Lebanese president vows to arm military with advanced weaponry
President Suleiman lauds army's performance during Tuesday's border clashes with Israel, says 'it's necessary to resist Israeli aggression.'
Lebanese President Michel Suleiman toured Saturday the area where Lebanese and Israeli military forces clashed and vowed to arm the country's troops with advanced weaponry.
On Tuesday, while Israeli troops were trimming a tree on the border fence between Israel and Lebanon, Lebanese soldiers opened fire at an observation post some 300 meters from the fence in Israeli territory. A senior Israel Defense Forces officer was killed, and another was seriously wounded. Two Lebanese soldiers and a journalist were also killed in the ensuing clashes.
Speaking to Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) members in Adissyeh in southern Lebanon, where the clashes took place, Suleiman commended their performance during Tuesday's fighting, saying "it's necessary to resist Israeli aggression."
Suleiman said the cabinet will put forward a plan at its next session to arm the Lebanese military "with all that is necessary."
"Lebanon will work with friendly countries to provide it with more advanced equipment," Suleiman said. Arming the military is aimed at "protecting the dignity of the nation," he added.
Together with Defense Minister Elias al Murr, Suleiman inspected the army base in Adissyeh and met UN officers also present in the area.
Suleiman said Lebanon will "cooperate with UNIFIL in the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1701."
UN Resolution 1701 of August 17, 2006 ended a 33-day war between Israel and Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah during which some 1,200 people, mainly Lebanese civilians, died.
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