Report: France to Provide Lebanon with Military Aid

French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian is expected to visit Beirut in the next days, amid reports that France will provide Lebanon with military assistance after Saudi Arabia halted its grant last year, the pan-Arab al-Hayat daily reported on Friday.

The French minister's visit affirms that France is going to support Lebanon's military agencies after Saudi Arabia halted a Lebanese army grant in 2016, added the daily.

France has developed a plan that will be put into implementation the current year. It will see the reinforcement of Lebanon's security forces to counter terrorism, it said.

In February 2016 Saudi Arabia halted a $3 billion program for military supplies to Lebanon in protest against Hizbullah's policies and diplomatic stances by the Lebanese foreign ministry.

The $3 billion program financed military equipment provided by France.

Alleged leaders of Hizbullah are under sanctions by Saudi Arabia.

Hizbullah is supported by Saudi Arabia's regional rival Iran, with whom relations have worsened this year.

Riyadh cut diplomatic ties with Tehran in January after demonstrators stormed its embassy and a consulate following the Saudi execution of a prominent Saudi Shiite cleric and activist.

Source: Naharnet 

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04 Mar 2017