Egypt is negotiating to buy a pair of warships that France originally built for Russia but refused to deliver because of Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine, French officials said Wednesday.

If a deal were reached, the ships would expand Egypt’s ability to project force in one of the world’s most volatile regions, bolstering President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi’s efforts to fight rising militancy in places like the Sinai Peninsula

French officials cautioned that they are also negotiating with other potential buyers, whom they didn’t identify, for the two Mistral-class carriers, which are capable of launching helicopter and tank assaults from sea. […]