France yesterday officially handed over the Mistral-class helicopter aircraft carrier to Egypt in a ceremony that was attended by the Egyptian defence minister.
Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi raised the Egyptian flag on the aircraft carrier which bears the name of Gamal Abdel Nasser, marking its entry to service.
Activists launched the hashtag #Mistral on social media networks to express their opinions on the military deal. Some strongly criticising Egypt for buying weapons, while others stressed the necessity of the African state obtaining such arms in light of the tensions in the region.
The purchase of the aircraft carrier does not help Egypt at a time when Egyptians are suffering from unemployment and rising prices, people wrote on Twitter.
Last October, France signed a deal with Egypt worth €950 million ($1.06bn) for the sale of two French Misteral carriers to Cairo, after the abolition of an alleged French deal for selling them to Russia.
Egypt is scheduled to receive another aircraft carrier from France bearing the name of Sadat before the end of this year, after accomplishing its training which is taking place this month.
Last year, Egypt received a French Fremme-class frigate in the framework of a deal worth €5.2 billion to buy 24 Rafale fighters, in which France sold a fighter aircraft to another state for the first time in its history.