U.S. Central Command Commander General Joseph L. Votel Statement at Dahr Al Jabl Overlook (Arsal, Lebanon)

U.S. Army Gen Joseph L. Votel, commander United States Central Command, is greeted by Gen Joseph Aoun, commander Lebanese Armed Forces, during his visit to Lebanon June 7, 2017. During the visit Votel met with key leaders within the area of responsibility. (Department of Defense photo by U.S. Air F

It is wonderful to be back in Lebanon and here up in Arsal.  We deeply value the relationship with the Lebanese Armed Forces and the work they are doing to keep Lebanon safe, as we’re seeing here today.

I had good visits yesterday and this morning with President (Michel) Aoun, and with Prime Minister (Saad) Hariri, and with the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Gebran) Bassil and Speaker of Parliament (Nabih) Berri, and with the military leadership, namely the Minister of Defense (Yakoub) Sarraf and General (Joseph) Aoun, the Chief of Defense.  We had very productive conversations and we’ve reaffirmed our shared commitment to ensuring stability and security in this important part of the world.  We have many common interests that include the defeat of Da’esh and other violent extremist and terrorist organizations, and we intend to continue to work together to address these and the other challenges that are presented to us.

I appreciate the opportunity to visit the 9th Brigade here at Arsal.  We thank the Commander and his team for their warm and gracious hospitality.  I was proud to meet with some of the soldiers and commanders defending Lebanon’s sovereignty and I’m very impressed to see the progress that they’ve made in securing Lebanon’s borders with Syria.  The Lebanese Armed Forces remain among the most capable and valued partners and we are proud to support them as the sole defenders of Lebanon.  We look forward to building upon the strong foundation that exists between our militaries in the coming days.  In these challenging times, I remain confident that there are no difficulties that cannot be overcome, so long as we are willing to work together.

Again, I appreciate the warm welcome and the wonderful hospitality that we’ve received here in Lebanon.  Thank you all very much.