Dassault Aviation denies Rafale sale talks

15th January 2007, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 14, 2007 (AFP) - French aerospace group Dassault Aviation denied a press report on Sunday that it was negotiating the sale of Rafale fighter jets to Libya. "To date, there is no negotiation on this matter between the Dassault company and the Libyan authorities," a company spokesman told AFP.

PARIS, Jan 14, 2007 (AFP) - French aerospace group Dassault Aviation denied a press report on Sunday that it was negotiating the sale of Rafale fighter jets to Libya.
  
"To date, there is no negotiation on this matter between the Dassault company and the Libyan authorities," a company spokesman told AFP.

"This type of matter belongs to the bilateral domain between the French and Libyan governments," he added.

According to the Journal du Dimanche newspaper on Sunday quoting Libyan government sources, Libya plans to order between 13 and 18 French-made Rafale fighter jets as part of its plans to modernise its army.

"The political decision to buy French Rafale fighter planes was taken recently at the highest level of the Libyan state," the newspaper said, adding that the order was valued at about 2.5 billion euros (3.2 billion dollars).

The fourth generation Rafale fighter planes, made by Dassault Aviation, have never been sold outside France.

A source close to the dossier had earlier said there had been no new developments in the matter and the report was "speculation".

For its part, the French defence ministry limited itself to saying that France had signed an accord with Libya at the end of last year to revamp its Mirage F1 fighter jets.

Relations between Libya and the Western powers have warmed dramatically since Libyan leader Moamer Kadhafi renounced terrorism and abandoned efforts to develop weapons of mass destruction in late 2003.

That same year Libya also accepted responsibility for the bombing of a US Pan Am jet over Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988 that killed 270 people, and agreed to pay compensation to the families of victims.

And in January 2004, Libya took another step toward mending relations with the West by signing a deal in Paris offering compensation for the bombing of a French airliner over the Sahara in 1989.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French News

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