x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Lebanon granted 10 helicopters

The UAE is giving 10 Puma helicopters to Lebanon after an official two-day visit to the country by the Lebanese president.

The UAE is giving 10 Puma helicopters to Lebanon after an official two-day visit to the country by the Lebanese president, Michel Suleiman. Mr Suleiman was received by Sheikh Khalifa, President of the UAE. "Sheikh Khalifa is giving us these helicopters to help the Lebanese army transport soldiers," said a source from within the Lebanese delegation. The helicopters tend to be used for military excursions.

"They also held meetings discussing their bilateral relations and how to push these relations on all levels, including political, economic, and touristic," the source added. The delegation also included five ministers from the Lebanese cabinet, including Elias El Murr, minister of defence; Gibran Baseel, minister of telecommunications; and Fauzi Salloukh, minister of foreign affairs and emigrants.

An agreement was signed between Mr Salloukh and Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, the Foreign Minister, to set up a "Lebanese Emirates Committee" whose aim will be to hold meetings periodically and find ways of improving relations and co-operation between the two states. Other meetings were held between Lebanese ministers and their UAE counterparts, and an executive protocol of tourism co-operation agreement was signed by both Sheikh Khalifa and Mr Suleiman.

Meanwhile, Abdul Rahman Mohammed al Owais, the Minister for Culture, Youth and Community Development, and Mr Salloukh also signed the executive protocol of the tourism co-operation agreement between the two countries from 2009 to 2011. Mr El Murr also held a meeting with the chief commander of the UAE army. "The president came here as part of an official visit," said the source. "He is visiting all the Arab countries and wants to promote Arab solidarity ? his visit to the Emirates was successful."

Mr Suleiman and his delegation returned to Lebanon yesterday. * With additional reporting from WAM nsamaha@thenational.ae