Qatar had provided $60 million in support to the Lebanese military, the Foreign Ministry of the energy-rich country announced on June 30.
The announcement coincided with a visit by Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, to Lebanon where he will attend the consultative meeting of Arab foreign ministers.
“The announcement comes within the framework of the State of Qatar’s firm commitment to support the Republic of Lebanon,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the step reflects Doha’s support for the “brotherly Lebanese people and its firm belief in the importance and necessity of joint Arab action”.
Lebanon has been hit by a series of catastrophes, including a financial crash that left the military with very little resources. At one point in 2020, Lebanon’s army said it had scrapped meat from the meals offered to soldiers due to rising food prices. Later in 2021, the military said it would offer tourists helicopter rides in a bid to boost its income.
Speaking to AFP, an unnamed Lebanese military source revealed that new financial assistance from Qatar would help pay the salaries of Lebanese soldiers.
This was not Qatar’s first initiative to support the Lebanese military. In July 2021, Doha announced it would supply the military with 70 tons of food per month for a year.
Qatar, which is seen as one of the US key allies in the Middle East, enjoyed good relations with all sides in Lebanon, especially with Hezbollah, before the outbreak of the war in Syria. The war, which saw the raise of Qatar as the main backer of Syrian rebels, weakened Doha relations with many of Syria’s allies. However, the rich state still enjoys sizable influence in Lebanon.