Saudi Arabia announced Friday that it was halting a 4-billion-dollar military aid programme for Lebanon, saying it was concerned about money ending up in the hands of the Shiite militant movement Hezbollah.
"The kingdom has re-evaluated its relations with Lebanon and decided to stop the aid for the Lebanese army," the official SPA news agency in Saudi Arabia quoted a source as saying.
The SPA source denounced Hezbollah's "confiscation of the Lebanese state's will."
The announcement affects two deals. One, for 3 billion dollars in military hardware for the armed forces and another 1 billion dollars in aid for the police.
Hezbollah is a staunch supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has committed troops to help his forces. Iran backs both and is in a regional power struggle with Saudi Arabia, a Sunni monarchy.
Saudi Arabia has been a key backer of the Syrian opposition since the start of the uprising against al-Assad in 2011.
Lebanon's Foreign Minister Jubran Bassil, whose bloc in parliament is a main ally of Hezbollah, has been accused as well of adopting stances against the wishes of Saudi Arabia.
The Saudis influence over the Lebanese government has been in decline after a period in which the kingdom had strong allies in Beirut.
Saturday, February 20, 2016 - 16:24
Tuesday, February 23, 2016 - 16:49