France to Deliver Weapons to Lebanon Soon under Controversial Arms Dealإقرأ هذا الخبر بالعربية
The Army leadership reportedly received confirmation from the concerned French authorities that they will start shipping $3 billion worth of weapons paid for by Saudi Arabia to the Lebanese military in April.
According to An Nahar newspaper published on Thursday, French officials contacted high-ranking military officials recently and informed them that the first batch of arms will be delivered soon.
Saudi Arabia and France inked the deal in Riyadh in November.
The deal also includes training programs for the Lebanese army run by the French military.
It aims to boost Lebanon's military as it struggles to contain the rising tide of violence linked to the civil war in neighboring Syria.
However, As Safir newspaper reported that logistic and technical obstacles are delaying the delivery of the French arms despite confirmation by al-Mustaqbal leader Saad Hariri that the deal is still on.
The daily said that Lebanon hasn't been officially informed of any arms shipment to Lebanon from Paris.
Sources told the newspaper that the army has what it needs from advanced weapons to combat the terrorist groups, adding that it is fully capable of controlling Lebanon's eastern border with Syria and prevent armed men from infiltrating the country.
As Safir newspaper reported that Washington informed senior Lebanese officials that it will not let Lebanon slip into chaos, adding that it will aid it in its battle against terrorism.
Lebanese officials told the newspaper that high-ranking U.S. military officials visited and will keep on traveling to Beirut to boost the army's capabilities.
Saudi Arabia last year announced it would give the Lebanese army $3 billion to purchase weapons and equipment from France, but that deal has yet to be fully implemented.
In August, the kingdom offered another $1 billion in funds to allow the army to purchase supplies immediately.
Washington has also sought to bolster Lebanon's military, and recently announced it had delivered a new shipment of Hellfire missiles and would also supply light aircraft.
The pledges and arms deliveries come as several allies of Lebanon step up efforts to bolster its armed forces as the threat from jihadists in the region grows.