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French, Brazilian defense ministers discuss planes

Monday - 11/5/2012, 7:25pm  ET

Brazil's Defense Minister Celso Amorim, right, talks with France's Defense Minister Jean-Ives Le Drian during a welcome ceremony at Brazil's Defense Ministry in Brasilia, Brazil, Monday, Nov. 5, 2012. Le Drian is on a two-day official visit to Brazil. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Brasilia, Brazil (AP) -- French Defense Minister Jean Yves Le Drian arrived in Brazil on Monday to promote the sale of Rafale jet fighters to the South American nation.

Brazil wants to modernize its air force with 36 new aircraft, but has delayed a decision on the deal that could be worth as much as $7 billion.

Dassault of France, which manufactures the Rafale jets, is competing against Boeing of the United States and Saab of Sweden to sell new aircraft to Brazil.

Le Drian met Monday with his counterpart Celso Amorim on his first visit to Brazil since the inauguration of French President Francois Hollande.

The ministers discussed cooperation in the construction of five submarines, including one nuclear-powered, as well as the production of 50 helicopters and other military equipment.

They confirmed they discussed the possible sale of the Rafale jets, but indicated no deal was reached.

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