Sunday, March 27, 2011

UAE Rafale deal at risk because of Thales disagreement on offsets rules

Mr. Vigneron (Thales) and Mr. Edelstenne (Dassault aviation)
PARIS, March 25 (Reuters) - France's Thales (TCFP.PA) said on Friday it was close to agreement with the United Arab Emirates on the offset rules in possible arms contracts after a diplomatic row was disclosed by a French newspaper.
La Tribune daily reported that French diplomats had warned Thales that French interests were at risk over the company's stand on offsets, or counter-trade, as France campaigns to sell Rafale warplanes to the Emirates. [ID:nLDE72N2B0]
"This negotiation has been going on for several months and like all negotiations has experienced some highs and lows. We are currently in a state of convergence," a Thales spokesman said, adding the company was surprised about the leak.
"The negotiation should be completed in coming weeks."
Thales makes radar for the French warplane, which is built by Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA).

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