France signs deal with Egypt for export of jets

France's Rafale fighter jets took part in the raid on a jihadist training centre situated in the Kirkuk region of northern Iraq (AFP Photo/)

France on Monday signed its first export contract for Rafale fighter jets, with Egypt agreeing to buy 24 of the warplanes, an AFP correspondent said.

Eric Trappier, chief executive officer of France’s Dassault Aviation, signed the multi-billion-euro contract at a presidential palace in Cairo in the presence of Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.

“Our two countries are pursuing a common struggle against terrorism,” Le Drian said during the signing ceremony.

The deal was inked as F-16 warplanes of the Egyptian army bombed positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Libya, after ISIS released a video showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Copts captured there in January.

“This is a new era of bilateral cooperation between Paris and Cairo,” said Le Drian.

“This contract puts Rafale at the top of the pyramid of combat aircraft.”

Last Update: Tuesday, 17 February 2015 KSA 06:29 - GMT 03:29