French army to meet with Lebanese leadership over Saudi military grant deal
A French Military delegation will arrive in Lebanon next week to follow up discussions over the Saudi grant to the military institution to purchase French weapons, An Nahar newspaper reported on Wednesday.
According to the daily, the delegation will tackle with Lebanese high-ranking military officials the mechanism of handing over arms to the Lebanese army.
President Michel Suleiman had revealed in late December that Saudi Arabia has decided to donate three billion dollars with the aim of purchasing French weapons for the Lebanese army as soon as possible.
French President Francois Hollande, who was on a visit to Saudi Arabia during Suleiman's announcement, said his country would "meet" any requests from Lebanon.
Officials concerned with Lebanese affairs in the French administration told Naharnet on January 20 that the Saudi donation will include weaponry used for military and security sources to enable troops to face terrorist and security challenges in the country, and arms and equipment to monitor the border.
In December, Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta announced that his country is organizing an international conference in Rome to back the capabilities of the Lebanese Armed Forces in coordination with the United Nations and Lebanese authorities.