World Bulletin/News Desk
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman said Sunday that he had asked French President Francois Hollande to provide Lebanon with advanced weapons to stand up to repeated Israeli violations.
"I asked [Hollande] for advanced weaponry with which Lebanon can sand up to Israel," Suleiman said in a statement Sunday on his Friday meeting with the French leader in Tunisia, where the two attended the ceremony marking the endorsement of the North African nation's new constitution.
"A defense strategy needs to be implemented for the Lebanese military to be the only armed force in the country," Suleiman said.
In December, Suleiman announced that Saudi Arabia decided to offer $3 billion to arm the Lebanese military with French weapons "to strengthen the capacities of the army."
Last week, Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino announced in Beirut that two international meetings will be held in Paris and Rome within a month to discuss means of aiding Lebanon politically and militarily.
Lebanon, which shares borders with the self-proclaimed Jewish state, bore the brunt of a military confrontation between Israel and Shiite militant group Hezbollah in 2006, which ended after 36 days of fighting with a UN resolution under which international peacekeeping troops were deployed along the border. However, Lebanon has complained repeatedly of Israeli violations, especially of its airspace.
Domestically, the country's turbulent multi-faction political arena has been suffering a months-long crisis with installed Prime Minister Tammam Salam unable to form a new cabinet since last May's resignation of former premier Najib Mikat.Last Mod: 09 Şubat 2014, 16:32