On August 6, 2015, the Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah al-Sisi celebrates the inauguration of the extension of the Suez Canal with a grand reception of heads of state and, as guest of honor, François Hollande. For the occasion, a large military parade is organized. In the middle of the arsenal sparkle four jewels of the French military industry, a frigate and three Rafale planes, which could not have parade without a generous helping hand from the President of the French Republic.
Equipment that would be “taken from the allocations initially intended for the French forces “
A confidential letter of December 22, 2014 obtained by “Complément d’études”, signed by the hand of François Hollande and intended for Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, shows how the French president bent over backwards to please the Egyptian marshal, anxious to show the military power of its authoritarian regime. “I am fully aware of your wish that the first deliveries can take place on the symbolic date of August 1,” writes François Hollande.
The President of the Republic then explains clearly that he is ready to draw from his own army to please his counterpart: “This equipment would, as you know, directly taken from the allocations initially intended for the French forces, thus testifying to France’s desire to concretely implement our cooperation. “
Major business interests
Coming to power in 2013 following a coup, al-Sisi quickly became an ally of France. In the name of the fight against Islamist terrorism which is proliferating among its Iraqi, Syrian and Libyan neighbors, cooperation is being set up between the two countries. For France, Egypt embodies political stability in the region, but this assumed partnership also represents major commercial interests. Indeed, the French military industry, which is struggling to sell its Rafale, sees Egypt as an opportunity to save the combat aircraft program.
Extract from “France-Egypt: revelations on a secret operation”, a document to be seen in “Complément d’études” on November 25, 2021.