France Prepares Suggestion for Weapons to Be Offered to Army, Part of KSA's USD 'Four' Billion Donation

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Paris - Naharnet Exclusive Report

Officials concerned with Lebanese affairs in the French administration assured on Wednesday that the Saudi Arabian donation to the military institution has taken its first steps towards implementation.

"The first necessary technical and administrative steps to implement the deal came into effect last week,” a Paris-based well-informed source told Naharnet.

The source detailed: “The French administration has formed a team of advisers to President Francois Hollande and of officials in the ministries of foreign affairs and defense to put the legal, administrative and technical roadmap that should be followed by both Lebanese and Saudi authorities to implement the deal.”

"Few days after the Saudi-French summit between Hollande and King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, Saudi authorities informed French officials that the 3 billion dollars were already credited and are ready to be transferred any moment now,” it noted.

KSA pledged in December to donate $3 billion with the aim of purchasing French weapons for the Lebanese army.

According to information obtained by Naharnet, Lebanese and French army officials will kick off discussion over the list of military weapons and equipment that will be included in KSA's donation, noting that Hollande announced that his country will offer encouraging prices, less than 30 to 35% of the real market value of the equipment.

"As such, the donation will actually be worth 4 billion dollars instead of three.”

Regarding the types of weapons and equipment that will be offered to Lebanese troops, the source stressed that the Army Command will list its needs and that French officials will give their guidance and recommendations.

"The offered type of support will correspond to the military and security challenges facing the Lebanese state, and to the requirements of the upcoming stage in the country.”

The same source remarked that as the maritime border is supervised by the army and UNIFIL troops, and as the border on the South is under the control and protection of the United Nation's peacekeeping forces, this reality "requires providing the military institution with all needed equipment to monitor Lebanon's eastern and northeastern border that have been frequent sources of threat to stability."

"As for protecting the Lebanese airspace, French officials noted that this issue is subjected to the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council, and therefore dealing with the frequent Israeli violations can only be dealt with through political and diplomatic channels, not by the army,” the well-informed source explained.

"The international community, not France alone, must find a solution that preserve Lebanon's rights in this concern.”

Therefore, according to the source, French authorities are inclined to propose a suggestion in correspondence with the plan set by the cabinet to arm the troops with USD 1.2, which will leave 2.8 billion dollars of the Saudi-French donation to be allocated to buying radars, surveillance equipment to monitor the border and the border crossings, as well as land and aerial rapid deployment vehicles that would allow an effective and fast troop deployment all along the border to thwart any possible violation.

"The French proposal will also suggest providing the military institution with arms and equipment that can be used for both security and military purposes, allowing hence the Lebanese state to face terrorism and security challenges inside the country through strengthening the official legitimate institutions' monitoring, probing and prosecution skills.”

French authorities considered that Lebanon is heading towards a new stage that requires its military and security forces to “keep up with all developments and that will exclusively serve the interests of the state and its institutions, which will eventually weaken the role of illegal armed groups and their effect on the security and military situation in the country.”

SourceNaharnet
Comments 59
Missing greatpierro almost 6 years

indeed. Syria is our greatest ennemy and has did so much harm to our people and country no other country could ever do. Syria does not allow lebanon to take its share from Assi river or from the Nahr el Kabir while Lebanon takes all its share from the Wazzani. The akkar fisherman are not allowed to fish in the lebanese waters. We have thousands of lebanese that have disappeared in the syrian prisons. not to mention all the politicians and leaders killed by syria.

Thumb primesuspect almost 6 years

Pietro, when they run out of arguments and can't admit being defeated, they call u Zionist, takfeeri, KSA puppet and so on! Hizballa, aoun, Franjieh and other terrorists days of impunity r over. The STL is only the first stone, the 3 or 4 billions from KSA the second. Can't wait for the next ones!

Missing greatpierro almost 6 years

Southern you understand it from a zionist point of view, then good for you. But you should try and understand it from a lebanese point of view, not a syrian nor an iranian point of view.
Taking about zionism, Syria's Assad did even more harm to the Palestinian people than the israeli could do. Even the massacres of Sabra and Shatila have been ordered by Ghazi Kenaan.

Missing greatpierro almost 6 years

have you not sold the lebanese sovereignty to Syria. M8 has systematically refused the demarcation of the Lebanese borders with Syria. talking about the weapons, did you know that Syria opposed the supply by France of hot mossiles to equip the Gazelle of the LAF. The deal was delayed three years and only recently the missiles have been finally supplied.
What about arms. M8 and Hizbullah especially have opposed the disarmement of the Palestinians outside the camps (basically the FPLP) and inside the camps.

Thumb cedre almost 6 years

hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh +10000000000000000000

Thumb cedre almost 6 years

u owned him texas, big time...

Missing greatpierro almost 6 years

maybe; but lebanon should start by cleaning its territory from all armed militias, islamists, fplp, palestinians inside and outside the camps, hezbollah etc... than if we can eliminate those who create trouble with the border of Israel, than we tell the Israeli do not cross our airspace as Lebanon is no more a militia playground threatening israel.
Look at Jordan. Israel does not cross their airspace every other day.

Default-user-icon Truth (Guest) almost 6 years

Unfortunately the Lebanese army cannot defeat Hizballah terrorist group... The moment it decides to fight Hizballah then half of its soldiers and officers staff will join Hizballah and fight the other half of the army...

Thumb cedars2 almost 6 years

Indeed our house needs a huge "spring-clean" and then we can deal with the what's outside our borders. FT Southern your boat awaits you to take you to the democratic and free Iran or Syria you long to be in. Your new nationality is ready!!

Missing greatpierro almost 6 years

what is the role of the resistance? and decides of this role? Iran, Syria or the Lebanese people?

Missing imagine_1979 almost 6 years

Impressive sagh, u got all that by urself?... Bravo
Plus one for u bro....

Missing imagine_1979 almost 6 years

Greatpierro just one coment: it is "FPLP general comand" a group formed by syrian regime to cut FPLP and take control (sorry help) palestinian cause...

Missing imagine_1979 almost 6 years

The role of hezbollah (and please donnot call it resistance just in the memory of resistants assassinated by hezbos), its role was to eliminate all other form of resistance in lebanon, take control of south and bekaa(in 2000 after israely withdraw from most part of south) hezbollah refused the right (or the duty) of the army to go to south lebanon and called anyone who dare ask the army to go south as a traitor... That was its resistance role...
After for mazere3 cheb3a, nasrallah himself said "if they think that they can demarcate borders and go to the UN asking israel to withrdrow so we put down our weapons, our weapons will stay....blablablabla
So please donnot call that milicia a resistance...

Missing imagine_1979 almost 6 years

Waw again what a great post...
Keep the goid job dude, bravo...

Missing greatpierro almost 6 years

indeed imagine and thanks for the precision. FPLP General Command led by the traitor of the palestinian cause Ahmad Jibril. For our friends on this forum it is important to note that the FPLP General command along with the Saïka (Palestinian Ba'athist political and military faction created and controlled by Syria) in the early days of the war in 1975 went into Haret Hreik and killed and terrorized the Christians who were a majority in this area of the south suburb. The reality is that the Syrian regime masterminded the persecution against the Christians so that the Christians end up begging Assad to come and help them.

Missing imagine_1979 almost 6 years

Who cares it is still 3billions even if it is only boots, amunitions, jeeps, it is still better than how iran gives it's own millitia bypassing the state...

Default-user-icon Truth (Guest) almost 6 years

Four billions dollars will eventually go to Hizballah terrorist group which controls Lebanon... Half of the Lebanese army is made of Shia and most of them have their loyalty to Hizballah and Iran... They will eventually take the weapons and give them to Hizballah...
Lebanon is just an Iranian/Syrian satellite... There is absolutely no hope for Lebanon...

Missing h.mousawy almost 6 years

We, as Lebanese citizens praise any help to our noble army, whether it is coming from Saudi Or Iran.. But guys we should pause a-little here, wonder & ask - Why now? What type of military aid will be sended? The Israeli's have always have always blocked such deals from going forward, why did the Israeli Entity this time praise the deal? Did king abdullah tell President Sleiman that the Army must fight Hezbollah while he was in Riyadh last month(press report)? Can we say that this is no more than a Saudipolitical manouver? Timing? Why french not the US? Is this Saudi Arabia's reply to the US adminstration? Guys this 3billion deal is beyond our march 8/14 disputes..

Missing greatpierro almost 6 years

yes lets also ask why Syria opposed arming the LAF?

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

mousawy,

the KSA is trying to repair its deteriorated reputation and support in Lebanon while also giving the USA the finger - two birds with one stone. it also likely got some concessions and deals under the table with Pres. Suleiman regarding his vocal political stances towards HA. This is the realpolitik aspect of the deal.

As for why Israel is not working hard to block the deal, that's because we are getting equipment for urban combat and surveillance - stuff that will help the LAF deal with terrorist attacks, security threats, etc...internal stuff that does not really threaten Israel.

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

As for why this deal was passed through without much M8 arguing, it's because this benefits them as well - better surveillance of the border with syria means less rebels leaking through and planning attacks against HA areas.

Missing imagine_1979 almost 6 years

What ever the position of the army is (in fact army has no position it takes its command from the political leadership:governement) it is good that our army got 3billions...
We (or i) believe in the state and anything that can make tge state stronger is good...

Thumb lebanon_first almost 6 years

Southern
You are a reasonable, soft spoken poster. So i will tell u.

The same way you hate Israel, rightly so, and you hate zionism,
we hate Assad, and we hate neostalinism. We are your partner in Lebanon, and we are willing to hate israel with you. You should be willing to hate assad with us.

Thumb bill_thebutcher almost 6 years

This is going to be sort of tricky.

France and Saudi wants to give weapons to the Army that will be good enough to "battle" Hezb and of course weak enough not to be a threat to Israel.
This should be interesting.

Missing imagine_1979 almost 6 years

Better not to give the army weapon.. Like it is better not to demarcate lebanese borders to keep lebanon in a continious need of hezbollah.. Bravo.. Bravo...

Missing ArabDemocrat.com almost 6 years

Thank you KSA. France, cough up a better discount. Everyone gives 30-35 percent discount for such a large contract. a 40-45 percent discount is more appropriate. m

Missing VINCENT almost 6 years

I wonder who is negotiating the deal to make sure that the Army truly gets 4 billion dollars worth of arms and not by inflated prices.

Missing imagine_1979 almost 6 years

We'll ask bassillo to supervise maybe he will cut us a deal to rent some arms instead (aka fatmeh gul and co.)

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

It is the KSA negotiating the deal for us and as such they will not be ripped off and will get their money's worth.

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

i like the fact that the KSA is handling this deal for us, because they are more likely to get their money's worth and get quicker service than if it was handled directly by the Lebanese state.

do you see how my opinion is based on the cold hard reality of the world while yours is wrapped up in all sorts of feminine passive-aggression and propaganda-riddled reasoning? learn from me FT. leave the dark side, come closer to the light.

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

It is the KSA negotiating the deal for us and as such they will not be ripped off and will get their money's worth.

Missing ArabDemocrat.com almost 6 years

High tech military equipment has 70+ percent margin.

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

"As such, the donation will actually be worth 4 billion dollars instead of three.”

"The French proposal will also suggest providing the military institution with arms and equipment that can be used for both security and military purposes, allowing hence the Lebanese state to face terrorism and security challenges inside the country"

Music to my ears! Thank you KSA, thank you France!

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

For your info you worthless slime, disgusting filth under my shoe, akkar and tripoli provide more of their sons to the military than many other areas in lebanon and countless sunni's have been martyred fighting for the LAF.

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

anony the fact that we were not going to get anti-aircraft or aircraft was a foregone conclusion. our primary concern ATM is preventing terrorist attacks and patrolling the border. surveillance, radar, state of the art land vehicles, armored cars, etc. is what we need.

a fleet of fighter jets would be costly, hard to maintain, expensive to repair, and would quickly be destroyed in the event of a conflict with the IDF.

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

stopping israeli over-flights and maritime encroachments is solved by demarcating all of our borders, and putting the LAF in charge of security in the south. political solutions.

Thumb cedars2 almost 6 years

Ah yes the shebba farms bedtime story.

Thumb proudm14. almost 6 years

aaaah i see, we can't have enemies with all of our neighbors so we might as well conduct normal diplomatic ties with syria (a government that is currently fighting against a large-scale rebellion and is accused of assassinating several lebanese politicians).

you are a mental midget par excellence FT.

Missing mnjg almost 6 years

I am not an Israeli... However I am stating the very unfortunate truth about Hizballah terrorists control of Lebanon and the extreme weakness of the Lebanese army... I wish that it is not true but it is, very sad indeed...

Default-user-icon CanAm (Guest) almost 6 years

I have to start jumping into these comments before it gets to the 64 mark. My thoughts and comments would get lost. I saw many well pointed and directed comments on this subject...now mine.
I wouldn't arm the LAF with SAM's, aircraft or anti-aircraft missiles until Hizthrowup was out of the picture. It has been reported in the past that Hizthrowup has anti-aircraft and land to sea missiles so why give the LAF jets when they could be shot down? SAM's? Yeah...I don't want HA to have those. No matter what is said...Israel is your friend. Jordan is your friend. The US, France, Turkey, Brits and even Saudi are your friends. Think about who has been involved in the problems in your country...Syria, Iran and the Pals. Focus the military on those three.

Thumb joesikemrex almost 6 years

Unfortunately its an ongoing donation. In time Lebanon will be free again and we can live in peace without fake resistance and Iranian hegemony.

Default-user-icon Hanoun (Guest) almost 6 years

not even 1 defensive weapon , just logistics(TRUCKS, MONITORING DEVICES,....)
its like the gazelle helicopter given to army in naher el bared but without missiles
we need only defensive weapons:
anti aircraft , anti war ships and anti armour missiles, and observation drones
then we will see if a mosquito cross our borders from israel and syria
god bless lebanon

Thumb cedre almost 6 years

refuse it then, please make demonstrations....

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(1). As a fighter of the Kataeb/Lebanese Forces under BG, at a time when we were attacked from every possible side, when almost everyone wanted us out of Lebanon, especially by the US and their friend Yasser A Fat Rat, when everyone said we will last not more than a week, when also no one wanted to help us, even with serious cash offered by several big Lebanese capitalists to buy us weapons, I quickly learned not to look at the color of the helping hand that is offered to me. In our case, the only hand stretched to us then, was the Israeli hand, at a time when we in the LF fought literally with shotguns. OK, that's in the past now, now let's look at the LAF context, hasn't it occurred to all of those people so critical of the Saudi grant to the army, that this is a chance that possibly won't come twice? Everyone here, please tell me, what is so wrong with this Saudi grant? with that?

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(2). Why should it be tied to any strings? Sure, the strings attached are that the State Of Lebanon should finally be in a strong position, so what is so wrong with that? The KSA in this case has made good on its grant, has found a willing partner who can finally supply us with modern weaponry, France, yes, the France of Hollande. Has everyone forgotten how our beloved LAF was promised miserable weapons, most of which date back to WW2 and never given? How many strings if not metal ropes were tied to those deals, then only to find out that for the beautiful eyes of Israel (Is Real refusal) that we ended up with almost nothing at all? Who is holding Lebanon together but the LAF? Who inspires confidence today if not the LAF, even with all its inherent problems?

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(4). Everyone knows our sickness in this country, everyone, those who are with us, and those who are against us Lebanese. Our biggest weakness, the source of all our shortcomings is this: we have a weak army, thus a weak state whose will can never be enforced? Yasser A Fat Rat made sure he drove the wedge wider by exploiting this weakness, to the point where he felt he was our president, so whatever he wanted, he got!! delegations of Lebanese stooges went to visit him, bypassing altogether Baabda. Isn't the same character still prevalent in our routines till now, same day but different entity? How many times has BG said it, that whenever we have a crisis, we the state have to negotiate how and what little firearms our army is allowed to enter or not this or that area? How long can this persist if I may ask?

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(5). So if this militia doesn't like this army uniform, or doesn't like the numbers of LAF soldiers, then it meant that such will not come to pass. Is it not true that the same still happens till now? So to come back full circle, can we, or must we continue to ignore our worst source of failings, a weak army equals a weak state? The Lebanese Army is one of the best trained in the world, its ethics still remain among the best, weapons, yeah, weapons, give it to them and no one will stand on its way. The KSA, France and some other nations know well what the alternatives could be if the Lebanese State continues to be kept weakened, Lebanon could simply explode and send into the air all the toxic particles to all the region and to Europe and beyond. 70 years of so called independence, and we've still seen nothing of it, Lebanon's was purely a mirage. If today, some nations want to help us, any reasonable person will embrace the opportunity with open arms.

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(6). Now in plain simple language, why are we fearing this issue, why? Because a strong army means a strong state? Because a strong army means that the will of the state will not longer be challenged? Because the militias will no longer be in a position to sell us one silly argument after the other? Because the Palestinian camps will at last be entered by state and cleansed of all armed factions? Because our neighbors, both Syria and Israel will no longer be able to dictate their cruel and merciless grip? Because the rotten political class of Lebanon, and all of it too, will no longer be safe from a strong state, with strong constitution and institutions that can then take them all to task? Because then, new honest and patriotic faces will emerge and bring about a better future for our children and generations beyond? Because law-breakers will then be taken to justice and jailed for their millions of crimes?

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(7). because foreigners will no longer dare to look at our country as the dumping site of all rubbish? Because a strong Lebanese State will translate into a strong economy, with the state taking all the right decisions to make our economy the most vibrant in the region? Because that would bring back all or most of our brothers and sisters that were previously obliged to try greener pastures in the diaspora? Because everyone that loves Lebanon will want to come and spend holidays and invest in our country? I have seen arguments against this deal, most of which I have read with near total disdain, because we Lebanese have been brought down to think either in sectarian lines or simply, within the colors of parties which we believe are best for the country, or maybe best for our own pockets?

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(8). All these colors are the wrong ones for us Lebanese, because we've been untracked from the real path of patriotism into party sectarian lines, we now want to fail into the best ever chance that is presented to us. I care less who is with Hezbollah including the tons of luggage we keep being bombarded with as to why it should continue to exist. I also care less for the FPM, or the LF, or Future, or Marada, or Amal, or SPS, or SSNP, wlak all these matter zilch for people like me, only the State of Lebanon matters, only my army can protect me, only the law of Lebanon can secure me and my children a dignified life inside my own land. The parties have stolen my beaches, my mountains, my rail tracks, are tearing down my precious Lebanese heritage, day by day, they are taking everything they could gulp in one go.

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(9). Now it's the petrol wealth of the nation they are after, tomorrow God knows what, but today I know ONE thing, the parties will NOT steal away from me my senses, I am still fighting for a real state, a state of laws and rights, and it all begins with what everyone these days is afraid of, a strong army, a strong state. I look at my national flag, and I know, if I want to see my children and their children live in Lebanon, I have only one choice, my army, strong, resolute, capable, authoritative and assertive over every single inch of my 10,452 square kilometers, every single one of them. kafena ba2a be3 kalem, badna Lubnen, wou bass.

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(A). Some years back, I took some of my time to write after the Battle of Naher Al Bared was finally conquered by our army, I wrote then in a forum that was full of crappy posters, many to be fair were among the best I debated with. I suggested that this camp must NOT be returned to the Palestinians, to be razed completely to the ground, and instead for this camp to be transformed into a city destined for an army of professionals, in which the army's personnel will have the choice of dedicating their life for a professional engagement in the army. This city will comprise of residential blocks, schools, medical facilities, recreational amenities, etc..., in which the public could enter by paying.

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

(B) Thus the army will generate capital which in turn it will use to reinvest in all areas of priority. Not only would it work to improve the army all round, but it will give it the means to develop and grow from its own resources. And then, that land that is wasted in camps will be returned to its true owners, the Lebanese and its noble LAF.

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

Slash bro, when I was taking courses for my driving permit in the UK, my supervisor asked me one question, "when driving at night, an oncoming motorist gives you his beam light (high light), would you in return give him your beam light?". I replied, :No, I'll give him my dipped light (low light). He asked why, I answered, " let there be at least one person who sees than two who don't see". So the lesson my brother, I know that most Lebanese are seeing, they're hearing too. The message: let us not lose track of the lesson, and persist, persistence pays off, eventually and ultimately.

Default-user-icon mazen (Guest) almost 6 years

I thought it was 3 billion. Maybe 4 including commissions and kick-backs? Didn't president
Suleiman announce 3 billion end of dec.?

Thumb -phoenix1 almost 6 years

No kickbacks Mazen, the deal because France has given us rebates brings the value to the BN$4, in the business world it is often referred to as Added Value.

Thumb _mowaten_ almost 6 years

"As for protecting the Lebanese airspace, French officials noted that this issue is subjected to the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council, and therefore dealing with the frequent Israeli violations can only be dealt with through political and diplomatic channels, not by the army,” the well-informed source explained.

in short, nothing of use will come out of this. the main threat to lebanon is israeli bomber jets, and nothing to protect us from that in this deal.

Thumb cedre almost 6 years

u're saying ksa ask LAF to prostitute itself, then be consistent and refuse the money...

Thumb chrisrushlau almost 6 years

Most of the money will be spent on fur-lined wheel-barrows to carry the Saudi monitors, who are too fat to walk under their own power.