29th December, 2013
Saudi Arabia has pledged $3 billion for the Lebanese army to buy equipment from France, Lebanese President Michel Sleiman announced on Sunday.
The kingdom “decided to provide generous assistance to Lebanon in the form of $3 billion for the Lebanese army to strengthen its capabilities,” Sleiman said, adding that it was the largest assistance provided in Lebanon’s history.
The aid pledge comes amid mounting sectarian tension in Lebanon, with the Shiite Hezbollah movement intervening in the conflict in neighbouring Syria alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and Sunnis providing sympathy or support to the rebels fighting to overthrow him.
Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia is the leading outside champion of the rebels. Shiite Iran is the leading regional backer of Hezbollah and Assad’s regime.