DOHA, Qatar, May 4 (UPI) -- Qatar purchased 24 French-made Rafale fighter jets Monday in a $7 billion deal.
The announcement was made as French president Francois Hollande visited Emir Shiekh Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani in Doha, Qatar, and was one of several strategic agreements signed. Qatar becomes the third country this year, after Egypt and India, to purchase the jets, manufactured by France's Dussault Aviation and first introduced in 2001.
The 6.3 billion Euro ($7.02 billion) cost of the aircraft includes missiles made by MBDA Missile Systems, a French company, and training by the French military of 36 pilots and 100 technicians.
Qatar is one of several Arab nations involved in airstrikes and missile strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, and is a member of the bloc, led by Saudi Arabia, attacking Houthi rebels in Yemen from the air.
The agreement comes prior to Hollande's visit to Saudi Arabia to attend a meeting of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a political and economic union of Gulf States countries.