15 Aug 2010

Lebanon opens bank account for military donations

6:02 am on 15 August 2010

Lebanon has opened a bank account to receive donations to buy weapons for its army.

Defence Minister Elias Murr said he and his father, former defence minister Michel Murr, had deposited $US670,000 to start the fund.

Legislators in the United States earlier blocked $US100 million of military aid over concerns it might be used against Israel.

Announcing the new bank account, Mr Murr said he hoped both Lebanese at home and living abroad would donate.

The BBC reports the US has provided Lebanon with $US720 million in military aid since 2006 and the Department of State has said military co-operation with Lebanon will continue.

Despite the US help, Lebanon's 60,000-strong military is considered ill-equipped.