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Egypt to Buy 30 Fighter Jets from France for $4.5b

Egypt will purchase 30 Rafale fighter jets from France for a hefty $4.5 billion. The deal was announced early Tuesday by Egypt’s Defense Ministry, though the amount of the contract was reported by the investigative news website, Disclose. The deal is not contingent on Egypt improving its record on human rights issues. Egypt will pay for the jets through a 10-year loan.

An Egyptian delegation was scheduled to arrive in Paris on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

France was the main weapons supplier to Egypt between 2013 and 2017.

The director of Human Rights Watch, Benedicte Jeannerod, told Reuters that the deal is encouraging more human rights repression in Egypt. French officials have said that they are not publicly criticizing Egypt over its human rights record, and that it can be more effective in private.