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France and Saudi Arabia sign weapons deal for Lebanese army

BEIRUT |, with agencies - November 05, 2014, 10h20
A Lebanese soldier in Beirut in 2006. Photo by Sadik Gulec /
Approximately a year after Riyadh announced the offer, France and Saudi Arabia signed a $3 billion grant to equip the Lebanese army.
Saudi Arabia and France finalized a deal that will provide Lebanon's army with $3 billion worth of French weapons, with Riyadh footing the bill, the National News Agency (NNA) reported.

The signing was attended by LAF commander, General Jean Qahwaji.

The agreement was signed by Saudi Minister of Finance Ibrahim bin Abdul Aziz al-Assaf and the head of ODAS Company Admiral Edouard Guillaud. ODAS was set up at the request of the French government to promote international sales of defense, security and other advanced technology products and services. The company focuses on both government-to-government and commercial contracts.

In his statement, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said, “I welcome the signing of the contract to provide assistance to the Lebanese army (DONAS).

This agreement, financed thanks to a grant from Saudi Arabia, will help strengthen the Lebanese army, which is the guarantor of Lebanon’s unity and stability. It will help it to carry out its mission to defend the territory and combat terrorism, while Lebanon is under threat.

The DONAS agreement reflects the exceptional quality of French-Saudi relations.”

Last December, François Hollande and King Abdullah announced from Riyadh that Saudi would finance the purchase of French weapons for the Lebanese army, to the amount of three billion dollars.

Since then, the Lebanese army has chosen the equipment but the contract has stalled right at a time when the army is in sore need of modern weaponry due to the current security crisis.
#Saudi_Arabia, #France, #Weapon_deal, #Lebanese_army
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