BEIRUT - France pledged to meet the Lebanese Armed Forces’ need for new weapons, and has not imposed any limits on their type or their technological specifications, a newspaper report said Thursday.
“Paris is prepared to provide the LAF with the weapons it needs, and is awaiting requests from the Lebanese authorities in that regard,” official French sources said in remarks published by Saudi daily Ash-Sharq al-Awsat.
“France is not imposing any technological restrictions or limits on the type of weapons.”
The sources added that the LAF’s needs fell into three categories, namely providing mobility, increasing strike power, and modernizing obsolete equipment.
The three categories entailed the acquisition of helicopters, armored vehicles, artillery, combat planes, and missiles.
However, the sources said that it was unlikely that Lebanon would request modern air defense systems.
Meanwhile, An-Nahar reported that an agreement was reached between Lebanese and French authorities over an arms deal worth $3 billion.
According to French diplomatic sources, the deal is restricted to arming the LAF with new weapons, and does not include plans to modernize bases or refurbish the Military Hospitals.
“The agreement might be announced during the meeting of the Lebanon International Support Group in Paris.”
In December last year, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman announced that Saudi Arabia made a landmark $3 billion military grant for Lebanon to purchase weapons from France.