SAINT-DIZIER, France (Reuters) - French Defence Minister Alain Juppe said on Tuesday that talks with United Arab Emirates and Brazil over possible orders of French Rafale jet fighter were advancing.
France is eager to secure a first export order for the multi-role Rafale, with its defence exports under pressure for several years as it struggles to repeat the success of Dassault Aviation’s previous generation of Mirage warplanes.
“We’re advancing with Brazil, we’re advancing with United Arab Emirates because negotiations have resumed. We’ll see, it’s on the right track,” Juppe said at a presidential New Year’s address at an air force base at Saint-Dizier, northeast France.
Talks with Brazil had been delayed until after an October 31 presidential election, and talks with UAE froze in mid-2010 over a newspaper article that fanned sensitivities in Abu Dhabi.
Reporting by Emmanuel Jarry; Writing by Catherine Bremer; Editing by Matthew Jones