Lebanon president under fire over Saudi Arabia aid

Lebanon president under fire over Saudi Arabia aid
Tue Dec 31, 2013 09:36:42

Lebanese President Michel Sleiman has come under fire for accepting a 3-billion-dollar military aid from Saudi Arabia.

On Monday, Lebanese journals showed their opposition to the move by the Lebanese president through running headlines such as “A Royal Order for Strife”, “3 Billions to France through Lebanon’s Army” and “Please Resign!,” AFP reported.

On Sunday, Suleiman said that Saudi Arabia is giving the Lebanese army $3 billion in aid to buy equipment from France, calling it the largest military aid ever given to the country.

Riyadh "decided to provide generous assistance to Lebanon in the form of $3 billion for the Lebanese army to strengthen its capabilities," Sleiman said.

Meanwhile, in a Monday article, Finian Cunningham, a political analyst who writes at Press TV’s website, noted that Saudi Arabia has granted the aid, twice the national military budget of Lebanon, while the “primary source of bloodshed in Lebanon” is linked to Riyadh itself.

“The splurging of $3 billion by Saudi Arabia to “increase Lebanon’s security” is merely cynical public relations to cover up the real source of violence in that country, as well as providing Riyadh military leverage to go after Hezbollah within Lebanon,” Cunningham said.

On Saturday, Kamel Wazne, a political analyst, said Saudi Arabia plays a destructive role in the entire Middle East including Lebanon.

“I do not think that the Saudis [are] playing a fair game in bringing stability to Lebanon. They are preventing the Lebanese from forming their government and this is actually, hindering the process of healing. So the Saudi [regime] has not been a voice of stability in Lebanon,” Wazne said.

“I think that it (Saudi Arabia) is playing a negative role not [only] in Lebanon, [but] throughout the region. It is refusing to find a solution for a lot of crises, whether it is in Lebanon, whether it is in Yemen, whether it is in Bahrain, whether it is in Syria,” he added.


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