The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 15 December 2023.
Ambassador Cowell expressed his condolences for the death of a LAF soldier in Lebanon and called for restoring calm on the Blue Line.
The British Ambassador to Lebanon, Hamish Cowell, the US Ambassador, Dorothy Shea, and the Canadian Ambassador Stefanie McCollum, met the Commander in Chief of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) General Joseph Aoun during the High Level Steering Committee (HLSC) to discuss security on the Lebanese-Syrian border.
The HLSC oversees internationally funded efforts to support the four Land Border Regiments to continue to deliver external security and reinforce the authority of the Lebanese state along its land border with Syria.
Following the meeting, Ambassador Cowell said:
It was an honour to meet General Aoun to discuss positive progress on the border project.
I was saddened to hear about the death of a LAF soldier in south Lebanon last week. I convey my deepest sympathies to his family and comrades.
With General Aoun I stressed the need for a cessation of hostilities across the Blue Line and for a renewed commitment to implementing UN Security Council Resolution 1701.
Ongoing hostilities in South Lebanon only serve to delay any long-term solution for peace.
I am, as ever, impressed by Lebanese Armed Forces’ outstanding work of its officers and soldiers during this challenging time.
Since 2009, the UK has committed over £99 million to support optimisation of LAF capabilities, including through development and modernisation. We are proud of our contribution to building the LAF’s reputation as a respected, professional armed forces able to defend Lebanon and provide security along its border with Syria.