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France Signs Mistral Warships Deal With Egypt

Egypt has signed a deal with France to buy two Mistral warships originally ordered by Russia.

The deal was signed in Cairo on October 10 as French Prime Minister Manuel Valls began a regional tour.

On September 23, French President Francois Hollande announced he had agreed to the sale of the warships with his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The Mistrals were originally built for Russia but France scrapped their sale to Moscow over the Ukraine conflict.

The assault ships, which can each carry 16 helicopters, four landing craft, and 13 tanks, were ordered by Russia in 2011 in a $1.4 billion deal.

Valls is visiting Egypt for two days as part of an Arab tour also taking him to Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Based on reporting by AFP and dpa