Sarkozy to receive Kuwait’s premier on Friday as Rafale deal is opposed by Kuwaiti MPs

April 11, 2010
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French President Nicolas Sarkozy will receive Kuwait’s Prime Minister Shaikh Nasser Mohammad Al Ahmad Al Sabah on Friday, the Elysee has announced

The French leader’s timetable showed a slot on Friday, April 16, at 11:15 a.m. reserved for the meeting with the Kuwaiti premier in Paris, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.

Sarkozy is heading to Washington on Monday to take part in a summit on nuclear proliferation, the agenda said.

No official statement was issued about the talks at the meeting, but the French-Kuwaiti deal for the purchase of French Rafale fighters is expected to figure high on the agenda.

The deal has been vehemently opposed by Kuwaiti MPs representing Reform and Development Bloc who claimed that it was “suspicious.”

“The bloc reiterates its firm opposition to this suspicious deal, especially in light of information that the latest technical reports have recommended the rejection of the deal,” the four Islamist MPs who have been campaigning against the agreement purchase of Rafale combat aircraft said last month.

Sarkozy during a tour of Gulf countries in 2008 said that discussions had begun with Kuwait to sell up to 28 Rafales, the twin-engined jet fighter aircraft designed and built by Dassault Aviation.

Last month, French Senator Philippe Marini said that France wanted to deepen cooperation with Kuwait.

“I think that we have long neglected the capacities of Kuwait, and since the beginning of the mandate of President (Nicolas) Sarkozy we have re-approached relations with the countries of the Middle East, and especially with Kuwait. We consider that it is indispensable that we have good and confident relations with Kuwait,” Marini, the chairman of the inter-parliamentary and friendship group between France and the GCC countries, said.

Kuwait and France can boost ties and cooperation in several fields, particularly defense, energy, and the economy, he said.

“I hope we shall be able to progress more and more, and to commit reciprocally in order to have a long-term strategy,” he told KUNA.

 

         

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About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Career
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
Education
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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