PARIS (Reuters) – France has agreed to sell 30 Rafale fighter jets to Egypt in a € 3.75 billion ($ 4.5 billion) deal that could be sealed as early as Tuesday, the investigation site Disclose reported, citing confidential documents.
“Very advanced discussions have indeed taken place with Egypt and announcements could be made very soon,” a French government source told Reuters on Monday in response to the Disclose report, while declining to give further details.
President Emmanuel Macron said in December that he would not make the sale of arms to Egypt conditional on human rights because he did not want to weaken Cairo’s ability to fight terrorism in the region, a commentary which aroused the ire of critics.
According to Disclose, the agreement between France and Egypt also covers contracts with missile supplier MBDA and equipment supplier Safran Electronics & Defense, worth an additional € 200 million.
The website said a deal could be sealed on Tuesday when an Egyptian delegation arrives in Paris.
France was Egypt’s main arms supplier between 2013 and 2017. Those contracts dried up, including deals for more Rafale jets and warships that were at an advanced stage.
Diplomats said it had as much to do with funding issues as it did with France’s response to human rights concerns.
Disclose said funding for the deal would be 85% guaranteed by the French state.
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