France, Saudi Arabia to sign $12bln deals
Saudi Arabia is signing a slew of deals with France worth USD 12 billion to buy patrol ships, border guard helicopters and planes from the European country, Press TV reported.
The announcement was made on Wednesday during a visit by Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud to Paris.
Saudi and French officials are finalizing negotiations on the contracts that include 23 H-145 multipurpose helicopters for the Saudi Interior Ministry as well as 50 Airbus jets.
Saudi Arabia also wants to purchase about 30 patrol boats for its navy.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius defended the selling of French patrol boats to Riyadh, saying they are meant "to enhance the capability of the Saudi Coast Guard, which is today facing growing threats."
A French government statement also said conducting a study for two new-generation nuclear reactors, and nuclear waste and nuclear safety training for Saudi Arabia is a component of the contracts.