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Report: France willing to arm Lebanon with 100 missiles
Official French source tells al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper that Israel's protest had no effect on Paris; helicopter missiles deal yet to be signed due to Lebanese misgivings
France has expressed willingness to provide the Lebanese army with helicopter missiles as part of a deal which has yet to be signed, the London-based Arabic-language al-Sharq al-Awsat newspaper reported Thursday, quoting an official French source.

 

According to the report, French Defense Minister Herve Morin sent a letter to his Lebanese counterpart Elias Murr informing him that Paris is "willing to equip the Lebanese Army with 100 HOT missiles to be installed on French-made Gazelle helicopters which the Lebanese Armed Forces owns."

 

The French source said Israel had protested the decision and that the US expressed reservations about the matter. Nevertheless, the source noted that Paris has not been pressured by any country. He explained that the reason the deal has not been signed yet is Lebanese misgivings on all matters pertaining to security.

 

Earlier this week, Lebanese President Michel Suleiman asked Iran for help in arming the Lebanese military.

 

According to Suleiman, financial difficulties prevent Lebanon from purchasing certain weapons. "Iran is a friendly country. There are additional countries who we regard as friends which have yet to offer us assistance," he said.

 

 

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