When Macron was touring the Gulf, France and the UAE signed a large arms deal

OK, France (Associated Press) — France It was announced on Friday that a large-scale arms contract worth 16 billion euros (18 billion U.S. dollars) will be signed to sell 80 upgraded Rafale fighters to the United States. United Arab Emirates.

The French Ministry of Defense stated that the deal was FranceThe largest arms export contract ever.It came as the president of France Emmanuel Macron The first stop on the two-day Persian Gulf visit was the UAE. UAE officials did not immediately confirm the signing.

manufacturer Dassault Aviation Say United Arab Emirates It is buying an upgraded version of its multi-role fighter F4. This will make the UAE Air Force the first Rafale F4 user outside of the United States. France, it says.

This transaction is FranceThe defense industry was hit hard after Australia’s $66 billion contract for the purchase of 12 French submarines broke.

Dassault Aviation Owner Eric Trappier called the sale a “French success story” and “good news for the company.” France And its aviation industry. “

This purchase marks a considerable improvement United Arab EmiratesMilitary capabilities in areas rich in oil and gas resources. Charles Forrester, a senior analyst at Janes, said the fighter “will be a significant upgrade United Arab EmiratesAirpower capabilities in strike, air combat, and reconnaissance. “

Dassault said that the gust will give United Arab Emirates “A tool that can guarantee sovereignty and independence of action.”

Macron It said that Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan) attended the signing ceremony.

The French defense officials were elated. Defense Secretary Florence Parly (Florence Parly) said the agreement “directly contributes to regional stability.”

France Have a deep relationship United Arab Emirates, An alliance of seven emirates in the Arabian Peninsula, especially since the September 11, 2001 attack.this United Arab Emirates In 2009, a French naval base was opened in Zayed Port, Abu Dhabi. French fighter planes and personnel are also stationed at Al-Dhafra Air Force Base, a major facility outside of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the UAE, and also home to thousands of US troops.

Macron is keen to build personal relationships with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and his counterpart in Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, which has made him a popular guest in the region. The two Gulf leaders both value a certain degree of pragmatism when discussing democracy and human rights — their countries have been severely criticized by human rights organizations and European lawmakers on these issues — while seeking business opportunities.

A few months later Macron was elected in 2017, he Go to United Arab Emirates Inaugurated the Louvre in Abu Dhabi, the building was built under a $1.2 billion agreement to share the name and art of the world-famous museum in Paris.

In September, Macron Received the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi at the historic Fontainebleau Castle outside Paris, which was restored in 2019 United Arab Emirates A donation of 10 million euros (11.3 million U.S. dollars).

UAE and France Because of the common distrust of Islamic parties in the Middle East, they have become more and more aligned, and they have supported the same party during the civil strife in Libya.

A senior official of the French Presidential Palace told reporters on condition of anonymity before the visit Macron Will “continue to promote and support efforts that contribute to the stability of the region, from the Mediterranean to the Gulf region.”

The official said that tensions in the Gulf will be discussed, especially after US President Donald Trump withdraws from the agreement and restarts negotiations with world powers on the Iranian nuclear agreement. The Gulf countries have long been concerned about Iran’s nuclear ambitions and influence in the region, especially in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

“This is a hot topic,” the French official said, adding Macron These issues were discussed in a phone call with the Iranian President on Monday. he The official said that this call and issue will be discussed with Gulf leaders-including the nuclear agreement negotiations in Vienna. They “are directly concerned about this issue like all of us, but also because they are (Iran’s) neighbors. “.

FranceAnalysts say that together with Germany and the United Kingdom, they believe that the 2015 nuclear agreement-with minor adjustments-is the way forward with Iran.this United Arab Emirates Saudi Arabia strongly opposes the agreement negotiated between the West and Iran.

“Although the Gulf countries don’t like the West’s deal with Iran, the prospect of its violent disintegration is not good for them, and it can be said to bring more serious risks,” said Jane Jinningmont, a Gulf expert at the European Leadership Network in London. :tank.

“They have always believed that the West should get more from Iran before reaching an agreement,” Jinningmont said. “But if the West finds nothing, the Gulf countries will begin to understand that their security will not improve as a result.”

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

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