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Egypt, France sign Mistral warship deal

A French delegation arrived to Egypt ahead of the deal, including French Prime Minister Manuel Valls as well as 63 diplomats and journalists

Ahram Online , Saturday 10 Oct 2015
The two Mistral-class helicopter carriers Sevastopol (L) and Vladivostok are seen at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire, western France, May 25, 2015. (Photo:Reuters)
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Views: 2715

Egypt signed a deal with France to buy two Mistral warships, announced at a joint press conference Saturday.

The deal was signed at a conference attended by Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Egyptian Defence Minister Sedky Sobhi and French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

A French delegation arrived to Egypt ahead of the deal, including French Prime Minister Manuel Valls as well as 63 diplomats and journalists.

The visit is expected to involve other deals, mostly economic.   

The two Mistral warships were originally built by France for Russia before the sale was scrapped over the Ukraine crisis.

According to AFP, the two warships can each carry 16 helicopters, four landing craft and 13 tanks, and were ordered by Russia in 2011 in a 1.2 billion-euro ($1.3-billion) deal. 

Paris and Cairo have enjoyed close economic ties in the past, but the turmoil that followed the overthrow of Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in 2011 left Western governments wary of signing deals, especially ones pertaining to defence.

In February, Egypt announced a 5.2 billion-euro deal to buy 24 French Rafale jet fighters.

In the same month, Egypt signed a contract with the French company VINCI Bouygues Travaux Public to complete the construction of the fourth phase of Cairo’s third metro line.

French officials from the country’s development agency, who attended Egypt’s economic development conference in Sharm El-Sheikh in March, announced that the agency will provide a 40 million-euro sovereign loan to finance a power plant in Kom Ombo in Upper Egypt.

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11-10-2015 12:41am
Trade imbalance
It seems that the Egyptian Trade ministry don’t have savvy negotiators; Egypt spends $7 billion dollars (with a B) on French military gear, and France gives Egypt a loan of $45 million (with an M)! What kind of deal is that! The uselessness of the French military gear aside, just the numbers alone highlight the incompetence of our trade negotiators. “more deals to come, they say” … what? French tanks, French missiles, or French bayonets!
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10-10-2015 05:58pm
What a waste!
The army is clearly sucking up all the resources as they've always done over the last 40 years. The result is 50% poverty, 40% illiteracy, and 20% unemployment; but a rich, fat, dumb and happy army ... tahya masr!!
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