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UAE and France signs contract for warplanes and helicopters worth $19 billion

The United Arab Emirates ordered 80 Rafale fighter jets and 12 military helicopters on Friday, strengthening economic and political relations with France through an arms contract worth $17 billion euros ($19 billion). 

The deal which is considered largest ever overseas sale of French military plane was finalised as French President Emmanuel Macron embark on his two-day trip to the Gulf.  

The French presidency said that deal was signed between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan and Macron on the sidelines of the Dubai Expo 2020.  

“This contract cements a strategic partnership that is stronger than ever and directly contributes to regional stability,” the French presidency stated in a statement. 

In the wake of Macron’s Gulf visit, Arab Gulf states have expressed skepticism about the United States’ focus on the region while seeking more weapons from their key ally. 

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