If all goes to plan, French President Emmanuel Macron will return from his visit to Qatar on December 7 with several major military and transport contracts in his suitcase.

As reported by the Reuters news agency, the gas-rich Gulf state has an option to buy 12 more Dassault-made Rafale fighter jets after buying 24 planes in 2015 for about €6bn and officials have said that the deal could be concluded this week.

The two sides are also in talks for sale of 300 VBCI armoured vehicles from French firm Nexter and a contract worth some €3bn to manage the Doha metro for 20 years.

“Discussions are ongoing,” a French presidential source told reporters on December 4. “You spoke about several dossiers for which the point of maturity is close, but I prefer to remain a little bit prudent and wait until Thursday [December 7].”

Paris has close commercial and political ties with Qatar and has pushed further business interests in the country as well as encourage investment into France, where Qatar already has assets of about $10bn.