Saudi to grant Lebanese army 3 billion USD in aid

Saudi to grant Lebanese army 3 billion USD in aid
# 29 December 2013 23:54 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Lebanese President Michel Suleiman announced Sunday in a televised statement that King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decided to grant the Lebanese army an aid of 3 billion U.S. dollars to enable it purchase French weaponry, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

After canceling a much-anticipated press conference previously scheduled for Sunday evening, Suleiman appeared in a televised address to declare that he managed through his talks with Saudi King Abdullah to secure this "extraordinary support" for the army.

Suleiman said "the king noted that the weapons will be purchased from France as soon as possible." He also hoped that the French government "will back this initiative and support the army."

The Lebanese President described the move as "the biggest support in Lebanon's history," pointing out that it is "sufficient to enable the army to perform its missions."

Suleiman stressed "this support will contribute to confronting terrorism and helping United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon ( UNIFIL) implement UNSC Resolution 1701."

Suleiman revealed that another 1.6 billion dollars might be offered during an international meeting in Italy in 2014.

He noted "the International Support Group issued recommendations that were endorsed by the U.N. Security Council. They aimed to support Lebanon's stability and the ongoing efforts to resolve the refugee crisis. These recommendations will be followed up and implemented."

The International Support Group for Lebanon was launched in September on the sidelines of the United Nations General assembly and aims at supporting the Lebanese institutions and particularly its armed forces.