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UAE signs deal with Macron for 80 warplanes

The largest ever overseas sale of the French warplane was sealed as French President Emmanuel Macron began a two-day trip to the Gulf, during which he will also visit Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The French presidency said the deal, signed at a ceremony between Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan (MBZ) and Macron on the sidelines of the Dubai Expo 2020, is worth $19 billion.

Macron's 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 MBZ with investments flowing between the two countries. Paris has a permanent military base in the Emirati capital.

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