US blocks Jordanian transfer of tanks to Lebanon
- Jordan Times
August 1, 2001
'US rejects Jordan's request to donate tanks to Lebanon'
By Tareq Ayyoub
AMMAN � The United States recently turned down a Jordanian request to donate
over 50 US-made tanks to Lebanon, a government official announced on
The official, who asked not to be named, did not say when the Kingdom
received the US response, which came following a �verbal request� Jordan
made last month.
�We submitted a request to the US to send these tanks to Lebanon, but the
Americans' answer was `no',� the official told The Jordan Times.
Under its military agreements with Washington, Amman must request permission
of the US to make any third-party sale or contribution of any military
equipment provided by Washington. �The Jordanian move towards Lebanon was
aimed at assisting Lebanon to redeploy its forces in its southern borders,�
the official said.
The official declined to give further details, but other sources indicated
that the US' step stemmed from its �displeasure� with the policy of the
�They did not like both the Lebanese government's refusal to redepoly its
forces in southern Lebanon and the presence of Syrian troops in Lebanon,�
one source said.
There are currently more than 30,000 Syrian soldiers in Lebanon, who were
sent to Beirut following the breakout of the Lebanese civil war in 1975.
Beirut has refused to deploy its army on its southern borders as a result of
Israel's refusal to pull out from the Shebaa Farms area, the only occupied
Lebanese territories which Tel Aviv declined to hand over to Lebanon.
Last month, Information Minister Saleh Qallab said His Majesty King Abdullah
had informed Lebanese President Emile Lahoud of the Kingdom's intention to
hand over 50 tanks to the Beirut government.
Sources said the tanks could be the US-made Batton 160, M-48 or M-60, which
are currently used by the Jordan Armed Forces.
The US is the major supplier of weapons to the Kingdom, which receives $225
million in military and economic assistance from Washington annually.
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