Egypt-France: Economic & military deals in the pipeline

Cairo and Paris are expected to ink mega military and economic deals on Saturday during the two-day visit French Prime Minister, Manuel Valls, is paying this weekend to Egypt at the head of a high level ministerial delegation.

The French embassy in Cairo confirmed that Manuel Valls s’ delegation to include Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian will ink a batch of military and economic deals with Cairo.

Valls will also inaugurate the new Lycee Francais in Heliopolis.

France and Egypt have started negotiations on the purchase by Egypt of a number of France-made NH90 medium helicopters. Late last September, Paris announced that Egypt would buy two Mistral warships estimated at $1 billion and back in February Egypt accepted to purchase 24 Rafale fighter jets from France.

Paris and Cairo have stepped up their bilateral cooperation, mainly their military cooperation since al-Sissi’s rise to power.

The Saturday visit will unveil other major deals, such as the purchase by Egypt of four naval corvettes from France for $1.1 billion. Delivery is scheduled for 2019. France is also said to be building the first Gowind corvette destined to Egypt in the modern naval shipyard of Lorient.

Facing growing attacks of IS-linked jihadists in North Sinai, Egypt is increasing its military capacity to curb militancy.

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