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

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 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 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. But one by one attempts to sell the jet to countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Morocco, Switzerland and Brazil have seen the Rafale lose out to foreign competition. A Dassault Aviation factory in Biarritz, southwestern France, April 30, 2014 (AFP Photo/Gaizka Iroz) - Overlooking rights abuses - The download deal with Egypt is a coup for Dassault, but analysts say it is a decision which required overlooking some serious abuses by a regime which Paris sees homepage as a stable partner in a chaotic region. With Libya to the west wracked by instability, and the threat from Islamic State-linked jihadists on its eastern flank, Egypt has become a strategic partner to France despite a rights record sullied by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's brutal crackdown on opponents.
More: http://news.yahoo.com/france-hails-historic-jet-sale-egypt-despite-rights-195422543.html

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