France, Qatar to seal $4.4billion fighter jet deal

France, Qatar to seal $4.4billion fighter jet deal
A Dassault Rafale fighter jet. Qatar may buy as many as 36 such jets if a deal is signed.

PARIS - France could sign a deal worth about 3 billion euros (S$4.4 billion) with Qatar for the sale of as many as 36 Dassault Aviation-built Rafale fighter jets in the next few days, Europe 1 radio reported on Thursday.

Paris has been in final negotiations with the Gulf Arab state for several months, and sources close to the matter told Reuters in March an accord had been agreed in principle.

In an unsourced report, Europe 1 said the deal would be for 24 planes with an option for 12 more.

It said officials were looking for a time in President Francois Hollande's agenda to travel to Doha to sign the deal.

Dassault Aviation declined to comment.

Hollande's office and the Defence Ministry also declined to comment.

France has already sold Rafale jets to India and Egypt this year. Hollande is due to travel to Saudi Arabia on Monday for a summit of Gulf Arab leaders.

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