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Egypt Buys 30 Jets From France

Egypt’s Defense Ministry on Tuesday announced it had signed a deal with France for the purchase of 30 fighter jets and other armaments, worth an estimated $4.5 billion. The contract for the advanced Rafale warplanes drew wall-to-wall condemnation by human rights groups in France and across the globe, who accused President Emmanuel Macron of ignoring Cairo’s sketchy record on civil and human rights. Human Rights Watch Director for France Bénédicte Jeannerod said Paris was encouraging President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi’s “ruthless repression … and extremely serious violations” under the pretext of fighting terrorism. Last year, Macron admitted that human rights would not be a consideration in such weapons sales, due to the need for Egypt to battle terrorism in the region. With converging interests regarding Libya and other Middle Eastern nations, the two countries have over the past few years cultivated close military and economic relations.