The Amir of Kuwait -- Sheikh Sabah Al-Salim Al-Sabah-- began talks on Monday (26 May) with French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing on trading oil for arms, technological co-operation and investment.
GV Flags flying
GV PAN Motorcade leaving airport
Background: The Amir of Kuwait -- Sheikh Sabah Al-Salim Al-Sabah-- began talks on Monday (26 May) with French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing on trading oil for arms, technological co-operation and investment.
The talks began immediately after the 61-year-old ruler of the Gulf state arrived at Orly airport on a three-day official visit to France.
President Giscard d'Estaing greeted the Amir at the airport with full military honours, part of the red-carpet treatment he has ordered for his guest, with whom he will have several rounds of talks.
"Your visit here marks a major stage in the development of the relationship between Kuwait and France, opening bright prospects for our two countries", he said.
The Amir, who came here with a long arms shopping list, was accompanied by a large delegation -- including his Ministers of Defence, Foreign Affairs, Finance, Electricity and Atomic Energy, as well as military, industrial and banking experts.
Kuwait -- one of France's main oil suppliers -- is seeking French assistance in equipping its armed forces with the most sophisticated weapons.
"We have already bought Mirage F-1 fighter-bombers and are looking for more 'planes, tanks and missiles," a senior Kuwaiti official said. "We are also planning to build nuclear power plants and to expand our industrial development," he added.
The Kuwaiti air force will soon receive its first squadron of Mirage F-1C jets to replace ageing British Lightning and Hunter 'planes.