UK-UAE Agree on Defense Cooperation Including Typhoon

Agence France Presse (AFP)07.11.2012 UAE
UK-UAE Agree on Defense Cooperation Including Typhoon

UK-UAE Agree on Defense Cooperation Including Typhoon

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Britain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced they had agreed on a defense partnership and to boost the British military presence in the Gulf state.

In a joint statement, the two countries said they would “work together to deepen our defense ties for the security of the UAE and wider Gulf region”.

They agreed to “establish an industrial defense partnership that involves close collaboration around Typhoon (fighter jets) and a number of new technologies”.

The two sides also agreed to increase joint military and training exercises and invest “in the British military presence in the UAE,” without giving any details on what that might entail.

The announcement came after Cameron held talks with UAE President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

Cameron's office said the Prime Minister was to accompany senior Emirati officials on an inspection of RAF Typhoons stationed at a UAE airbase as part of a training exercise.

The United Arab Emirates had shown an interest in ordering up to 60 Typhoon Eurofighters to replace their ageing French Mirages, according to the statement.

Britain is trying to boost its arms sales to oil-rich Gulf States, key allies in a region facing instability from the violence in Syria and the crisis over Iran's nuclear program.

Saudi Arabia is interested in a second "substantial" order on top of the 72 Typhoons they already have, while Oman is in negotiations for 12 of the jets, Cameron's office said in statement.

Cameron defended doing military deals with Gulf States, saying “the UAE stood with us and fought with us in the Libya campaign to help bring freedom to that country from the tyranny of Colonel Kaddafi.”

“Every country in the world in my view has a right to self defense. But you cannot expect every country in the world to produce every tank, every ship, every plane that is necessary for that self-defense,” he told BBC.

“I make absolutely no apologies for the fact that I am here talking to our friends in the Emirates, our friends in Saudi Arabia about defense partnerships because their security is important for our security, and this is vital for British jobs.”

Cameron also met The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and top Saudi officials in Jeddah on Tuesday after his two-day visit to the UAE.

Source: AFP



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