British diplomat meets Hariri in Lebanon to show UK support for Lebanese Army
Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer also met with President Michel Aoun and LAF Commander Joseph Aoun
Britain’s incoming Defence Senior Adviser on the Middle East has visited Lebanon as part of his pre-appointment tour of the region to reaffirm the Britain’s support for the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) in the fight against ISIL.
During the trip, Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer met with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri, and LAF Commander Joseph Aoun.
“I am delighted to be back in Lebanon. The UK has a long and strong relationship with the Lebanese Armed Forces,” General Lorimer said.
“My visit is an opportunity to congratulate Commander Aoun on the LAF’s victory against Daesh this summer, and to highlight continued UK support to the LAF, which will help deliver next year a fully secured Lebanese border with Syria. This visit will further strengthen the UK’s partnership and friendship with the LAF.”
Lebanon faced a political crisis earlier this month after Prime Minister Hariri resigned in a televised address from Saudi Arabia, blaming Iran for its increasing influence in his country via Hizbollah and saying he feared being assassinated.
The resignation triggered accusations that Saudi Arabia had coerced him into standing down in response to the growing influence of Hizbollah in Lebanon, claims which both Mr Hariri and Saudi Arabia have denied.
Iran-backed Hizbollah, which is a part of Mr Hariri's government formed last December, has sent its fighters into the Syrian civil war to support Bashar Al Assad’s forces.
Mr Hariri agreed to suspend his resignation last week, having returned to Lebanon in a deal arranged by French President Emmanuel Macron.
Updated: November 29, 2017 05:06 AM