Lebanese Nation Not to Bow to Saudi Arabia: Hezbollah Official
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Deputy Head of Hezbollah’s Executive Council Sheikh Nabil Qaouk shrugged off the Saudi regime’s decision to cut off funding for military aid to Lebanon, saying that Riyadh cannot change the Arab country’s identity and role with money.
“Saudis cannot change the identity of the Lebanese army or the country’s status and role (in the region),” Sheikh Qaouk was quoted as saying by the Lebanese Al Manar television network.
“Saudis cannot buy the Lebanese people’s will… our dignity is precious and priceless,” the Hezbollah official noted.
Saudi officials are seeking to use the military aid to Lebanon as a tool to blackmail and pressure Beirut into changing its policies, he said.
However, Qaouk added, Lebanon will not bow to Saudis’ pressures because it does not need their money to defend itself.
Saudi Arabia said Friday that it was stopping payment on $4 billion worth of military aid and other support for the army and security services of Lebanon because the country did not condemn attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.
Riyadh announced the aid cuts through a statement on the website of its state news agency, citing an unnamed Saudi official.
Despite its history of supporting Lebanon, the statement said, “the kingdom of Saudi Arabia encounters positions against it in Arab, regional and international forums in light of the seizure by what is called Lebanese Hezbollah of the state administration.”
Saudi Arabia was stopping a $3 billion grant to buy French arms for the Lebanese army as well as what remained of $1 billion allocated for Lebanon’s internal security force, the statement added.