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Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Qatar, UK commit to enhancing defence relationship


British and Qatari officials have committed to strengthening both countries’ defence relationship during the 12 Squadron headquarters opening.

Qatar and the United Kingdom on Wednesday discussed ways to strengthen the countries’ defence relationship, in a ceremony to inaugurate the first joint squadron since World War II.

Dr. Khalid al-Attiyah, Qatar’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence, and the UK’s Minister of Defence Ben Wallace participated in the opening of the 12 Squadron’s new headquarters, which will allow pilots and aircrews from both air forces to train together in state-of-the-art facilities. 

The opening ceremony included some military parades, in addition to a joint sortie on Typhoon planes.

Yousef Ali al-Khater, Qatar’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom,  Ali al-Fadala, Qatari military attache to the UK colonel, and a number of senior officers in the Qatari Armed Forces also attended the ceremony.

Read more: Sticking to nuclear disarmament, WMD treaties ‘a must for world peace’: Sheikha Alya.

Al-Attiyah and Wallace also visited RAF Coningsby in the UK, which is already home to the UK-Qatari joint Typhoon squadron, and expressed their commitment to strengthening the UK-Qatar defence relationship. 

During the visit, both ministers signed a statement of intent setting out how the UK will offer a British base for the Qatari Emiri Air Force’s (QEAF) recently acquired nine Hawk aircrafts. This statement, along with further discussions, would enhance the UK’s defence relationship with Qatar.

“Today we mark the start of an exciting new chapter in the longstanding defence relationship between the UK and Qatar, reinforcing and strengthening the bonds our Armed Forces already share. 

“Building upon the success of our joint Typhoon squadron, this new era of collaboration will deliver prosperity and security benefits for both our nations,” Wallace said.

Read also: Qatar ‘submits formal request’ for F-35 jets: report. 

In September, the UK’s defence secretary met al-Attiyah in Qatar, where he also toured the Combined Air Operations Centre in Al Udeid. 

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