Sadat Says France Has Agreed to Help Egypt Build Its Arms Industry

Egyptian President Anwar Sadat said here today that France has agreed to help Egypt build its arms industry and that new such agreements will be concluded.

He made this statement, thanking France for its help, after having met with President Valery Giscard d’Estaing last night for extended talks and dinner at the Elysee Palace. The two Presidents are due to hold another meeting tomorrow before Sadat leaves for Rome where he will meet the Pope and the Italian President.

Sadat arrived in Paris yesterday afternoon to try and finalize arrangements for French military supplies and help in building an Egyptian arms industry after his final break with Moscow, his difficulties in obtaining six C-130 transport planes in the U.S. and West Germany’s flat refusal to sell him any military equipment.

Sadat told French diplomatic correspondents here today that “arms agreements with France have already been signed,” and that France “has agreed to help Egypt build its arms industry.” He said that talks on these subjects have been going on for some time.

Diplomatic sources here say that the agreements already concluded cover the following items: delivery of 46 Mirage F-1s which will constitute a first-phase Egyptian air force reconversion to Western equipment. This order could be followed by a second one covering 36 additional planes; and the delivery of 120 Alpha jet training and ground supporting jets jointly manufactured by France and West Germany but which will be delivered by France under its own responsibility.

Also the supply of an undisclosed number of ground-to-air “Crotal” and “Roland” missiles, ground-to-ground “Milan” and sea-to-sea “Excocet” missiles; and automotive 155 mm. guns, believed to number 50, with their electronic equipment. It is not yet known what form France’s participation will take in the creation of an Egyptian-arms industry. It is believed the technical details will be discussed tomorrow when Sadat will meet Giscard d’Estaing for a second talk and will also confer with French Premier Jacques Chirac.

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