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Lebanon News

U.S. generals meet Kahwagi, emphasize Army cooperation

  • Lebanese Army Gen. Jean Kahwagi, center, meets with U.S. delegation on Sunday, May 5, 2013. (The Daily Star/HO)

BEIRUT: Two U.S. generals met with Gen. Jean Kahwagi Sunday and discussed Washington’s aid to the Lebanese military, noting that over $140 million in equipment has been delivered since last year.

According to the U.S. Embassy, Director of Strategy, Plans, and Policy for U.S. Central Command Maj. Gen. William D. Beydler and Deputy Director for Politico-Military Affairs for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Brig. Gen. Guy T. Cosentino visited Lebanon and met with Kahwagi in the presence of senior military officers and U.S. Ambassador Maura Connelly.

Beydler and Cosentino said there has been a strong and sustained military cooperation between the two countries.

“They noted the over $140 million in equipment delivered to the Lebanese Armed Forces since June 2012 that includes aircraft, a naval vessel, armored and unarmored vehicles, guns, ammunition, equipment, and medical supplies,” the embassy said in a press release.

The two generals also underscored the Pentagon’s support for Lebanon to implement its obligations under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701 to disarm the country of militias and enforce the soverignty of the nation.

According to the Army’s general directorate, Kahwagi and the U.S. delegation discussed security and military cooperation and the Army's needs of equipment, arms and training.

The generals voiced their appreciation to the national role of the military and their country's commitment to supporting and strengthening the military's capabilities.

Earlier this week, a senior Pentagon offical met with Kahwagi and spoke about the presence of radical Islamists who have infiltrated Lebanon, some of whom are wanted by the U.S., sources close to the meeting told The Daily Star.

The two also discussed the Army’s counterterrorism measures and intelligence cooperation between the two countries in light of the recent Boston bombings, the sources added.

The sources expect more U.S. officials to visit Lebanon in the coming weeks given increasing tension in the region and Lebanon’s stability has become a priority for both Washington and the West.

 
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