Thursday, February 08, 2007

United States Turns Over 60 New Vehicles to the Internal Security Forces Part of $54.5 Million Security Assistance to Lebanon in 2006

US Embassy Beirut Lebanon

press releases

United States Turns Over 60 New Vehicles to the Internal Security Forces Part of $54.5 Million Security Assistance to Lebanon in 2006

February 7, 2007



The United States turned over 60 new Ford Explorer Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) equipped with sirens and lights to the Lebanese Internal Security Forces (ISF) on February 7, 2007. U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission Christopher W. Murray presented the vehicles to General Ashraf Rifi at a handover ceremony at the Dbayeh Barracks. The SUVs are in addition to 2000 sets of civil disturbance equipment that were delivered to the ISF earlier this year. Together this assistance will help the ISF to expand policing operations in Beirut and throughout the country, while also serving to protect the Lebanese people and their democratically elected government from security threats posed by civil disturbances.

In remarks at the handover ceremony, Mr. Murray thanked the ISF for allowing the U.S. Embassy to use the Dbayeh Compound to process American citizens departing Lebanon during last summer's hostilities. He affirmed that "The United States is steadfastly committed to helping the democratically elected Government of Lebanon to protect the Lebanese people and their territory."

Mr. Murray explained that the assistance "will help in establishing the full sovereignty of a Lebanese Government which represents its entire people, and a Lebanese Army and Internal Security Force capable of protecting Lebanon's territory, sovereignty and dignity."

The United States made additional commitments to the Lebanese security sector at the Paris III conference last month, to include: $220 million for assisting the Lebanese with military equipment and training; $184 million to support the on-going international peacekeeping mission; and $60 million to train and equip security forces.

The United States is providing funding for specialized training and equipment for the ISF to include:

·  Crowd control equipment

·  Crisis response equipment (400 sets)

·  Police uniforms/foul weather gear

·  Refurbishment of Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs)

The SUVs were purchased with U.S. security assistance funds; the civil disturbance equipment was purchased with U.S. Department of Defense stabilization and reconstruction funds made available. Both of these efforts are part of an ongoing program to assist the ISF in its efforts to ensure the safety and security of the Lebanese people, which is helping to support the democratically-elected Government of Lebanon.