Egypt has signed a contract with France to purchase 30 Rafale fighters. The Egyptian Ministry of Defense announced this in a statement. It would be a deal worth at least 3.75 billion euros, reports research website Disclose.
According to Egypt, the purchase will be funded with a loan that will be repaid within a period of at least ten years, but the defense ministry has not disclosed how much money is involved in the deal. According to the British news agency Reuters, the French ministries of Finance, Foreign Affairs and Armed Forces were not immediately available for comment.
France was the main arms supplier to Egypt between 2013-2017. At the time, 24 fighters were sold with an option for twelve more. Those contracts expired, including deals for more Rafale fighter jets and advanced warships.
In December, French President Emmanuel Macron said that he would not make arms sales to Egypt dependent on human rights, as he did not want to weaken Cairo’s ability to fight terrorism in the region. That comment aroused the ire of the human rights organization Human Rights Watch.