Without renouncing all these arms sales in Riyadh, denounced repeatedly in France itself, the Macronie country continues to cooperate with the companies and military industries of Saudi Arabia.
A contract was recently signed between the two parties for the development of maritime systems for the Saudi kingdom.
The French industrial group Naval Group has signed a joint venture agreement with the Saudi State Military Industries (SAMI) on the joint production of naval systems. The Saudi company will have a 51% majority in the joint venture.
The memorandum of understanding signed on February 17, on the sidelines of an international trade fair (IDEX 2019) held annually in Abu Dhabi, is supposed to create a joint venture that would build and develop systems in Saudi Arabia. According to a statement issued by SAMI.
“The joint venture will develop, build and maintain warships, which will strengthen the military potential of the Saudi navy,” SAMI director Andreas Schwer told reporters.
In less than ten years, France has sold more than 11 billion euros of weapons to Riyadh; a total that allows Saudi Arabia to rank as the second largest customer of France in the field.
French NGOs and parliamentarians have repeatedly called for the suspension of military supplies to Saudi Arabia because of the war waged by the Wahhabi kingdom in Yemen and the assassination of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi agents in Istanbul last October.
After the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi, several European countries have suspended military supplies to the kingdom, considering that its leaders could be involved in this crime.
According to Wikileaks data, the sale of French tanks in the United Arab Emirates, the same ones used in the war in Yemen, was accompanied by the payment of $200 million of black money on accounts located in tax heavens.
However, the French head of state declared, in October 2018, with great cynicism, that France had an extremely rigorous policy on armaments with an inter-ministerial commission for arms control, which is chaired by the Prime Minister.
“We are not part of the suppliers for these matters, to Saudi Arabia,” he had said.
When Mr. Macron denied these sales of colossal weapons to Saudi Arabia, he seemed to have forgotten the words of his Minister of Armies Florence Parly, who, a few months earlier, had said that “the weapons sold in Riyadh and in Abu Dhabi are not used in the massacre of the Yemeni people “.