Negotiations between Lebanon and France on arming the Lebanese army have been resolved and the French side had responded to most of the demands made by the Lebanese army
Negotiations between Lebanon and France on arming the Lebanese army have been resolved and the French side had responded to most of the demands made by the Lebanese army, As-Safir newspaper reported on Tuesday.
But informed sources said the negotiations saw obstacles from the French side, which set financial conditions and prices for weapons beyond what was expected, do not match the French promises on the highest levels to facilitate the transaction funded by the three Saudi billions Arabia, the paper said.
A French source said that authorities will hand over the arms to Lebanon in a period of three to six months.
During the negotiations, the Lebanese side got an approval by France to provide the army with anti-tank missiles, and anti-aircraft missiles, but their range will not exceed five kilometers, which limits their effectiveness in deterring the Israeli air force.
Saudis Provide Lebanon with same Hezbollah surveillance system
The newspaper reported that Saudi Arabia are overseeing the negotiations between the two countries as they are insisting that Lebanon should attain developed monitoring and surveillance equipment to control its border with Syria.
According to the source, the Saudis insisted on providing Lebanon with monitoring and surveillance sophisticated system, and a sophisticated border monitoring network, which they believe Hezbollah has a similar sophisticated system, and which the Saudis aspire to keep in pace with. The source says that the Saudis by providing the Lebanese army with this system are seeking to use it in the process of containment to the waves of “jihadist” in Syria, and monitoring their movements across Lebanon.
President Michel Sleiman revealed in late December that Saudi Arabia has decided to donate $3 billion with the aim of purchasing French weapons for the Lebanese army as soon as possible.