BEIRUT – The United States handed over Lebanon a Cessna Aircraft Wednesday during a ceremony held at Beirut’s international airport as part of efforts to strengthen the Lebanese Army.

U.S. Ambassador to Lebanon David Hale said during a ceremony at Rafik Hariri International Airport that the transfer of the aircraft was a “reflection of the strong cooperation between the United States and Lebanon particularly on the security level.”

According to a U.S. Embassy statement, Hale also said the U.S. was committed to supporting Lebanon’s Army, which he described as “the only legitimate defense force” in the country.