Tuesday, October 30, 2007

France backs off Saudi fighter sale

from Reuters

France is no longer pushing Saudi Arabia to buy Rafale fighters now that the kingdom has purchased Typhoon jets from Britain ... During a visit to the Kingdom on Sunday, French Defence Minister Herve Morin said Saudi investment in strategic French industries was welcome. "EADS already has UAE and Qatari funds in its capital. So there is no reason for such investments not to be made in French or European firms as long as it's in the interest of the company." he said. Qatar Investment Authority has an indirect ownership in EADS through shareholdings in Lagardere and a Dubai fund. EADS is part of the BAE-led consortium building the Eurofighter aircraft and the parent company of commercial airliner Airbus ... When asked about the bid by Riyadh and fellow Gulf Arabs to start a peaceful nuclear energy programme, Morin said "France considers itself open to this."

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