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Eurofighter a decision for the UAE, UK Minister says

Dubai: The British government is ready to re-open talks with the UAE on the Eurofighter Typhoon deal that fell apart last year but has stopped short in saying the deal could be resurrected.

Lord Ian Livingston, UK Minister of State for Trade and Investment, said in Dubai on Sunday evening that the government “will always be open and carry on [the] conversation” but that “it’s an absolute decision for the UAE.”

Last year, the British government lobbied the UAE to purchase up to 60 Eurofighter Typhoon jets in an industry package deal worth as much as £6 billion.

However, just a month after UK Prime Minister David Cameron made a surprise visit to the UAE on the eve of the Dubai Airshow last November, the UAE pulled out of Eurofighter talks citing commercial reasons.

Livingston who said it is a question for the UAE on why the deal failed, however, insisted that the Eurofighter is still an “excellent product.”

The Eurofighter Typhoon is built by Britain’s BAE, France’s EADS and Italy’s Finmeccanica; but the UK is the lead contractor in the negotiations. It was widely accepted the Eurofighter was competing against France’s Dassault Rafale fighter jet for the deal. The UAE has yet to move on the potential Dassault order.