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France Hails 'historic' Jet Sale To Egypt Despite Rights Concerns - Yahoo News

Paris (AFP) - France basked Friday in the "historic" first foreign sale of its Rafale fighter jet to Egypt in a contract clinched in a breakneck three months, despite criticism over rights abuses by Cairo. For Paris the 5.2 billion euro ($5.9 billion) sale is a rare triumph after six failed attempts to export its flagship multi-role combat jet, but analysts criticised double standards as the delivery of two Mistral-class warships to Russia remains stalled over the Ukraine crisis. Rights group Amnesty International has slammed the decision to sell 24 Rafale jets and a frigate to a nation it has accused of "alarming" human rights abuses. President Francois Hollande said the rapid-fire negotiations came because "Egypt wanted a quality aircraft (and) taking visite site into account the threats existing around the country." He said the jets are crucial for Egypt's efforts to bring about stability at home, where it is battling jihadist insurgents in the Sinai peninsula, and in a troubled region. Cairo is so pressed to receive the jets (visit site) that France is diverting three fighters destined for its own airforce for delivery, said Eric Trappier, chief executive of Dassault Aviation which manufactures the jet, in an interview with BFM television. He called it a "historic day" for the company, which has put tens of billions of euros and nearly three decades of development into the Rafale, the French airforce's prime combat jet.
More: http://news.yahoo.com/france-hails-historic-jet-sale-egypt-despite-rights-195422543.html

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