French minister says new Franco-German fighter top priority

French Minister for Economy, Finance, Industry and Digital Security Bruno Le Maire arrives for a meeting at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, Nov. 8, 2022. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS, Nov 23 (Reuters) - A senior French minister reaffirmed backing for a new Franco-German-led fighter jet project on Wednesday after conflicting comments over the next stage of the $100 billion venture.

"FCAS remains an absolutely top-level Franco-German ambition," Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Reuters on the sidelines of a European space meeting.

He was responding when asked about comments by the head of France's Dassault Aviation (AM.PA), who last week played down a Berlin government announcement that France, Germany and Spain had agreed the next phase. Dassault has been at odds with Airbus (AIR.PA), which represents Germany and Spain in the project.

Reporting by Tim Hepher; Editing by Kirsten Donovan

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