France Suspends Missile Agreement with Lebanon, Mulling Decreasing UNIFIL Troops

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An agreement signed between the government of French Premier Francois Fillon and that that of former PM Saad Hariri to provide the Lebanese army with missiles has been temporarily suspended, revealed French sources to the pan-Arab daily Al-Hayat on Thursday.

They said that the French government suspended it in order to determine a clear position from Prime Minister Najib Miqati’s cabinet, which Paris believes was formed at Syria and Hizbullah’s bidding.

The sources added however that this does not mean that Miqati would be snubbed should he visit France.

The daily also reported that Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji, who is in Paris, held talks with French Army Chief of Staff Admiral Edouard Guillaud.

Meanwhile, other sources told the daily that French officials are beginning to question the purpose of maintaining France’s participation in the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon.

The Defense Ministry and high-ranking military officials said that France cannot take part in the international troops for an open-ended period.

Maintaining the 1500 soldiers cannot persist without reconsidering their mission, said the sources.

Defense Minister Gerard Longuet advocates their withdrawal from Lebanon, while Foreign Minister Alain Juppe has stressed their need to stay, they revealed.

They added that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was “very upset” after the death of a French soldier in July 2010 in an incident that France blamed Hizbullah for.

The sources added however that none of the officials are seriously considering withdrawing all the troops, simply decreasing their number.

Italy had also mulled the possibility of decreasing the number of its troops in UNFIL in light of a recent attack against an Italian unit a few months ago in al-Rmeileh, reported al-Hayat.

France said that the Lebanese army will face “real logistical problems” if it sough to deploy in the South without UNIFIL seeing as it does not have any barracks in the area, said the daily.

Comments 11
Default-user-icon Citizen (Guest) over 8 years

.... It is only the beginning ! Didn't we just hear naeem qassem say " All countries will cooperate with this government"? I guess people are not as dumb as he thinks..

Thumb thepatriot over 8 years

@ citizen
Absolutely!
Why would Mikati want French missiles anyway? He has Hezbollah to defend the state, not the army!
The US, now the French...no worries! We'll always have Iran!

Default-user-icon Le Phenicien (Guest) over 8 years

My mother will defend us - as will bigdigs

Default-user-icon zizo (Guest) over 8 years

when did we sign this agreement? they should have sent these munitions a long time ago. However, they use these things for political pressure. Isnt that political intervention in our country?
we all know from wikileaks about the fony deals between elias mur and the russians. he even asked the u.s a long time ago not to send us arms.

Deal with the corruption and govt waste, then we can buy these from anywhere

Default-user-icon zizo (Guest) over 8 years

when did we sign this agreement? they should have sent these munitions a long time ago. However, they use these things for political pressure. Isnt that political intervention in our country?
we all know from wikileaks about the fony deals between elias mur and the russians. he even asked the u.s a long time ago not to send us arms.

Deal with the corruption and govt waste, then we can buy these from anywhere

Default-user-icon moallek (Guest) over 8 years

Le Phénicien :
We were beginning to miss you. One must admit that you are very efficient in expressing outrageous thoughts. We are very much interested to know what your mother is doing with so many bigdigs ?

Missing mirvete11 over 8 years

Err……. It seems as if our mother is going to dump us. Not a problem, we have got the substitute one. LOL..

Default-user-icon Sanctify Yourself (Guest) over 8 years

The French HOT missiles for our Gazelle attack helicopters is a 3 year old promise that never actually went past the "promise" phase. It didn't happen then and it's not happening now!
France gave absolutely nothing to our army in the past 5 years, including basic spares for the Gazelle helicopters and as a result out of the 12 helicopters we have, only 3 are in flyable condition. They were never going to give us the HOT missiles so it's quite shameful of them to bring up an issue that never really existed in the first place.

We don't need Iranian weapons either. Just like the French, the Iranians are also full of empty and cheap promises. So far, only the US has helped our army even though without providing heavy weapons.

Let the government draw a plan for the army, allocate funds to buy weapons and to hell with the French and Iranians.

Default-user-icon may 7 (Guest) over 8 years

any sane country would not give labanon, even one peanut

Default-user-icon French (Guest) over 8 years

Ya Metwali his name is Sarkouzy or Sarkouzi not Sarkozi. These shiites have a metwali accent even in French!

Thumb shab over 8 years

Understandable.