Saudi Arabia to give Lebanese army $3bn

Saudi Arabia is giving the Lebanese army $3-billion in aid, Lebanon's President Michel Suleiman said on Sunday, calling it the largest grant ever to the country's armed forces.

He indicated during the televised address that some of the money was likely to be spent on weapons from France.

One of the few institutions not overtaken by the sectarian divisions that plague the country, Lebanon's army is ill-equipped to deal with internal militant groups, particularly the Shiite Muslim guerrilla and political movement Hezbollah.

The Sunni Muslim kingdom of Saudi Arabia may be seeking to bolster the army as a counterbalance to Hezbollah, which is seen as the most effective and powerful armed group in Lebanon and funded by regional Shiite power Iran.

"The king of the brotherly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is offering this generous and appreciated aid of $3-billion to the Lebanese army to strengthen its capabilities," Suleiman said.

"His Highness suggested that weapons would be purchased from France, and quickly."

French President Francois Hollande is currently meeting with Saudi King Abdullah in Riyadh. Hollande has said that France, if asked, will readily supply weapons to the Lebanese army. 

Lebanon's armed forces have been struggling to deal with violence spreading over the border from Syria's civil war.

The country, which is still rebuilding itself after a 15-year civil war, has seen clashes between gunmen loyal to opposing sides of the Syrian conflict, as well as militant attacks on the army.

Rising regional Sunni-Shiite tensions have been stoked by the fight in neighbouring Syria, which generally pits the country's majority Sunni Muslim rebels against President Bashar al-Assad's minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam. – Reuters

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Erika Solomon
Correspondent for the Financial Times, currently on book leave. RT, favorites not endorsements. Erika Solomon has over 5838 followers on Twitter.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could be firestarter of global economic...

Developed countries could do much to help counterparts in the developing world weather the current storm

A female condom can take sexual pleasure to new heights

Internal condoms not only offer protection, they increase the user’s control and the rings tickle the clitoris and penis

Zuma corruption trial on hold as court waits for word...

The Pietermaritzburg high court was surprised by the delay in Bloemfontein but said it would likely not be the last

SA’s endemic corruption requires a ‘biting’ response

Beneficial ownership transparency (BOT) can help tackle corruption, reduce investment risk and improve national and global governance, but implementation remains ‘a sad story’
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×