France, Paris: Yesterday, The foreign minister (FM) of Saudi Arabia, Adel-al-Jubeir, said that the Saudi will keep French military supplies previously intended for Lebanon under a $3bn aid programme, as Riyadh toughens its stance against Hezbollah and also leads a coalition against Shia Houthi rebels in Yemen. Last month the oil-rich Gulf state halted the aid programme in protest against Hezbollah, the Shia militant group fighting in support of Syria’s regime -which Saudi bitterly opposes.
FM said at a news conference in Paris, “We didn’t stop the contract. It’s just going to Saudi Arabia, not to Hezbollah”. He added, “We have a situation where Lebanon’s decisions have been hijacked by Hezbollah. The contracts will be completed but the clients will be the Saudi military”. On Wednesday the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council declared Hezbollah, which has lawmakers in the Lebanese parliament, a terrorist group in the latest step against the organisation as ties between its main backer Iran and regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia deteriorate.