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Friday, August 6, 2021

Qatar, UK to expand defence ties with new air force partnership

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An MoU was signed between Qatar and the United Kingdom to expand military ties between the two countries.

The United Kingdom and Qatar ramped up defence ties on Friday with a memorandum of understanding to expand partnership between air forces of both countries.

The agreement includes joint training between the Qatari Emiri Air Force and the British Royal Air Force on a Hawk squadron, in addition to the employment of a Voyager aircraft to provide air-to-air refuelling for Qatari forces.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs Dr. Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Attiyah and his British counterpart Ben Wallace signed the memorandum that was described by the Qatari official as an “important step in the growing military partnership”.

“The joint Hawk training squadron is considered an integral element in increasing the capacity for joint operation and coordination between the air forces of the two countries, which leads to closer cooperation and convergence in peacekeeping efforts and military efforts,” Al-Attiyah said.

The squadron will provide advanced training for pilots of the Qatari Amiri Air Force and the Royal Air Force, and a Voyager plane is expected to arrive in Qatar in early July 2021.

This partnership and the success of the joint Typhoon No. 12 squadron will work to deepen the defence relations between the two countries, as well as enhance the ability of the two countries to face common security challenges in the region and contribute to its stability.

“Cooperation with our international allies is a necessity to address our common security challenges, and our long-term partnership with Qatar exemplifies this,” Wallace said.

“We continue to work together to share and exchange skills and experiences while strengthening global security and leading our countries to prosper.

“I am pleased to select the RAF Liming Base as a base for the joint Qatari-British Second Squadron, which shows the global appreciation for the level of flight training provided by the Royal Air Force,” he added.


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