France seals previously-announced Rafale fighter jet deal with Croatia

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ZAGREB (Reuters) - France formally signed on Thursday a previously-announced Dassault Aviation Rafale fighter jet contract with Croatia.

Reuters TV broadcast images of French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly signing the deal in the presence of her Croatian counterpart, and alongside French President Emmanuel Macron and Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic.

In May, Plenkovic had said Croatia would buy 12 French Dassault Rafale fighter jets to modernise its air force in a deal worth 999 million euros ($1.1 billion).

Croatia joined NATO in 2009 and the European Union in 2013. Its air force has a squadron of Russian-made MiG-21 jets dating from the period of the former Yugoslavia, but they are outdated and only a few are still operational.

($1 = 0.8911 euros)

(Reporting by Lucien Libert; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)

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