Naharnet

Report: French Officials Discussing Delivery of more Arms to Lebanon

French officials have been holding talks with their counterparts in Beirut away from the media spotlight to follow up the delivery of French weapons to the Lebanese army under a Saudi grant, al-Joumhouria daily reported on Friday.

Lebanon received in April the first shipment of $3 billion worth of French arms under the Saudi-financed deal to boost the country's defensive capabilities to combat terror threats.

Lebanon's allies are seeking to bolster the country's defenses against the Islamic State group and other jihadists pressing along its Syrian border.

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 modernization program.

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

Newly appointed French Ambassador to Lebanon Emmanuel Bonne, who arrived in Beirut last week, has stressed that the implementation of the deal was ongoing.

Bonne said the Lebanese army is the main institution safeguarding the security of Lebanon and of all the Lebanese.

G.K.

D.A.


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