The United Arab Emirates (UAE) said Wednesday, May 30, France's Giat Industries would resume delivery of Leclerc tanks "soon" following the resolution of disagreements over the $3.4-billion (€4-billion) contract.
"The UAE has reached an acceptable agreement with Giat for the delivery of Leclerc tanks, which was halted because of different interpretations of the contract," an Emirati defense ministry official told WAM news agency.
"Delivery of the remaining tanks and other equipment will resume soon", the official said, adding that it will be according to the principles defined by the contract signed in 1993.
Giat had announced on February 17 the suspension of deliveries due to a "difference in interpretation" of the contract for 434 tanks, of which about 100 have yet to be handed over.
The group announced the resumption of deliveries Tuesday: "This is very good news; the production lines for the Leclerc tanks destined for the United Arab Emirates will be able to begin again at the start of June."
Giat's trade union, Confederation Francaise Democratique du Travail, said in March that under the 1993 contract with the UAE, Giat had undertaken to upgrade the tanks at no charge as new modifications were introduced.
But the UAE had requested new improvements to be implemented daily and had later refused the delivery of completed tanks, the union charged.
Giat is totally dependent on military orders and has been hard hit by arms cuts worldwide, forcing it to slash the workforce from 10,350 at the end of 1998 to 6,500 by the end of next year. ― (AFP, Abu Dhabi)
© Agence France Presse 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)