Egypt has reached an agreement with France to buy 30 “Wind Gust” fighter jets made by France’s Dassault Agency, the Ministry of Defense announced Wednesday.
Egypt’s defense ministry said the agreement included a loan of at least 10 years, but did not disclose the total amount of military purchases or other information. Several media quoted sources as saying that the military purchase contract amounted to 3.75 billion euros, the two sides completed negotiations at the end of April, an Egyptian delegation will visit France this week, the two sides will formally sign the contract.
Egypt will also sign a separate contract with the European Missile Group and the French military-industrial company Saifeng Group for about 200 million euros, the sources said.
Egypt is one of France’s major customers of weapons and equipment. Egypt signed a contract with France in 2015 to buy 24 Tornado fighter jets. In addition, Egypt has purchased several naval vessels from France, including two Northwest Wind-class amphibious assault ships.
French President Emmanuel Macron said in December that he would not consider whether to sell arms to Egypt in the “human rights situation” because he did not want to weaken Egypt’s ability to fight terrorism in the region.
Reuters quoted some diplomats as saying that France and Egypt have repeatedly failed to negotiate arms sales agreements, mainly because of French concerns about Egypt’s ability to repay long-term debt, rather than out of concerns about the “human rights situation” in Egypt.