Naharnet

Berri Urges Hariri to Speed up Assistance to Lebanese Army

Speaker Nabih Berri urged al-Mustaqbal Movement leader ex-PM Saad Hariri to speed up the Saudi military assistance to Lebanon, local dailies reported on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Hariri announced from Saudi Arabia a grant of $1 billion for the Lebanese army to help its fight against militants.

This, in addition to a $3 billion grant announced by Riyadh in late December.

On Tuesday, Berri summoned the ambassadors of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and U.N. Special Coordinator for Lebanon Derek Plumbly, urging them to quickly equip the Lebanese army and security forces.

He later called Hariri to urge him to implement the Saudi grants, the newspapers said.

Berri has been calling for speedy military assistance since the start of the month when jihadists overran the northeastern border town of Arsal and engaged in deadly battles with the army.

They withdrew several days later to Syrian territories after a ceasefire was brokered by Muslim scholars. But they took with them hostages from the army and security forces.

G.K.

H.K.


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