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Cementing ties, UAE buys 80 French-made Rafale warplanes

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By John Irish DUBAI (Reuters) -The United Arab Emirates ordered 80 Rafale fighter jets on Friday, the largest order ever for the warplane, a multi-billion dollar arms contract that deepens economic and political ties with France. French President Emmanuel Macron began a two-day trip to the Gulf on Friday, and will also visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia. His visit comes at a time when Gulf Arab states have voiced uncertainty about the United States’ focus on the region even as they seek more weapons from their key security ally. The French leader has forged a good relationship with Abu Dhabi Crown P…

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