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French Defense Minister in UAE for Talks

Jul. 8, 2013 - 10:23AM   |  
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ABU DHABI — French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian was in Abu Dhabi on Monday for talks on military cooperation with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, state news agency WAM reported.

According to French business daily La Tribune, Paris is trying to convince the UAE to buy two surveillance satellites built by Astrium and Thales Alenia Space, in a contract worth more than €500 million.

France has also been trying for years to sell the United Arab Emirates its Rafale jet fighters, which have struggled to find buyers, to support a project that has cost tens of billions of euros.

WAM said that Sheikh Mohammed, deputy head of the armed forces in the oil-rich Gulf state, discussed “friendly relations” and “the excellent coordination” between the two countries.

They also discussed bilateral cooperation and “developing it to serve their common interests, especially military and defense,” it added without giving further details.

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