ARMAMENT: Cairo was the first foreign country to buy Rafale fighters, in 2015
Egypt will order 30 additional Rafale fighter jets from France, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday. Dassault did not wish to comment on this information which would mark a new big commercial success for the French aircraft. “Very advanced discussions are indeed taking place with Egypt and announcements could be made very soon”, for his part reacted to AFP a French government source.
According to information released by the online investigative media Disclose, France and Egypt on April 26 signed a contract worth a total of 3.95 billion euros, including the sale of 30 Rafale fighter jets. as well as two other contracts for the benefit of the MBDA missile company and Safran Electronics & Defense.
A loan guaranteed by France up to 85% to finance these purchases
According to the investigative media, which cites Egyptian government documents detailing the terms of the contract, Egypt has obtained a loan guaranteed by France up to 85% to finance these purchases. An Egyptian delegation was to initial the agreement on Monday in Paris. Cairo was the first foreign country to buy Rafale, in 2015. This contract for 24 aircraft from the aircraft manufacturer Dassault was accompanied by an option for 12 other Rafale, which had never been exercised.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was received in December by Emmanuel Macron, who awarded him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor. This decision, in a country accused by NGOs of flouting human rights, had sparked outrageous reactions on social networks.
End of the honeymoon between France and Egypt
The two countries readily show their convergence on other regional security issues, such as rivalries with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. On the other hand, France is one of the countries which have asked Egypt, within the framework of the United Nations, to stop abusing its anti-terrorism legislation to muzzle opponents.
The concern expressed by Emmanuel Macron on the human rights situation in Egypt, during a joint press conference with his counterpart in January 2019, had ended the honeymoon between France and Egypt, who had not since concluded a new contract, observed in November the deputy Jacques Maire in a report on the control of arms exports.