France will send dozens of armored vehicles to Lebanonreports “Reuters”.
The goal is for the country’s army to be able to properly perform patrol missions.
French Defense Minister Sebastien Lecorneau said it was key to strengthen the Lebanese National Armyso that it can coordinate well with UN peacekeeping forces amid rising tensions between Israel and the Iran-backed Hezbollah group in southern Lebanon.
“We will continue to cooperate with military equipment, especially for the transport of troops protected by armored vehicles, which is key to maintaining patrols,” he said, adding that several dozen armored vehicles will soon be given to the Lebanese army.
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“Our support for the Lebanese Army is long-term, regardless of the current difficulties,” assured Lecornue.
Furthermore Paris will provide medicine and will establish a joint program to purchase medical supplies at reasonable prices for the Lebanese army in the future, the minister added.
France tried to use its historic relationship with Lebanon to try to reduce tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, but violence escalated.
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About 700 French soldiers are part of the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), established in 1978 following violence on the Israeli-Lebanese border.
Hezbollah, an armed Shiite Muslim group designated by the United States and others as a terrorist organization, wields enormous power in Lebanon, whose economy has collapsed and its state apparatus is barely functioning. Lebanese leaders fear that clashes between Hezbollah and Israel could escalate into a major conflict.