Egypt, France hold joint military drills in preparation for Libya operation

Published March 6th, 2016 - 02:30 GMT
One of three French-made Rafale for the Egyptian Air Force is pictured at an air base in Istres, France, on July 20, over the shoulder of one of the Egyptian pilots trained to fly the fighter jets. (AFP/Boris Horvat)
One of three French-made Rafale for the Egyptian Air Force is pictured at an air base in Istres, France, on July 20, over the shoulder of one of the Egyptian pilots trained to fly the fighter jets. (AFP/Boris Horvat)

Egypt and France on Sunday began joint military exercises off the coast of Egypt's coastal city of Alexandria.

In a statement, the Egyptian military said air and naval forces from both countries were taking part in the "Ramses-2016" exercise, which is scheduled to go on for several days.

According to the statement, the French-built Egyptian frigate "Tahya Misr" will participate for the first time in the military drill, which will also see the participation of France’s "Charles de Gaulle" nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

The drill comes amid reports that western countries are gearing up to take military action against militant groups in next-door Libya.

Last year, Egypt and France signed a deal according to which Paris will sell two Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Cairo.

France also recently signed a €5-billion ($5.5 billion) military deal with Egypt that includes the sale of 24 Rafale fighter jets, a naval frigate and a quantity of missiles.

By Omar Azzam


© Copyright Andolu Ajansi

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