(WASHINGTON, DC) — Lebanese Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk is visiting Washington D.C. this week to meet with U.S. security officials about Lebanon’s ongoing efforts to defeat the Islamic State.
Machnouk has planned meetings with CIA director John Brennan, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken, Homeland Security Advisor to President Obama Lisa Monaco, and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson.
Machnouk met with Monaco on Tuesday to discuss the U.S.-Lebanon partnership and regional security concerns. The meeting followed a gathering of Lebanese-American lobbyists led by Lebanon’s ambassador to the United States, Antoine Chedid.
Monaco commended the performance of the Internal Security Forces and the Lebanese Armed Forces in safeguarding Lebanon’s security and sovereignty in the midst of ongoing regional challenges.
She also reiterated the need for all Lebanese parties to “implement the policy of dissociation” from the Syrian conflict, in a White House press statement.
Machnouk also met with James Comey, director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, according to The Daily Star. Comey reportedly “praised Lebanon’s January crackdown on the Islamist block of Roumieh prison,” according to the Beirut-based newspaper.
In a statement to the Lebanese National News Agency, Machnouk said U.S. officials had “confirmed (their) readiness to provide (Lebanese Security Forces) and the General Security, all the necessary equipment and training.”
Machnouk’s visit to the United States comes a few weeks after the United States donated $25 million worth of weapons and ammunition to the Lebanese Army.