Technical talks over the sale of Rafale fighter jets to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by France are underway and could soon be finalised according to French Defence minister Hérvé Morin.

Morin was quoted by France Info radio as saying that the discussion had been going on for months and was in the course of being finalised.

In 2008, the UAE began talks with France regarding acquiring the latest-generation Rafale fighters to replace its 60 aging Mirage fighters.

France is also ready to bear the modernisation costs, estimated to be about €2bn ($2.4bn) rather than the €4bn to €5bn ($4.9bn to $6.1bn) speculated earlier, according to Morin.