Qatar, France Sign Plane, Transport Deals Worth $14 Billion

France and Qatar signed a slew of contracts as President Emmanuel Macron visits the isolated Gulf country to solidify French business interests and Qatar continues to firm up its ties with the West.

Among the deals: France’s Dassault Aviation sold a further 12 Rafale fighter jets; the French national railway company SNCF along with Paris metro company RATP won a contract to run the Doha metro; French state-owned armaments company Nexter sold 490 armored vehicles; and Airbus sold 50 narrow body jets.

“These contracts underline the closeness of our commercial ties,” Macron said during a signing ceremony in Doha Thursday. He said the contracts were valued at about 12 billion euros ($14.1 billion).

A Saudi-led embargo of Qatar has ignited a surge in domestic nationalism as Qataris dig in for a long standoff. While shoring up sentiments at home, Qatari officials cemented friendships in the West since June with big-ticket purchases of U.S. military jets, Italian naval ships and now planes from France.

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