France says EADS deal reflects better US ties

Europe’s European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS) won its share of a huge contract to build aerial tankers for the United States thanks in part to improved French-American ties, French President Nicolas Sarkozy was quoted on Thursday as saying.

EADS unexpectedly won the $35-billion contract for 179 tankers together with its lead partner Northrop Grumman, the US defence company, on Friday, sparking a political backlash in Washington over the defeat for rival Boeing.

”Isn’t it a welcome change when we are reconciled with the Americans?,” Sarkozy told Le Figaro newspaper in an interview.

”Could you imagine for a minute that the contract which EADS has won in such a magnificent way to build aerial tankers could have been signed in the spirit of tension which used to exist between the Americans and French?”

The US Air Force has said the choice of aircraft supplied by EADS subsidiary Airbus was made on purely technical grounds. The award sparked a row over the future of US aerospace jobs.

Paris- and Munich-based EADS failed to win a similar order in 2003 at a time when relations between Washington and Paris were at a low point due to the opposition of Sarkozy’s predecessor Jacques Chirac to the US-led war in Iraq.

Sarkozy has toughened France’s position on Iran’s nuclear activities in support of Washington, forged close personal ties with US President George Bush and visited the United States twice since his election last May. – Reuters

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Joshua Cohen’s ‘The Netanyahus’ wins the Pulitzer Prize for fiction

The Pulitzer Prize awards grants another controversial award to a book that mixes both fiction and non-fiction

Court hears text message irrelevant to Mkhwebane’s legal fortunes

Advocate Andrew Breitenbach, appearing for parliament, said the message he received did not advantage his client and was no cause to suspend the impeachment inquiry against the public protector

Tazné van Wyk murder trial: accused twin sister brought in...

Murder accused’s twin sister tells court of interacting with the accused two days after the deceased went missing

Those who attack funerals self-identify as pariahs

What happens in Israel and Palestine does not affect Israelis and Palestinians, alone. It fuels a global fault-line of mistrust, suspicion, intolerance and violence

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…