Minister for Defence, the Hon Christopher Pyne MP, will visit Lebanon on 16-17 January and meet with senior members of the Lebanese Government and the Lebanese Armed Forces.
“This visit reflects the warm relationship Australia shares with Lebanon, and builds on the strong and established bilateral ties between our two countries, which include close cooperation in counter-terrorism and law enforcement,” Minister Pyne said.
“Promoting security, stability and prosperity in the Middle East continues to be an important national security interest for Australia.”
Australian Defence Force personnel deployed on Operation PALADIN serve in Lebanon as part of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organisation.
During the visit Minister Pyne is expected to meet with President Michel Aoun, Prime Minister-designate Saad Al-Hariri; Speaker Nabih Berri, Minister of Defense Yacoub Sarraf; and General Joseph Aoun, Commander in Chief of the Lebanese Armed Forces.
Minister Pyne also said that Australia will be gifting ten refurbished Australian Land Rover 4×4 Cargo vehicles and four refurbished Australian Land Rover 6×6 Ambulance vehicles to the Lebanese Armed Forces.
“The gifting of these vehicles is symbolic of the close cooperation between our two countries.
“Australia has a deep and enduring interest in Lebanon’s security and stability, underpinned by our strong bilateral and community links, and I am honoured to be able to support the Lebanese Armed Forces.
“This gift will assist the Lebanese Armed Forces and make a direct and positive contribution to Lebanon’s continued stability,” Minister Pyne said.
These vehicles have served Australia and the Australian Defence Force well. They have been recently refurbished by defence industry in Australia, and will be transported to Lebanon in 2019.