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Senior Lebanese military source: Saudi Arabia and France to sign $3-billion agreement to arm Lebanese military

A senior Lebanese military source has said that Saudi Arabia and France willbe signing on Tuesday a $3-billion agreement to provide the Lebanese army with weapons, adding that this move would allow for the beginning of official negotiations with France to determine the military's exact requirements,which include modern anti-aircraft weapons.

The military source told Anadolu news agency that the talks between Lebanon and France over fulfilling the army's needs would "officially" start once the agreement was signed.

He said "the weapons wish list submitted by the army includes armoured vehicles, machine guns, anti-armour shells and modern anti-aircraft weapons," pointing out that "so far, the French government has not 'vetoed' any weapons requested by the Lebanese army; however, it has not yet replied to the weapons [wish] list."

The military source predicted that after the agreement is signed on Tuesdayin Riyadh, and once the money has been made available, "we will begin talks with the French over the quality and quantities of arms (to be approved) and the delivery deadlines."

According to Anadolu, the Lebanese army commander, General Jean Kahwagi, left Beirut on Monday for Saudi Arabia, accompanied by a military delegation, to participate in the signing ceremony.

It is noteworthy that former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced this past August that Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz had given Lebanon's military $1 billion to finance the instant purchase of equipment and ammunition for the army in support of its war on terrorism, referring to its battles with militants in Syria.

Earlier, in January 2014, Saudi Arabia announced its intention to support the Lebanese army with $3 billion for weapons purchases from France.

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