Prime Minister Tammam Salam, who arrived in Dubai Monday for a two-day official visit, said he will ask the oil-rich UAE for military aid to beef up the Lebanese Army’s combat capabilities.

In a chat with journalists accompanying him on the visit, Salam praised the UAE’s “old and continuous” support for Lebanon, and said he “will ask the Emirates to provide helicopter gunships similar to the (French-made) Gazelle choppers that it had offered Lebanon in the past.”

Salam also underscored the importance of expanding the security plan which was implemented in Tripoli and other parts of north Lebanon, following clashes between the Army and jihadist gunmen in October. […]