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France on Monday signed its first export contract for Rafale fighter jets, with Egypt agreeing to buy 24 of the warplanes, reports Al-Arabiya. Eric Trappier, chief executive officer of France’s Dassault Aviation, signed the multi-billion-euro contract at a presidential palace in Cairo in the presence of Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian. “Our two countries are pursuing a common struggle against terrorism,” Le Drian said during the signing ceremony. The deal was inked as F-16 warplanes of the Egyptian army bombed positions of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in Libya, after ISIS released a video showing the beheadings of 21 Egyptian Copts captured there in January. “This is a new era of bilateral cooperation between Paris and Cairo,” said Le Drian.
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