BEIRUT

Lebanon News

Sleiman calls for international support to Army

File - President Michel Sleiman speaks during a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, Sunday, Dec. 29, 2013. (The Daily Star/Dalati Nohra, HO)

BEIRUT: Lebanon's President Michel Sleiman urged the international community Sunday to provide the "political cover" needed for the Army to receive weapons and equipment.

“It is important to...provide the international cover that would enable the army to get the weapons it needs [using] the Saudi grant, without obstacles or restraints,” Sleiman reportedly told U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon in a phone, according to the president's office.

The president said that such cover “would enable the military to defend Lebanon, control the domestic [security] situation, preserve civil peace and confront terrorism.”

Lebanon received in December last year a Saudi grant of $3 billion to buy equipments and arms for the military from France. Critics of the deal allege the grant is an attack on the Army's neutrality, and that Riyadh is seeking to turn the Army against Hezbollah.

 

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