In partnership with the investigative media Disclose, “Complément d’études” unveils an internal memo from the military staff dated 2013. In this document, the coming to power of the military in Egypt is analyzed as an opportunity in terms of “soutex”, that is to say support for arms exports. Extract from a document to be viewed on November 25, 2021.
Summer 2013: the military take power in Cairo. At the head of this coup, Marshal Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. Demonstrations erupt. They are repressed in the blood: 1,000 deaths in two days. Around the world, outrage is almost unanimous. Western powers, like France, suspend their exports to Egypt of material that could be used for repression.
But three months after this bloody repression condemned by Paris, the French military hierarchy seems on the contrary to be delighted with the coming to power of an authoritarian regime. In a confidential note unveiled by “Further investigation”, the military staff analyzes the situation from a… commercial point of view and sees it as an opportunity!
Unofficially, the dictatorship as an opportunity to sell weapons
“With financial autonomy estimated at more than 10 billion euros, [le ministère de la Défense égyptien] has the immediate objective of modernizing both its equipment and its infrastructure before a new democratic power eventually calls it to account “, write the French military. In this confidential document, it is also underlined that” the Ministry of Defense [égyptien] expects strong signs from France “.
Jean-Yves Le Drian, then Minister of Defense for François Hollande, leads the negotiations and becomes the best sales representative in the French armaments industry. Four corvettes, two frigates and 400 missiles are sold to Egypt. But above all, the regime of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi acquires 24 Rafale, a first for Dassault’s fighter aircraft which had until then accumulated resounding commercial failures. Egypt becomes France’s third-largest arms customer, with 6.2 billion euros in contracts signed.
Extract from “France-Egypt: revelations on a secret operation”, a document to be seen in “Complément d’études” on November 25, 2021.