Second Italian frigate arrives in Egypt
The military frigate, named 'Berenice' follows the first frigate, named 'Al-Jalalah', which arrived in Egypt on 23 December.
The total cost of the two frigate is believed to have set Egypt back more than $1.1 billion, and is part of a record arms deal between the two countries.
According to document seen by The New Arab’s sister publication, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, a €500 million loan agreement was signed by the Egyptian ministry of Defence, the Italian Export Development Authority SACE, and the Italian Group of Banks and Financial Institutions, in order to finance the deal.
The loan agreement was also signed by three European banks.
The remaining funds needed to purchase the frigates was secured from a number of different partners, according to Egyptian government sources who spoke to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.
A sum totalling no more than 20 percent of the overall cost was provided by the Egyptian ministry of defence with the rest of the funding coming from European and Arab partners - although the loans agreements for these funds are yet to be signed.
Al-Araby Al-Jadeed previously revealed that the arms deal between Italy and Egypt also included 24 M-346 training aircraft and 32 Agusta-Westland 149 helicopter, valued at around €800 million.
Egypt is yet to receive the helicopters despite requests dating back to last April. It is expected that all the aircraft will be delivered in the next few coming months.
With the aircraft, warships, and an observation satellie, the arms deal between Egypt and Italy is expected to be valued at almost €11 billion.
It signals a warming of relations following a period of mistrust after the death of Italian student Giulio Regeni in 2016, reportedly at the hands of Egyptian security services.
Egyptian authorities have so far refused to cooperate with the investigation.