Qatar’s ruling emir and French President Emmanuel Macron signed 12 billion euros ($14 billion) in deals during the French president’s visit to Doha on Thursday, including the purchase of 12 French-made Dassault Rafale fighter jets with the option of buying 36 more.
The agreement brings the total number of Rafales the Gulf Arab country will have to 36.
Macron is traveling with Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, who in 2015 as defense minister helped negotiate a deal with Qatar to buy 24 Rafale fighter jets. As part of a deal negotiated two years ago, Qatar exercised its right to purchase 12 aircraft.
France and Qatar also agreed that Qatar would purchase 490 VBCI armored vehicles from French firm Nexter, and signed a transportation deal with France’s national rail authority to manage and maintain Doha’s planned metro, as well as a light rail system north of Doha.
Qatar announced it would additionally buy 50 Airbus twin-engine A321s with option of buying 30 more.
Macron’s one-day trip to Qatar comes as the Gulf nation faces continued isolation and a boycott by some of its Arab neighbors. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut relations with Qatar over allegations it supports extremists and has too-close relations with Iran.
Read full article by Fay Abuelgasim on The Washington Post, December 7, 2017.