French President Sarkozy has not hidden his desire to make aggressive moves in making his nation the key player in a new Mediettranean confederation. Germany reacted with displeasure at the news France had signed a new military deal with Libya to sell 12 Franco-German Tiger combat helicopters to the Gadhafi regime. German Chancellor Merkel has been upset since Sarkozy took office over his desire to establish France as the key European player in the Mediterranean region. The French arms deal with a nation noted for its dictatorial leadership and its past connections with terrorist organizations did not sit well with German leaders.
The agreement between the nations which led to joint efforts to build the new helicopter do not prevent either one from selling it to a third party which is apparently what Sarkozy has done. Merkel does not wish to push the issue to the point of creating a crisis with France. It is still unclear how far Sarkozy wants to push the idea of French leadership in other parts of the world.