'No to US aid with conditions'

Lebanese minister rejects constraint that arms not be fired at Israel.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS, HILARY LEILA KRIEGER
August 11, 2010 17:57
1 minute read.
Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr.

311_ Elias Murr. (photo credit: Associated Press)

 
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BEIRUT — Lebanese Defense Minister Elias Murr Wednesday said he would reject any American military assistance to the Lebanese army if it comes with conditions that the weapons not be used against Israel.

Murr was commenting on the decision by a US congressman to suspend $100 million of military aid to Lebanon over concerns the weapons could be turned on Israel and that Hezbollah may have influence over the Lebanese army.

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He stated that those who want to help the Lebanese army but place conditions on how their funds or weapons are used, should keep the money.

The defense minister's comments came after another Lebanese official also called on Lebanon's friends to help and not take positions that would damage its efforts to build its own military.

An adviser to the Lebanese prime minister Tuesday said  that the suspension of $100 million in US aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces was unwarranted, and weakens the nation's effort to build the country's army.

Mohamed Chatah, an adviser to Western-backed Prime Minister Saad Hariri, said Tuesday that the Lebanese forces are reliable. He said any "friend of Lebanon" should not take steps that would hurt efforts to build up the army.

Jpost.com staff contributed to this report.

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