03:29 GMT +315 December 2019
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    A picture shows the Vladivostok warship, a Mistral-class LHD amphibious vessel ordered by Russia from STX France in Saint-Nazaire, western France, on December 20, 2014

    Egypt in Talks With France to Buy Mistrals Built for Russia

    © AFP 2019 / JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD
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    A high-profile Egyptian delegation is currently in Paris for talks on the purchase of the two Mistral-class amphibious ships originally built for the Russian navy, the French newspaper La Tribune reported.

    Earlier, it was reported that several countries had expressed interest in buying the vessels, including Canada, India, Singapore and Egypt.

    According to sources familiar with the matter, the delegation received an approval for the deal from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. In addition to the Mistrals, Cairo is considering to buy from France two Gowind corvettes.

    However, there is a serious obstacle for the talks, the newspaper wrote.

    Egypt considers the Mistrals overpriced. Despite the fact that negotiations on the price are normal in the situation, DCNS naval defense company has little scope for maneuvering, according to the article. Last week, Egypt was close to abandoning the negotiations and it took France enormous efforts to continue them.

    If a price can be agreed on, the negotiations may last until the end of October to settle all the issues, La Tribune reported.

    According to the article, Egypt may deploy the Mistrals to the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea for possible military operations in Libya and Yemen.

    Russia and France signed a €1.2 billion agreement to deliver two Mistral-class helicopter-carriers in 2011. France was due to deliver the first Mistral – the Vladivostok – to Russia in November 2014. However, the delivery was delayed due to the conflict in eastern Ukraine and anti-Russian sanctions imposed by the West.

    In early-August, Moscow and Paris agreed to terminate the deal. After the Russian equipment is dismantled from both ships France will be able to sell them to a new buyer.

    Topic:
    Deal Cancelled: What Will Paris Do With Russia's Mistrals? (57)

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    talks, Mistral, Russia, Egypt, France
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