Lebanon, France finalize $3 billion arms deal
Lebanon's army has been involved in deadly battles with militants along the country's border with Syria in recent months. (AFP/File)
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The long-anticipated $3 billion Saudi-funded arms deal to equip Lebanon with French weapons has been finalized, local daily An-Nahar reported Thursday.
It said consultations Wednesday between a visiting French delegation and representatives of the Lebanese Defense Ministry ended with the formation of a “final list” of the weapons to be delivered to the Lebanese Army.
The report said the list includes much-needed weapons for air, land and sea warfare.
The weapons would be delivered in three batches, the first to be shipped immediately, it added.
An-Nahar on Wednesday said the deliveries would include two types of helicopter gunships and two types of warships as well as short- and medium-range surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles.
France has agreed to provide much-needed military equipment to the Lebanese army as part of the $3 billion Saudi grant announced last December to boost the military’s capabilities in its fight against terrorism.
Nearly a year after the grant was first announced, Saudi Arabia and France signed the agreement earlier this month.
AFP quoted a French defense official as saying that Paris would start delivering the military equipment to the army in the first quarter of 2015.
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