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World: Macron prepares to sign a contract with the water for the sale of aircraft burst

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water - France / (Photo, TV): Macron prepares to sign a contract with the water for the sale of aircraft burst

by John Irish

Dubai, December 3 (Reuters) - France will sign on Friday, several important contracts with the United Arab Emirates and Paris could finally conclude the sale of burst aircraft, worth several billion dollars, said two sources. .

The French President Emmanuel Macron starts Friday a two-day trip to the Gulf, when he will also go to Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

His visit occurs at a time when the Arab states of the Gulf have expressed their uncertainty about the attention of the United States to the region, even though they seek more weapons from their main alliented. of security.

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The French leader has established good relations with the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Mohammed Ben Zayed Al-Nahyan, and investments circulate between the two countries. Paris has a permanent military base in the Emiratian capital.

The sources indicated that Abou Dhabi could buy about 60 hunting aircraft built by Dassault Aviation, while stating that the agreement was not finalized.

This would be the most important grouped purchase of burst aircraft, apart from those carried out by the French army.

"I do not want to unveil the Christmas gift of the president," said Anouar Gargach, the Diplomatic Councilor of the President of the UAE, to the journalists before the visit, when asked if Abu Dhabi was going to buy the fighting planes.

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"This is an excellent relationship and several agreements will be signed. After the visit of the President, reports in different fields will be strengthened," added Anouar Gargach.

The French Presidency refused to confirm or invalidate the sale and Dassault could not be attached immediately for a comment.

Emmanuel Macron will attend a signature ceremony with Sheikh Mohammed Ben Zayed Al-Nahyan on the sidelines of Dubai's 2020 World Expo 2020 later Friday, said the presidency on Thursday in a statement.

The current negotiations for burst aircraft for more than ten years. In 2011, Abu Dhabi publicly rejected France's offer to provide 60 of these combat aircraft, judging it "not competitive and unachievable". The water already have mirage war planes.

On November 19, the Economic Weekly Challenges reported that the discussions on the order of "thirty, or even (d ') a sixty" of aircraft were at an advanced stage and that they could be concluded. of the visit of Emmanuel Macron.

Military sources claim that the burst aircraft would replace the mirage fleet of the water, but it is unlikely that they supplant the American F-35, Abu Dhabi continuing to ensure its safety with two major suppliers, France and United States.

the agreement would nevertheless be perceived as a signal of impatience while the American Congress hesitates to approve an agreement on the F-35, worried about the relations between the water and China, in particular because of the prevalence of technology 5G of Huawei in the country.

(with Tim Hepher; French version Camille Raynaud)

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