Rafale in Egypt: the United States blocks
By Michel CABIROL
Negotiations for the sale of additional Rafale between France and Egypt are hampered by the United States. Washington refuses to export an American component aboard the Scalp cruise missile that Cairo wants to acquire.
It stuck seriously in negotiations between Paris and Cairo for the sale of additional Rafale (12 fighter jets) to the Egyptian Air Force, according to concordant sources. And this is not a funding issue as in the past. According to these sources, France is currently unable to deliver scalp cruise missiles manufactured by MBDA to Egyptians because of an American component. Contacted by La Tribune , Dassault Aviation and MBDA declined to comment.
Paris had given the green light to export the Scalp missile after its passage before the inter-ministerial commission for the study of exports of war materials (CIEEMG), but the United States blocked the sale. Washington follows the International Traffic in Arms Regulations ( ITAR ) . Good war for the Americans. But this situation greatly irritates both the Egyptians, who absolutely want Scalp missiles, and Dassault Aviation, who does not want to miss a new Rafale sale.
Towards a new Franco-American arrangement?
If the supply of Rafale is not in danger, one explains to the Tribune , this operation is clearly slowed down in spite of the frequent comings and goings between Paris and Cairo of the Egyptian and French negotiators these last weeks. And all the pressure is on MBDA, which is in the sight of the Egyptian authorities, very up against the missile. So much so that Cairo wants the Scalp ... for free. What MBDA refuses. However, by the end of 2017, everything seemed to be in place for a signing between Cairo and Dassault Aviation at the beginning of this year at the time of a visit by Emmanuel Macron. It missed.
Either MBDA changes this component, or France and the United States find an arrangement at very high level. At the invitation of Donald Trump, Emmanuel Macron will also visit the United States on 23 and 24 April. It should be remembered that François Hollande's visit to the United States in February 2014 had already settled the sale of two spy satellites in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The United States then refused to export some of the "made in USA" components needed to manufacture these two satellites.
Original post: latribune.fr
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