France to Ship Saudi-Paid Arms to Lebanon

France to Ship Saudi-Paid Arms to LebanonFrance to Ship Saudi-Paid Arms to Lebanon

France says it will begin shipping $3 billion worth of weapons paid for by Saudi Arabia to the Lebanese army in April.

The French Defense Ministry said in a statement Wednesday that the deal, first announced in 2013, will supply French armored vehicles, warships, attack helicopters, munitions and communications gear.

The deal includes training programs for the Lebanese army run by the French military, AP reported.

The deal aims to boost Lebanon’s military as it struggles to contain a rising tide of violence linked to unrests in the region.

In addition, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Wednesday that France has no plans of sending military instructors or delivering equipment to Ukraine as opposed to the UK.

On Tuesday, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that Britain would send instructors to Ukraine to train the country’s military. However, Fabius ruled out France’s contribution to the aid.

“Great Britain has taken a hardline to the situation … We have also taken a firm position, but are still pushing for the de-escalation of the conflict,” Fabius said on France Info radio station.

Kiev authorities have repeatedly asked foreign partners for lethal assistance. On Tuesday, Ukrainian Interior Minister Anton Gerashchenko said that the United Arab Emirates had agreed to send weapons and military hardware to Ukraine.