'US to continue supplying military assistance to Lebanon'

By JPOST.COM STAFF
September 4, 2010 14:46

Report says an estimated $100m. worth of equipment and weaponry has been approved after frozen by us after clashes; US State Dept. denies claim.

1 minute read.



LEBANESE SOLDIERS perform during a drill at a base near Beirut.

Lebenese army 311. (photo credit: AP)

The US State Department on Sunday denied a Lebanese newspaper report which claimed that the US will continue to supply the Lebanese Armed Forces with equipment and weapons estimated to be worth $100 million.

Al-Nahar on Saturday quoted diplomatic sources as saying that Washington had urged both Israel and Lebanon to continue showing restraint towards each other and to refrain from threats and other provocative behavior. The State Department said that the US has been reviewing the decision to continue supplying the LAF with aid. A State Department official said that the review is ongoing.

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Last month, the US Congress briefly halted the supply of military aid to the LAF following violent border clashes with the IDF, which left an Israeli soldier and four Lebanese dead .

According to the report, the US State Department has been working to allay the concerns of members of Congress who put a hold on the funding.

“This incident was tragic and entirely avoidable,” Rep. Nita Lowey (D-New York) said following the incident on August 3rd . “US assistance is intended to enhance our safety and that of our allies."

Lowey chairs the House appropriations subcommittee that authorizes such funds.

Similarly, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman (D-California) also applied a hold, citing more general concerns about “reported Hizbullah influence on the Lebanese Armed Forces.”

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley has previously defended US military assistance to the Lebanese Armed Forces as something that’s “in [the US's] national interest and contributes to stability in the region.”


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