Saudi Arabia has suspended $3 billion aid of French military equipment to Lebanese army 12002161

Defence & Security News - Saudi Arabia
 
Saudi Arabia has suspended $3 billion aid of French military equipment to Lebanese army.
Saudi Arabia on Friday, February 19, 2016, announced a halt to the $3 billion program for military supplies to Lebanon in protest against Hezbollah, the group fighting in support of Syria’s regime. The decision came after Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil declined to support Saudi resolutions against Iran during two meetings of Arab and Muslim foreign ministers.
     
Saudi Arabia on Friday, February 19, 2016, announced a halt to the $3 billion program for military supplies to Lebanon in protest against Hezbollah, the group fighting in support of Syria’s regime. The decision came after Lebanese Foreign Minister Gibran Bassil declined to support Saudi resolutions against Iran during two meetings of Arab and Muslim foreign ministers. Lebanese army soldiers stand next French-made anti-tank missile Milan during handover ceremony in the Lebanese air force military base on April 2015. (Picture Wael Hamzeh/EPA)
     
One deal involves a four-year, $3 billion Saudi pledge to buy French arms for the Lebanese military, which already has seen the Mediterranean country receive modern anti-tank guided Milan missiles last year. The other involves a $1 billion support deal for the Lebanese police.

The Saudi news agency statement said the kingdom halted the deals because of Lebanon's "non-condemnation of the blatant attacks against the Saudi Embassy in Tehran and its Consulate-General in Mashhad, which are contrary to international law and diplomatic norms."

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

The first shipment of French weapons and military equipment including anti-tank weapons had already been delivered to Lebanon in April last year under the Saudi-funded deal to bolster the Lebanese army's fight against Islamist militants encroaching from neighboring Syria.

France is expected to deliver 250 combat and transport vehicles, seven Cougar helicopters, three small corvette warships and a range of surveillance and communications equipment over four years as part of the $3 billion (2.8 billion-euro) modernisation programme.

The contract also promises seven years of training for the 70,000-strong Lebanese army and 10 years of equipment maintenance.
 

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