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France-UAE talks over Rafale stalled
Source: BI-ME with Reuters , Author: Posted by BI-ME staff
Posted: Wed May 30, 2012 11:49 am

UAE. Negotiations between France and the United Arab Emirates over the potential sale of 60 Rafale warplanes to the Gulf nation have "stalled", La Tribune newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The on-off negotiations have been under way for more than a year and were given high-profile support by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, who mounted a diplomatic campaign to win the first firm export order for the Dassault-built jet.

Talks hit an obstacle in November when Abu Dhabi publicly criticized Dassault Aviation over the price of the multi-role combat jet and sought information on the competing Eurofighter Typhoon . It has also had contacts with U.S. Boeing over the F-18 warplane.

But talks were reported to have taken off again ahead of the recent French elections.

Citing unidentified French industry and government sources, La Tribune said Abu Dhabi's leadership now appeared less hurried to close a deal and would be gauging the diplomatic engagement of President Francois Hollande, a Socialist who replaced Sarkozy earlier this month.

Dassault declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

India selected the Rafale to enter exclusive negotiations for a potential 126-plane order in late January, beating the Eurofighter, but analysts say the US$10 billion deal could also be influenced by the outcome of arms talks between France and UAE.

 

MIDDLE EAST BUSINESS COMMENT & ANALYSIS

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INTERNATIONAL. A Syria in which the regime and IS, rather than other rebel groups, are the only real domestic players turns Bashar al-Assad into a pivotal cog in the fight against jihadism. That is something Saudi Arabia cannot allow to happen. To turn the tide, it needs a United States that is engaged and willing to do its bit.
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UAE. Low oil prices will constrain the amount of funding available to Gulf sovereigns and banks to support the region's substantial infrastructure bill in coming years; S&P projects a gap as large as $270 billion through 2019 between capital spending for projects and project contracts awarded.
INTERNATIONAL. A Syria in which the regime and IS, rather than other rebel groups, are the only real domestic players turns Bashar al-Assad into a pivotal cog in the fight against jihadism. That is something Saudi Arabia cannot allow to happen. To turn the tide, it needs a United States that is engaged and willing to do its bit.
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