Army chief General Jean Qahwaji urged France on Tuesday to speed up the delivery of weapons under a Saudi-financed deal, as his troops battle jihadists on the Syrian border.


"This battle requires equipment, materiel and technology that the army doesn’t have," Qahwaji told Agence France Presse. "That’s why we need to speed up the delivery of the necessary military aid by finalizing the list of weapons requested from France under a Saudi-financed deal backed by the Rome conference to support the army," he said.


Last December, Saudi Arabia agreed to finance a $3 billion deal to purchase military equipment and weapons from France for the army, which has long complained of being sorely under-equipped. And in mid-June, at an international conference in Rome, the international community pledged its backing for the Lebanese military. But talks on the list of material to be furnished to the army under the Saudi-French deal have yet to be finalized. Qahwaji’s request came as the Lebanese army battles jihadists in the northeastern border region of Arsal. [Link]