Saudi military to use French arms originally ordered for Lebanon

It comes after Riyadh last moth cancelled a Dh11 billion aid package for Lebanese security forces.

PARIS // Saudi Arabia will take delivery of French arms it originally ordered for Lebanon, foreign minister Adel Al Jubeir said on Saturday.

It comes after Riyadh last month suspended a US$3 billion (Dh11bn) aid package for Lebanese security forces, pressing the Lebanese government to distance itself from Iran-backed Hizbollah.

Riyadh has also asked for an apology from Lebanon after the country’s Hizbollah-allied foreign minister refused to condemn attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran in January.

“We made the decision that we will stop the $3 billion from going to the Lebanese military and instead they will be rediverted to the Saudi military,” Mr Al Jubeir said on Saturday during a visit to Paris.

“So the contracts [with France] will be completed but the clients will be the Saudi military”.

Since Riyadh's decision to suspend aid to Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain have told their citizens to leave the country immediately. The UAE, meanwhile, has put a ban on its citizens travelling to Lebanon.

Meanwhile, Gulf states have building pressure on Hizbollah directly. Saudi Arabia has blacklisted four companies and three individuals for ties to the Shiite movement, and last Wednesday the GCC formally designated Hizbollah a terrorist organisation.

In January, protesters attacked the Saudi embassy in Tehran and a Saudi consulate in the Iranian city of Mashhad. The protesters were angry at Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric who was convicted on terrorism charges.

* Reuters

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Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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The biog

Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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The biog

Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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The biog

Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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The biog

Favourite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell

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