Saudi-France sign multi-billion deals
Iran Press TV
Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:56PM
Saudi Arabia has signed a slew of deals with France worth billions of dollars to buy patrol ships, border guard helicopters and planes from the European country, as Saudi warplanes keep bombarding Yemen.
The announcement was made on Wednesday during a visit by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud to Paris.
Saudi and French officials are finalizing negotiations on the contracts that include 23 H-145 multipurpose helicopters for the Saudi Interior Ministry as well as 50 Airbus jets.
Saudi Arabia also wants to purchase about 30 patrol boats for its navy.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius defended the selling of French patrol boats to Riyadh, saying they are meant 'to enhance the capability of the Saudi Coast Guard, which is today facing growing threats.'
A French government statement also said conducting a study for two new-generation nuclear reactors, and nuclear waste and nuclear safety training for Saudi Arabia is a component of the contracts.
Paris seeks to clinch the deals with Riyadh regardless of the Saudi regime's airstrikes on Yemen.
Saudi Arabia has been carrying out airstrikes against Yemen since March 26 without a UN mandate. The strikes are meant to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a staunch ally of the Al Saud regime.
According to the UN estimates, more than 2,600 people have been killed and at least 11,000 more injured in the airstrikes.
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