Cementing ties with France, UAE places $19 bln order for 80 Rafale, helicopters

The United Arab Emirates ordered 80 Rafale fighter jets and 12 military helicopters on Friday, deepening economic and political ties with France through an arms contract worth 17 billion euros ($19.20 billion).

The largest ever overseas sale of the French warplane was sealed as French President Emmanuel Macron began a two-day trip to the Gulf, during which he will also visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

“This contract is historic,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said in a statement.

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