Egypt, France begin war games in Red Sea

Egypt, France begin war games in Red Sea

CAIRO – Anadolu Agency
Egypt, France begin war games in Red Sea

A container ship crosses the Gulf of Suez towards the Red Sea, before entering the Suez Canal, as fishermen work on their nets, near Ismailia port city, northeast of Cairo, Egypt on Oct. 31. (REUTERS / Amr Abdallah Dalsh)

Egypt and France began a joint military drill in the Red Sea on Dec. 2, according to the Egyptian military.

In a statement, the army said naval forces from both countries carried out a naval training in the Red Sea with the participation of a French warship and a number of Egyptian navy vessels.

“The military exercise aims to enhance the combat capability of both countries to deal with naval threats, including the protection of important shipments and counter-terrorism,” the statement said.

The Red Sea is a strategic route for the Gulf oil to Europe and the U.S. through Egypt's Suez Canal.

Last month, the Egyptian army conducted joint naval exercises with French military forces in the northern Mediterranean Sea.

In February and March, both countries conducted three separate joint naval exercises in the Red Sea and the Mediterranean.

Ever since President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi assumed power in June of 2014, Cairo and Paris have signed a range of arms deals, making France - alongside the U.S. and Russia - one of Egypt's main sources for weapons.

Egypt, France, military drill, Suez Canal