Skip to main content

Saudi Arabia, France make their move in Lebanon

Hezbollah reacts to Saudi Arabia providing $3 billion in aid to the Lebanese army to buy French weapons.
Saudi Arabia's Prince Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saoud (R) welcomes French President Francois Hollande (L) at the Saudi Royal palace in Riyadh December 29, 2013. REUTERS/Kenzo Tribouillard/Pool (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS) - RTX16WSG
Read in 

The Saudi decision to give $3 billion in aid to the Lebanese army to purchase French weapons and ammunition came as a surprise to both supporters and opponents of the move. The amount is the highest ever to the army, but the most alluring aspect of the initiative is not limited to the allocated sum. In fact, rarely has the Lebanese state received any donations. Rather, the bigger surprise is the emerging Saudi-French partnership, which constitutes a turning point in the Middle East. With the shrinking US role in the area, a void has opened that regional forces and terrorist organizations from everywhere are rushing to fill. 

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman announced the aid in a message addressed to the Lebanese people. This presentation indicated that the three parties had coordinated the matter and that the foundations of an international security network are being laid to protect this small country tottering on the edge of an abyss.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.