December 13, 2007 / 11:53 AM / 12 years ago

Dassault says Libya Rafale talks may last months

PARIS, Dec 13 (Reuters) - Negotiations on the sale of 14 Rafale fighter jets to Libya could last until July, Dassault Aviation (AVMD.PA) Chief Executive Charles Edelstenne said on Thursday.

The French president’s office said earlier this week, at the start of an official visit to France by Muammar Gadaffi, that it was very confident that a contract could be signed.

“The governments signed a memorandum of understanding and that includes the opening of negotiations about the Libyan government buying 14 Rafale planes. That has been approved by Muammar Gadaffi,” Edelstenne said during a news conference at the Defense Minstry on boosting French arm sales.

“There is now a period for negotiations, we have set ourselves a deadline of the early July, late June to arrive at an agreement. The number of 14 is fixed, now we need to negotiate the price ... the contract clauses, the payment conditions,” Edelstenne added.

If the talks succeed, it will be the first time that France sells a Rafale abroad. (Reporting by Benoit Van Overstraeten; Editing by Quentin Bryar)

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