U.S. Government Officially Presents Motorcycles and Vehicles to the Internal Security Forces

The U.S. Chargé d’Affaires ad interim Ambassador Richard H. Jones presented 40 Harley Davidson motorcycles, four passenger vans, and five passenger buses to the Internal Security Forces (ISF) on Wednesday, April 27 at the ISF Mobile Forces premises in Dbayeh.  The ceremony took place in the presence of the Head of the ISF Mobile Forces Brigadier General Fadi El Hachem.  Anthony Fernandes, Director of the State Department’s Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), Office for Africa and the Middle East, was also present at the ceremony.

The passenger vans and the buses will be utilized by the Judicial Police and the ISF Academy, while the motorcycles will be used for traffic management and for VIP escort responsibilities.

INL has provided $160 million in assistance to the ISF since 2008, in support of strengthening the professional capacity of Lebanese law enforcement and as part of the overall U.S. security assistance program to Lebanon.

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Following are the Chargé d’Affaires’ remarks as prepared for the event:

Good morning and thank you all for coming today.  On behalf of the U.S. Embassy, I am pleased to be here, along with Tony Fernandes, the INL Director for Africa and the Middle East, and several of my Embassy colleagues.  Brigadier General Hachem, thank you for your kind hospitality today.

The U.S. Embassy is proud to partner with the ISF in training and equipping Lebanese security forces to keep the Lebanese people and their homeland safe.  Since 2008, the State Department’s Office of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in Beirut has provided over $160 million in assistance to the ISF.  Today’s ceremony marking the official turnover of 40 Harley Davidson motorcycles, four passenger vans, and five passenger buses, is another step in helping to ensure that the ISF has the equipment it needs to effectively deliver law enforcement services to the Lebanese public.

Today we are marking another tangible example of the continued cooperation between the Ministry of Interior and Municipalities, the ISF, and the United States Government.  We are committed to working together to further strengthen both the professionalism and the capabilities of the ISF.

There are a number of recent examples of law enforcement successes by the ISF for which you should be proud.  I would like to congratulate both the leadership of the ISF as well as its officers for the recent arrests and disruption of a network that engaged in the abhorrent practice of trafficking in persons.  It is these kinds of achievements that help to keep Lebanon safe for its residents and reflect the commitment of Lebanese authorities to upholding the rule of law.

From our side, the United States’ partnership with the ISF is part of our long-standing pledge to work with the Lebanese people and the institutions of the state, especially those in the security sector, to build a more stable and prosperous Lebanon.

Thank you.