Le Monde: Egypt’s Sisi approves deal to buy French Rafale fighters

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has approved the purchase of 24 Rafale fighters, a Fremm frigate and MBDA missiles from France in a deal worth more than 5 billion euros ($5.64 billion), Le Monde newspaper reported on Tuesday.

The arms contract could be officially signed on Wednesday or Thursday, Le Monde reported without saying where it obtained the information.

Officials from Egypt's army and the presidency could not immediately be reached for comment. A French government official also declined comment.

Dassault Aviation , which builds the Rafale, declined to comment. This would be the first export deal for the fighter jet.

Laurent Collet-Billon, the head of France's DGA defence procurement agency, said on Monday that he was "relatively optimistic" of securing a deal to sell arms to Egypt including Rafales.

The Fremm frigate is built by state-controlled DCNS, which is 35 percent owned by defence electronics group Thales . MBDA is a joint venture of Airbus Group , BAE Systems and Finmeccanica.

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