Tag Archives: France

France, Qatar completed deal – US $7.5 billion for 24 Dassault Rafale

According DefenceNews, France and Qatar completed the deal for 24 Dassault Rafale fighter jets at the opening day of the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference.

AIR_Rafales_Split_lgThe fighter deal, which includes MBDA missiles, training for 36 pilots and some 100 mechanics, was earlier reported to be worth €6.3 billion (US $6.9 billion); however, it was announced Tuesday that the deal is worth €6.7 billion (US $7.5 billion).

Qatar’s purchase of Dassault Rafale fighters has been financed with the help of Japanese banks external link external link. The Gulf state recently paid a 15% down payment on its order, which in total amounts to $6.8 billion. The loan highlights a growing relationship with Japan through Japanese business interests in areas of construction and finance. Investments and projects involving Japanese companies include construction for the 2022 World Cup, and the building of a subway system in Doha, while Qatar supplies liquefied gas to Japan. The participation of Japanese money in the deal comes as tighter EU financial regulations to European banks bring lending under greater scrutiny, while a US loan to buy French technology may have upset Boeing, a competitor to Dassault in the fighter market.

The Rafale is a 9.5 – 10.5 tonne aircraft powered by 2 SNECMA M88 jet engines, each generating up to 16,500 pounds thrust with afterburner. Canards are used to improve maneuverability, especially for snap-shots in short-range dogfights, and radar shaping lowers the aircraft’s profile relative to 4th generation competitors like the Mirage 2000 or F-16. Carrier capability was a prime motivator behind France’s decision to go it alone with the Rafale program, and variants exist for both land-based and carrier use.

UPDATE: DIMDEX Press Day –  A dedicated day for the press was organised for Monday 28 March, the day before DIMDEX officially opens. Press Day consisted of three main components: covering the arrival of warships to Doha Commercial Port (DCP) on tugboats, followed by a press conference and a media lunch at the QNCC. There was an option to stay longer on a tugboat instead of attending the press conference / lunch if desired.

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Chinese President and his first European tour

President Xi Jinping has arrived in the Netherlands, kicking off an 11-day tour across Europe. It’s the president’s first trip to Europe since taking office, and he is also the first Chinese president to visit the Netherlands since the two states established diplomatic relations in 1972.

152During his stay in the country, Xi will visit the cities of Amsterdam and The Hague, and meet with various Dutch officials. He is also scheduled to attend the third Nuclear Security Summit at The Hague, where he will hold talks with the US president.

Xi Jinping’s next stop will be France. There, the Chinese president will meet his counterpart Francois Hollande and attend celebration activities to mark the 50th anniversary of China-France diplomatic ties. Xi will also visit the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.

The Chinese president is then expected to travel to Berlin, for a sit-down with German officials to map out the future of bilateral relations. He will also meet business leaders from China and Germany.

According CNTV, Chinese leader will end his Europe tour in Belgium. In addition to holdings discussions with senior officials there, Xi Jinping will visit the European Union headquarters in Brussels, and deliver a speech at The College of Europe in Bruges. Deals ranging from finance, energy, manufacturing and other sectors are set to be signed during each stop.

France and UK – Step-daughters of the ”mother” America

 French President, Francois Hollande (who recently was the subject of a huge mass-media scandal and following it separated from his long-time partner, Valerie Trierweiler), arrived at the White House, to the seventh official state dinner of Mr. Obama’s presidency, via limousine just after 7 p.m. According Washington Times, President Obama, clad in a black tuxedo, and first lady Michelle Obama, wearing a formal black and “liberty blue” gown, greeted him at the North Portico of the White House. Two hours later, the two leaders toasted one another and, as they’ve done repeatedly in recent days, touted the deep, seemingly unbreakable Franco-U.S. bond.

Photo by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama with French President Francois Hollande, center, pose at the Grand Staircase as they arrive for a State Dinner at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Photo by: Pablo Martinez Monsivais
First Lady Michelle Obama and President Barack Obama with French President Francois Hollande, center, pose at the Grand Staircase as they arrive for a State Dinner at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“Our two countries share universal values and we have feelings for one another” Mr. Hollande said. “We love Americans, although we don’t always say so. And you love the French, but you’re sometimes too shy to say so.”

Mr. Obama said the relationship has thrived for so long because both nations stand for the same principles. “We love our French friends because we’ve stood together for our freedom for more than 200 years,” he said. “Long live the alliance between our great nations.”

Big brother has become the ”mother”

Earlier in the day Tuesday, Mr. Obama and Mr. Hollande held a joint press conference at the White House on the heels of a lengthy bilateral meeting. Asked by a journalist from the publication ”Le Figaro” if ”France has become the best European ally of the U.S. and has replaced Great Britain in that role?”, president Obama  tried a diplomatic evasion: ”First of all, I have two daughters.  And they are both gorgeous and wonderful, and I would never choose between them. And that’s how I feel about my outstanding European partners.  All of them are wonderful in their own ways”. But Obama as not as thrilled when he had to answer ”why not extend to France the no-spying agreement that you have with England after the big scandal of the NSA’s surveillance program?” That’s not good ! probably thought U.S. President while he was saying: ”It’s not actually correct to say that we have a “no-spy agreement” with Great Britain.  That’s not actually what happens.  We don’t have — there’s no country where we have a no-spy agreement.  We have, like every other country, an intelligence capability, and then we have a range of partnerships with all kinds of countries.  And we’ve been in consultations with the French government to deepen those commitments”.

Some remarks about the great US-European family and its step-daughters:

Remember that the ”beloved daughter” UK said like an old song “goodbye America” to the mother’s/or big brother/ decision to intervene militarily in Syria. This was the first step that led to the subsequent diplomatic victory of Vladimir Putin. More, to remember about Snowden it means to remember Russia. And this while the U.S. led a hostile propaganda about Sochi Olympics rarely seen.  The moment was not missed nor in Obama – Hollande conference. Noticed that President Obama and French counterpart said that they are united in backing rebel forces in Syria’s civil war and charged that Russian President Vladimir Putin has the blood of Syrian people on his hands. The unusually pointed criticism comes in the midst of the Sochi Winter Olympics.

If we take into account that France needs help in its military expeditions in Africa, then quickly we understand the obedience and interested friendship 0f the president Hollande. European partners of military adventures are harder to find. And home his popularity is in freefall.

France and the UK were rarely able to speak a common language with the rest of EU, and also they are far from being the economic engine and the decision making core to outperform Berlin. Right, Berlin is harder to be appeased with emotionally-demagogic phrases like “daughterly strategic partnership”. Ah, bringing into question the revelations of Snowden‘s worse than Victoria Nuland′s nervousness, lack of tact and hers friendly ”Fuck EU” !