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France to Discuss Mistral Sale to Malaysia – Source

The vessels were ordered by former Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov in 2011 in what some observers described as a favor to France.

France's defense minister will discuss the sale to Malaysia of one of the Mistral helicopter carriers originally destined for Russia during a visit to the country, a source familiar with the talks said, confirming a report on news website latribune.fr.

On his return from Malaysia, Jean-Yves Le Drian will also make a detour to India to sign a deal for 36 Rafale fighter jets built by French group Dassault Aviation, latribune.fr added.

A source with knowledge of the talks told Reuters on Friday that India's Rafale purchase could be concluded in about 10 days.

India is also interested in the Mistral, latribune.fr said.

French President Francois Hollande confirmed on Tuesday that there were several potential buyers for the two Mistral. France cancelled the planned sale of the warships to Russia because of the Ukraine crisis.

No one was immediately reachable for comment at the French Defence Ministry, Dassault Aviation or Mistral manufacturer DCNS.

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