Auteur Topic: France signs defence agreement with Kuwait  (gelezen 3926 keer)

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France signs defence agreement with Kuwait
« Reactie #6 Gepost op: 23/10/2009 | 23:31 uur »
France signed a defense agreement with Kuwait on Wednesday, strengthening its military ties with the Gulf state and opening the way for increased defence trade.

Kuwaiti Defence Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah said the agreement would allow for more strategic co-operation between both armed forces, building upon an existing 1992 agreement.

After signing the accord in Paris, his French counterpart Herve Morin said: "France is returning to this region, which is of global strategic importance, and wants to take its place there to safeguard its security."

"The Iranian nuclear programme is causing instability and insecurity throughout the Gulf states," he added, stressing that Kuwait was "extremely worried".

Paris has significantly boosted its ties with oil-rich monarchies in the Middle East over the past few months.

In May, President Nicolas Sarkozy opened a permanent French military base in the United Arab Emirates, while also renewing an existing 1995 defence accord at the same time.

Morin said the base showed France was fully committed to building peace and security in the region.

Paris, he said, could be another partner for the Gulf states alongside Washington, "a friend of the Americans but with our own vision for world security and stability".

Al-Sabah said Kuwait would be "proud" to have the supersonic Rafale jet for its armed forces at some point in the future.

"We hope to see an offer (from France) on the matter soon," he told journalists in Paris.

He said he had given the Rafale the green light and passed the matter to technical teams for detailed scrutiny.

"We hope to get the Rafale for our air force," he said, without saying how many planes Kuwait might acquire.

During a Gulf tour

in February, Sarkozy said discussions had begun with Kuwait for the sale of between 14 and 28 of the Dassault-made fighters.

No export contract has yet been agreed for the Rafale, though talks have been held with Brazil, the UAE, India, Switzerland, Greece and Libya.

Last month two French Rafale jets collided in mid-air over the Mediterranean, killing one pilot.

Al-Sabah also expressed interest in other French military technology, including helicopters and air defence systems.

Agence France-Presse on October 23, 2009 at 5:39 am

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