Lebanon’s caretaker Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour says the Lebanese army could not be strong without the resistance movement Hezbollah.
Mansour made the remarks on Monday after downplaying Saudi Arabia’s $3-billion military aid to Lebanon.
“The donation is not enough to bolster Lebanon’s defense system,” he said, adding that the Israeli army’s annual budget is $17 billion.
“The [Lebanese] army is currently not able to be strong without the resistance [Hezbollah] at its side,” Mansour stated.
“The weapons of the resistance can only be withdrawn when a defense strategy for Lebanon is agreed upon by all rivals.”
On December 29, President Michel Sleiman said that Saudi Arabia is giving the Lebanese army three billion dollars in aid to buy equipment from France, calling it the largest military aid ever given to the country.
The move provoked anger among Lebanese journals that described the move through running headlines such as “A Royal Order for Strife”, “3 Billions to France through Lebanon’s Army” and “Please Resign!,”
Mansour also described the death of Majid al-Majid, a senior al-Qaeda-linked figure who recently died in Lebanon, as a “blow to justice.”
Majed, the leader of the al-Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades, had been arrested in connection with the twin bombings near the Iranian Embassy in the Lebanese capital of Beirut on November 19, 2013, when 23 people, including an Iranian diplomat, were killed and dozens were injured.
“The death of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades’ leader Majid al-Majid was a blow to justice as gone with him is the plot he wanted to implement via his group inside and outside Lebanon,” Mansour said.