UAE pledges $200 million to support Lebanon armed forces

The United Arab Emirates said on Saturday that it will give Lebanon’s armed forces $200 million (162.5 million euros) in aid to help “stabilise” the country.

The foreign ministry said that $100 million would go to the army and $100 million to other state security services in Lebanon, which borders war-torn Syria.

The oil-rich Gulf country said its support was a “continuation of efforts made for the stability and prosperity of (Lebanon’s) people.”

The “resilience and strength” of Lebanon’s military and security institutions was a priority given the region’s “delicate circumstances”, the statement said.

At a mid-March meeting in Rome, the international community pledged to help strengthen the Lebanese army.

France, in particular, said it would release a credit line of 400 million euros ($492 million).

On Friday, the international community announced it would provide more than $11 billion to modernise Lebanon’s economy and strengthen its stability, threatened by regional crises, particularly the war in neighbouring Syria.

The loans and donations, announced at a conference in Paris aimed at supporting the Lebanese economy, are intended to help finance investment projects over the next five years.

Fears of an economic crisis have hovered over the small Middle Eastern country since the crisis in Syria began more than seven years ago, pushing more than one million refugees to flee across the border into Lebanon. (AFP)