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Monday, December 04, 2006

France, Kuwait Sign Defense Agreements

AFP: France and Kuwait signed two agreements on defense cooperation that President Jacques Chirac and Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah said underlined a joint ambition to encourage stability in the Middle East on Nov. 30.

In a closed-door meeting, Chirac told the visiting emir that the pacts symbolized a “new orientation” in their countries’ ties, according to spokesman Jerome Bonnafont.

Sheikh Sabah said on leaving the Elysee palace that his visit reinforced bilateral relations “with an eye to finding a solution to the problems of the Middle East.”

The first agreement provided for the exchange of military intelligence, while the second was a technical accord dealing with the procurement of arms, defense equipment and services which opens the way to contracts for the maintenance of navy vessels and helicopters.

The texts were signed in a ceremony by Kuwait’s deputy prime minister and defense and interior minister, Sheikh Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah, and French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie.
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