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UK's £20m for Beirut to fight Islamic State

By David Hughes

Published 01/04/2016

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (AP)
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond (AP)

The UK is set to provide almost £20m in funding to help Lebanon improve its security capabilities so it can defend itself against IS terrorists.

Philip Hammond announced the money, which will be used by Beirut for training and mentoring, during a one-day visit to the Middle East country.

The Foreign Secretary said Lebanon was on the front line of the crisis in neighbouring Syria and was also involved in the coalition fighting IS.

The UK will spend a total of £19.8m over the next three years, including £4.5m for training at the Hamat military facility and £15.3m for mentoring of the land border regiments which protect Lebanon from terrorism.

"The UK and Lebanon have a strong and long-standing relationship," Mr Hammond said.

"In meetings with the country's leaders, I reaffirmed the UK's support for a secure, stable and prosperous Lebanon.

"It is on the front line of the crisis in Syria and faces a high threat from terrorism.

"Our support for the Lebanese army is enabling them to build their capabilities, strengthen the country's borders and protect the Lebanese people."

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