BEIRUT — Russia has agreed to provide Lebanon with an unspecified number of helicopter gunships instead of MiG-29 fighter jets, the Lebanese president's office said.

The announcement came after Lebanese President Michel Suleiman returned home from a three-day visit to Moscow where he held talks with senior Russian officials about arming Lebanon's military and the situation in the Middle East.

Suleiman's office said in a statement released late Friday that Russia agreed to Beirut's formal request to provide Lebanon with Mi-24 helicopters instead of the 10 MIG-29 fighters originally planned.

"The army needs this type of helicopters, especially if they are supplied with missiles," the statement said. Suleiman is a former army commander.

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