the signature ambassador Shorter said:
This is yet another shining example of our support to Lebanon and our long term relationship with the Ministry of Interior and the Internal Security Forces. We recognize the challenges that face the men and women of the police on a daily basis and we are determined to support them as they confront mounting security threats and the scourge of terrorism. I applaud the ministry’s determination to build a modern police force based on state of the art training, human rights and community focused policing.
The United Kingdom has been providing assistance to the Ministry of Interior for almost a decade. And achievements have been many: the establishment of the Strategic Planning Team and office, Community Policing Training, the Ras Beirut Policing Pilot, the Code of Conduct, the new VTC facility for Crisis Management, ISF Human Rights Department, to name a few.
I have assured Minister Al-Machnouk, as I did yesterday PM Salam, that the UK remains committed to Lebanon’s stability, security and prosperity. The UK’s vote to leave the EU will not affect our relations or commitments to Lebanon and our partners. We stand by Lebanon’s side in confronting the scourge of terrorism, defending its borders, promoting jobs and livelihoods, expanding access to education and managing the impact of the Syrian crisis.
Minister Al-Machnouk said:
On this occasion, I would like to thank the British Government represented by Ambassador Hugo Shorter for signing the Memorandum of Understanding that projects the practical implementation of the British government’s decision in supporting the Lebanese State represented by the Directorate General of the Internal Security Forces for £13m last March following my official visit to London.
This initiative is a clear and honest message by which the British Government reiterates its support to the exceptional efforts carried by the Lebanese security forces especially the Internal Security Forces in countering terrorism and reinforcing security and stability in Lebanon.
The Memorandum of Understanding is a clear example of the priorities that I have put in place and have been working on implementing since I assumed my position at the ministry, based on reinforcing and developing the training capacities of the ministry’s security forces.