Francois Hollande started his Gulf tour Monday morning in Doha, primarily to sign a fighter jet plane deal with Qatar.
Doha is the first stop in Hollande’s Gulf tour. He will visit Saudi Arabia next.
Qatar will sign contracts worth $7.1 billion for 24 Rafale fighter jets and missiles, which will boost the total value of French arms exports to more than 12 billion US Dollars, the highest value France has ever reached in a single year, French defense officials say.
The French president will hold talks with Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, about the latest developments in the Middle East, which will be followed by the the ceremony involving the signing of the fighter jet deal.
Qatar is the third country to obtain Rafale fighter jets in the region, followed by Egypt and India.
French Air Force officers will train 36 Qatari pilots. Training costs are still under discussion between the two countries.