Monday, April 18, 2016

France to sell more than $1 billion of arms to Egypt

French-built Dassault Rafale
French President Francois Hollande has met his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Cairo to further boost military ties.

Last July, Egypt took delivery of three Rafale fighter jets from France, the first of 24 warplanes in a €5.2 billion (US $5.6 billion) deal earlier in the year.

The leaders are set to sign an arms deal worth more than $1 billion following months of negotiations.

Sisi said on Sunday the "cooperation between the two countries in all international fields" needs to be expanded, including transportation, renewable energy and terrorist threats.

As part of its deal with France, Egypt will receive fighter aircraft and navy vessels.

Hollande said the two countries need to boost ties "in the political field, in the economic and cultural fields, and even the tourism field".

The French president said he and Sisi had discussed security issues in the Middle East and North Africa, including in Libya, Syria, Lebanon and Yemen, as well as Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

"We cannot hide the fact that the situation in the Middle East is serious and that terrorism has deep roots," he said. "We must fight with determination ... and that's why we have signed security agreements for the region between France and Egypt."

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