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French leader oversees Qatar jet deal

Pilot Benoit Flanche performs a manoeuvre in his Dassault Rafale aircraft during a demonstration flight at Halim airport in Jakarta on March 25, 2015French President Francois Hollande sought to boost ties in the Gulf Monday as he oversaw the signing of a warplanes deal with Qatar and headed to Saudi Arabia for a summit. Hollande was to be the first Western head of state to attend a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) annual gathering when it meets in Riyadh on Tuesday. The summit comes at a crucial time for the six-nation GCC, with a Saudi-led coalition bombing rebels in Yemen, concern over the rise of Islamist militants and regional worries over a potential final nuclear deal with Iran. With Hollande in attendance, the CEO of French aerospace firm Dassault, Eric Trappier, signed the 6.3-billion-euro ($7-billion) deal with Qatari defence officials in Doha.

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