BEIRUT: The purpose of the $1 billion Saudi grant to the military is to strengthen “legitimate arms,” Prime Minister Tammam Salam said in remarks published Thursday, while expressing hope that the funding would swiftly make its way to the Army.
“The Saudi grant aims to strengthen legitimate arms and consequently legitimate institutions and the role of the state,” Salam told An-Nahar.
Commending the grant as "unconditional," Salam said he hoped that "its implementation would be swift to provide the institutions with needed equipment."
"The issue of the grant should not be involved in political divisions and everyone who doubts or challenges [the grant] is an enemy of Lebanon and the Lebanese.”
Salam also said the only legitimate arms were those in the hands of the Lebanese Army and security agencies.
“There should be no arms but that of the Lebanese Army and security agencies, which succeeded in safeguarding the country from the dangers after it foiled suicide attacks that aimed at inciting strife as well as the Arsal clashes,” he said.
“There should be no arms but legitimate ones. There are no arms better or that could guarantee [safety] more than legitimate arms.”
“We cannot compare the arms of the Army with other groups or militias, which exist at the expense of the nation and its interest.”