Saudi Arabia halts supply of arms to Lebanese army

Saudi Arabia halts supply of arms to Lebanese army
Saudi Arabia has stopped supplying arms to the Lebanese army in response to Hizbollah's activities in the region.
2 min read
19 February, 2016
Arms deal was signed between Saudi Arabia and France who supplied the weapons [Getty]

Saudi Arabia has announced it will stop a $3 billion arms supply to the Lebanese army.

The decision came after a comprehensive review of the relationship between both nations, according to a Saudi official.

He noted the kingdom has also decided "to stop the remaining one billion US dollars planned to assist the Lebanese internal security forces."

The Saudi Press Agency quoted him as saying Saudi supports the Republic of Lebanon however it "faces resistance from the country on regional and international fronts via Hizbollah, who recently requested the Arab League Council not to condemn the attacks on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran as well as the Consulate in Mashhad."

The official described the move as "contrary to international laws and diplomatic norms which received condemnation from all over the world" and accused the Lebanese armed group of "practicing terrorism against the Arab and Islamic world."

The source continued to describe the "unfortunate stance" taken by Hizbollah as "unjustified" and maintained it is not "consistent with the fraternal relations between the two countries especially considering their long-standing support of Lebanon throughout its political and economic issues."

But he stressed the kingdom's support to stand with the Lebanese people.

"We will not give up and will continue to support them," he said.

"We are confident that these attitudes do not represent the Lebanese people," adding that his country "appreciates the attitudes, issued by some officials and Lebanese figures, including the Prime Minister, Mr. Tammam Salam, who supported the kingdom's position."

Hizbollah's secretary-general, Hassan Nasrallah has taken part in a war of words with Saudi Arabia in recent months, accusing the kingdom of standing with Israel and funding takfiri groups in the region.

Jibran Baseel, a Lebanese minister allied with Hezbollah, stood with Saudi Arabia when its embassy was attacked in Iran. However, Baseel rejected the kingdom's Islamic alliance to confront terrorism despite the Lebanese Prime Minister, Tammam Salam, publicly condoning it.

Saudi Arabia began support of the Lebanese forces in December 2013 when it gifted the army $3 billion in aid. A further $1 billion was given in August 2014.