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Saudi Arabia to Help Egypt Purchase Mistrals Built for Russia - Media

NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organisation

16:06 24.09.2015(updated 17:54 24.09.2015)

Saudi Arabia will help Egypt to purchase the Mistral-class ships, newspaper Express reported quoting a source in the French government.

"The help will be significant," the statement in the newspaper read.

Earlier, the Express reported that Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries have helped Egypt before in the acquisition of French military equipment, in particular the fighter jet Rafale, a contract which was signed in February 2015.

On Wednesday, France's President Francois Hollande and his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah Sisi agreed on Egypt's acquisition of two Mistral-class ships.

"The President of the Republic spoke with President Sisi. They agreed on the principle and terms of the purchase of two Mistral-class projection and command ships by Egypt," the statement read.

Earlier it was also reported that a delegation of high-ranking Egyptian officials is currently in Paris to negotiate the price of the two Mistral-class helicopter carriers originally built for Russia.

It is assumed that one of the Mistrals will serve in the Red Sea, and the other will be positioned in the Mediterranean. According to a source in France's Ministry of

Defense, the ships could be delivered to Egypt in March 2016, after the Egyptian navy crews go through training.

In the period since 2014, Egypt has bought from France four 'Gowind' corvettes, which cost 1 billion euros, a FREMM frigate for 900 million euros and 24 'Rafale' fighter jets which cost about 3 billion euros.

The volume of other French arms purchased by Egypt amounted to 1.1 billion euros.


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