Lebanese trade blame for Saudi aid suspension

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Lebanon's politicians are trading accusations over the decision by Saudi Arabia to halt deals worth $4 billion aimed at equipping and supporting Lebanese security forces.

The decision was announced by Saudi officials Friday in retaliation for Lebanon's siding with Iran amid the Sunni kingdom's spat with the Shiite power. It prompted sharp accusations among Lebanon's notoriously fractious party leaders.

Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a key ally of Saudi Arabia, blamed the suspension on the Shiite group Hezbollah and its Christian ally, the Free Patriotic Movement.

The foreign ministry, which is headed by FPM leader Gibran Bassil, on Saturday called such accusations "cheap attempts at political exploitation" and justified its recent decisions.