What Does the French Press Say about France Defense Minister’s Visit to Egypt?

France Is Embarrassed about the building of French Warships in Egypt, said Lacroix in its main headline on 25/9.

The French newspaper said: “Egypt has been negotiating arms and warship deals with France costing nearly $ 7 billion since May 2014. However, the Egyptian regime is suffering from internal crises related to disbursement of salaries, labor strikes, and military trials for the workers of the Alex Shipyard, the sub-contractor, which is manufacturing three French frigates of the “Gwynedd” type in Alexandria Port.”


Libération (25/9): “Forced labor” in the building of French warships in Alexandria Port

In Egypt,  26 employees in the Alex Shipyard , the sub-contractor for the construction of the French military frigates, are facing military trials (four workers are currently pending trial, 11 workers are being tried in absentia, and one worker was released), due to protesting the quality of machines and tools used in work, and demanding health insurance for themselves and their families and allowing them to be treated in the military hospitals.

The Alex Shipyard is a Services company that is a subsidiary of the Egyptian Ministry of Defense. The company depends on employing 2000 civilian workers under a military commander, General Ismat, where the presence of trade unions is prohibited, and the labor law has no place.

Libération – Dr Aude Fleurant: France’s Relations with Egypt Invoking Questions

Libération published on 25/9 an interview with French Researcher Dr Aude Fleurant, who joined SIPRI in April 2014 as the Director of the Arms and Military Expenditure Program. Fleurant said:

“The Egyptian regime is, as we say, ‘dubious’; however, we continue to sell them weapons. We have to know that these are very tough talks; and it is not ruled out that Egypt had imposed a subcontractor as a precondition for fulfilling the deal.” She added that there is tremendous pressure practiced on France, which wants such contracts to fill its record book.

Sudouest  (23/9): French Defense Minister is the Rafale Deal’s Outstanding “Mediator”

Jean-Yves Le Drian, the French Defense Minister, was described by the Sudouest as “an old professor” who follows the footsteps of President Francois Hollande, and has personal relations with Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He meets with the African heads of state away from the cameras, and builds without any complexities relationships with the regimes that are usually exposed to criticism regarding the files of human rights.

Les Echos (25/9): Talks of Rafale Deal with India Began 10 Years Ago
Until January 2016, India has been demanding amendments on he Rafale deal.  Francois Hollande has announced – while attending an Indian Republic formal ceremony at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi – that the agreements are imminent pending determining the prices only.