Saudi Arabia, France make their move in Lebanon

Saudi Arabia’s Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud welcomes French President Francois Hollande at the Saudi Royal Palace in Riyadh, Dec. 29, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Kenzo Tribouillard) Read more: http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2014/01/saudi-france-partnership-lebanon-iran.html#ixzz2q3Zoev5t

The Saudi decision to give $3 billion in aid to the Lebanese army to purchase French weapons and ammunition came as a surprise to both supporters and opponents of the move. The amount is the highest ever to the army, but the most alluring aspect of the initiative is not limited to the allocated sum. In fact, rarely has the Lebanese state received any donations. Rather, the bigger surprise is the emerging Saudi-French partnership, which constitutes a turning point in the Middle East. With the shrinking US role in the area, a void has opened that regional forces and terrorist organizations from everywhere are rushing to fill.

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