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Saudi Arabia Halts Military Aid To Lebanon For Siding With Iran

Saudi Arabia said it is halting $4 billion of deals to equip and support Lebanese security forces in retaliation for the small Mediterranean country siding with Iran in its spat with the Sunni kingdom.

The Lebanese premier said his government "deeply regretted" the Saudi decision, reported by the Saudi Press Agency, and said it goes against a history of good relations between the countries.

"We are keen on keeping the relations brotherly and friendly," said Prime Minister Tammam Salam's office.

One deal involves a four-year, $3 billion Saudi pledge to buy French arms for the Lebanese military. The other involves a $1 billion support deal for the Lebanese police.

The decision came after Lebanon declined to support Saudi resolutions against Iran during two meetings of Arab and Muslim foreign ministers.

The Saudi news agency said the kingdom was offended by Lebanon's refusal to condemn the attacks on Saudi diplomatic facilities in Iran after Riyadh executed a prominent Shi'ite cleric last month.

That was "regrettable and unjustified," and "inconsistent with the fraternal relations between the two countries," the Saudis said.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP