Thursday, July 02, 2009

U.S. Official Visits Lebanon to Review Assistance Program for Internal Security Forces

July 2, 2009 U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, David T. Johnson, visited Beirut July 1 and 2.   During his visit, Assistant Secretary Johnson reaffirmed the United States' support for Lebanon and reviewed the U.S. Government's successful, ongoing $80 million program of assistance to the Internal Security Forces (ISF).  The program helps the ISF enforce the rule of law and protect the Lebanese people within their sovereign state.
Accompanied by Ambassador Michel J. Sison, he held meetings with Prime Minister-Designate Saad Hariri, the caretaker Minister of Interior and Municipal Affairs, Ziad Baroud, , the Director General of the Internal Security Forces, Achraf Rifi, and his Command Staff, Ambassador Khalil Makkawi, Chair of the Lebanese Palestinian Dialogue Committee, and United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) representatives at the Nahr al-Barid Palestinian Refugee Camp.
The multi-year U.S. Government assistance program to the ISF is focused on training, equipment donations and infrastructure development.  American police advisors are working with their Lebanese colleagues and have trained over 2000 police recruits, instructors, and supervisors in modern police practices, administration, democratic policing, human rights, criminal investigations and other essential law enforcement skills.  Specialized courses concentrating on counter-narcotics, intellectual property rights and high risk traffic stops are part of the ongoing program.  U.S.-sponsored training also assists Lebanese police advisers in drafting curriculum and training police recruits, skills which are essential for the sustainability of the program.  
A new community policing program to enhance the capabilities of the IST to assume its security role in Nahr al-Barid will begin later this summer.
The U.S. Government has provided basic duty gear and civil disorder management equipment to the ISF, donated 480 new police vehicles and refurbished armored personnel carriers as well as renovated academy classrooms, offices and firing ranges for training use.
The U.S. Government has been assisting the ISF in its development since October 2006. The professional development of the ISF is critical to Lebanon's sovereignty and security. 
Embassy Of The United States. Beirut. Lebanon - Press Release

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