France's Hollande cancels visit to Poland over copter deal

PARIS – French President Francois Hollande has postponed a visit to Poland after the country backed off from a multibillion-euro purchase of French-made Caracal helicopters.

Hollande had been expected in Warsaw on Thursday for French-Polish talks.

The decision to postpone was made Friday, following the confirmation by Poland’s defence minister that his country was breaking off offset negotiations with Airbus Helicopters, which produces the Caracal, Hollande’s office told The Associated Press.

The offset deal had been a major condition for Poland’s purchase of 50 Caracal helicopters for 13.5 billion zlotys (3.14 billion euros).

In an offset agreement, the seller of a product agrees to invest in sectors or goods on the buyer’s side as a way of compensating or enhancing the value of the deal.