EM – Cementing Links, UAE Orders $ 19 Billion Rafales Helicopters From France

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The United Arab Emirates ordered 80 Rafale fighter jets and 12 military helicopters on Friday and deepened economic and political ties with France through an armaments deal worth 17 billion euros (19.20 billion US dollars).

When French President Emmanuel Macron embarked on a two-day trip to the Gulf, during which he will also visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the largest ever sale of the French fighter abroad was sealed.

The French Presidency said the deal , which was signed at a ceremony between Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MBZ) of Abu Dhabi and Macron on the sidelines of Dubai Expo 2020, is worth $ 19 billion.

“This contract consolidates a strategic partnership that is stronger than ever and contributes directly to regional stability, “said the French Presidency in a statement.

Macron’s visit is coming to an end A time when the Arab Gulf states have expressed uncertainty about the United States’ focus on the region despite seeking more weapons from their key security ally.

The French leader has built a good relationship with MBZ, with investments between the flow in both countries. Paris has a permanent military base in the capital of the Emirates.

It is the largest mass purchase of the Dassault-made Rafale apart from the French army, and comes after deals in Greece, Egypt and Croatia this year.

Abu Dhabi also ordered 12 Caracal helicopters. It is the French code name for the H225M, the military multi-purpose version of the Super Puma.

The on-off negotiations for the Rafale fighter jets lasted more than a decade, with Abu Dhabi offering France to 60 Rafale jets in 2011 deliver, publicly declined as “uncompetitive and impractical”. Abu Dhabi already has France-built Mirage 2000 fighter jets.

Defense sources said the Rafale would replace the Mirage 2000 fleet, but it is unlikely to supplant the US-built F-35 since The UAE continues to secure its security with two major suppliers, France and the United States.

The deal could nonetheless be seen as a signal of impatience as the US Congress, amid concerns about the UAE’s relationship with China, including the spread of Huawei 5G technology in the country, hesitates to approve an F-35 deal.

Paris is one of the main arms suppliers to the UAE, but was faced with the conflict between a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the Iranian allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, which has become one of the worst humanitarian organizations in the world, under increasing pressure to review its sales Crises.

” France is continuing these sales despite the UAE playing a leading role in atrocity-ridden military operations led by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen, “Human Rights Watch said in a statement. “The French president should denounce human rights.” Violations in these three counties.

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