U.S. donates military aid to Lebanon

June 3, 2010 at 12:31 PM
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BEIRUT, Lebanon, June 3 (UPI) -- The delivery of nearly $500,000 in law enforcement equipment to Lebanon by the United States helps strengthen state institutions, embassy officials said.

Washington delivered $427,000 worth of weapons, body armor and bomb investigation equipment to Lebanese security officials.

U.S. officials said the contribution was "essential" for the security and independence of the Lebanese state, Lebanese news portal Naharnet reports.

The funding for the equipment was made available through a $1 million anti-terrorism assistance program for Lebanon from the U.S. State Department.

The development follows a May visit to Washington by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri. Washington officials during the meeting raised concerns regarding allegations Syria had transferred long-range missiles to Hezbollah fighters in Lebanon.

Washington worries high-performance military equipment for Lebanon could end up in the hands of Shiite militias supporting a resistance to Israel.

The U.S. Embassy in Beirut said its funding efforts in Lebanon support counter-terrorism training for law enforcement personnel. The program has funneled more than $8 million to Lebanon since 2006.

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