Home World Macron in the United Arab Emirates signs a billionaire contract for the French defense

Macron in the United Arab Emirates signs a billionaire contract for the French defense

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PARIS – The French president Emmanuel Macron began a two-day visit to the Persian Gulf. The trip to the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Saudi Arabia comes a month before France takes over the rotating presidency of the European Union and before the French presidential elections of 2022, in which Macron will seek a second term.

The first result of the trip was the announcement of an agreement to purchase 80 Rafale fighter jets, built by the French group Dassault Aviation. The order has a value of 16 billion euros. This is the largest order obtained overseas for the Rafale since they were commercialized in 2004. The deal will boost the French defense industry after the failure of a $ 66 billion contract for Australia to purchase of 12 French submarines.

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The red carpet treatment Macron will receive from Gulf political heavyweights presents France as the EU powerhouse in the Gulf and Middle East since Britain’s exit from the Union. “Macron stands out among the leaders of the European Union for his willingness to be in the spotlight, to lead foreign policy and move things forward,” he said. Silvia Colombo, EU-Gulf relations expert at the Institute for International Affairs in Rome. Most importantly, Macron is pursuing French business interests. ” He has a very clear idea that he has to go where the business community wants to be, where France can make economic gains. ”

The commitment made by Macron over the years to create personal relationships with leaders such as Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, and his counterpart in Saudi Arabia, Mohamed bin Salman Al Saud, makes him a welcome guest. Both Gulf leaders appreciate a certain degree of pragmatism when discussing democracy and human rights – issues their countries have been heavily criticized on by European rights groups and lawmakers – while pursuing business opportunities.

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France has deep ties with the United Arab Emirates, particularly after the attacks of 11 September 2001. The United Arab Emirates opened a French naval base in 2009 in Abu Dhabi’s Port Zayed. French warplanes and personnel are also stationed at Al-Dhafra Air Base, a major facility outside the Emirati capital, Abu Dhabi, which is also home to several thousand American troops.


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