The assault ships, which can each carry 16 helicopter gunships, 700 troops and up to 50 armored vehicles, were originally intended for Russian Federation.
He said el-Sissi underscored the role of the Suez Canal and “how important it is for Europe, for the Middle East, for trade that the Suez Canal be protected”.
“The ships should be handed over in early March after the training of about 400 Egyptians and some final tests”, the source said. The interested parties included Canada, India, Singapore and Egypt, who Paris eventually agreed to sell the ships to.
Interfax reported Moscow made a statement saying they would not interfere with the Egyptian government’s purchase, and would supply the Alligator helicopters with a flexible payment plan. The $1.7-billion-dollar purchase was part of a 2011 deal between the Russian defense export agency Rosoboronexport and the French company DCNS, according to a U.S. Navy assessment.
However rights group Amnesty worldwide slammed the decision to sell the jets to a nation it has accused of “alarming” human rights abuses.
“In September 2014, I suspended the delivery of the first Mistral battleship to Russian Federation, due to the conflictual situation”, Holland said.
The deal with Egypt comes as France has nurtured new links with Sunni Arab states which appreciate its tough stance on their Shiite rival Iran and similar positions on the region’s conflicts.
Hollande said during a visit to Egypt in August that the ever-closer ties between Paris and Cairo stemmed from the “fight against terrorism”.
The Mistrals contract, worth 1.2 billion ($1.3 billion), was signed by Frances DCNS/STX and Russias Rosoboronexport in 2011.
In the aftermath of his power grab Egypt was suspended from some global bodies, and was the subject of a United States arms freeze.