09:21 GMT +322 January 2019
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    This file photo taken on March 16, 2015 off Saint-Nazaire, northwestern France, shows the Sevastopol mistral warship on its way for its first sea trials.

    Mission Cleopatra: Egypt's Mistral Taking Part in Joint Drills With France

    © AFP 2018 / Georges Gobet
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    Egypt’s Mistral-class helicopter carrier delivered from France is taking part in military exercises, which are jointly conducted by the French and Egyptian navies in the Mediterranean Sea.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to Al-Ahram newspaper, these are the first drills for the Mistral-class vessel Gamal Abdel Nasser, named after a former Egyptian president. Previously, the ship only entered the sea for small technical tests and for the training of the Egyptian crew.

    The joint exercises, conducted under the code name Cleopatra, are expected to last several days.

    In August 2015, Paris and Moscow formally terminated the 1.2-billion-euro (some $1.3 billion at current exchange rates) deal on the construction and delivery of two Mistral-class helicopter carriers. Shortly after, French President Francois Hollande confirmed that a deal had been reached with Egypt on the delivery of the two Mistrals to the Arab country.

    France handed over to Egypt the first Mistral-class helicopter carrier on June 2. The second ship is set to be transferred in September this year.


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