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Lebanon: Paris Organizing Arms Deliveries Thanks to Saudi Petrodollars

Translated Sunday 16 November 2014, by Gene Zbikowski

On Nov. 4, Saudi Arabia and France finalized a contract for the delivery of French arms to Lebanon thanks to $3 billion worth of Saudi funds.

According to French foreign affairs minister Laurent Fabius, it is a matter of helping Lebanon “to perform its mission of defending the country and fighting terrorism,” as the country confronts a rise in jihadism. Since the beginning of the Syrian crisis, Lebanon has been the scene of religious violence. Since August, moreover, several dozen Lebanese policemen and soldiers have been held hostage on the Syrian border by Islamist groups. However, Paris has not spelled out what type of military equipment will be delivered to Lebanon. Cooperation between France and Saudi Arabia has tightened since the United States, Riyadh’s traditional ally, began cozying up to Iran. Thus in 2013 trade between France and Saudi Arabia exceeded 8 billion euros.

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