UK and Qatar sign statement of intent to boost defence ties

15 October 2020 (Last Updated October 15th, 2020 16:56)

The UK and Qatar have signed a statement of intent to boost defence ties between the two countries.

UK and Qatar sign statement of intent to boost defence ties
The UK-Qatar defence relationship will be strengthened by the statement of intent. Credit: UK MoD © Crown copyright 2020.

The UK and Qatar have signed a statement of intent to boost defence ties between the two countries.

It was signed by Defence Secretary Ben Wallace and Qatar Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Khalid bin Mohamed Al Attiyah during a visit to RAF Coningsby.

The airforce base is home to UK-Qatari joint Typhoon squadron and the agreement outlined how the UK will provide a base for the recently acquired nine Hawk aircraft of Qatari Emiri Air Force (QEAF).

The acquisition of the aircraft will pave way for a possible UK-Qatari Hawk squadron, which is expected to increase the two countries’ defence relationship and help in the security and stability of the region.

Qatar and the UK have been working to safeguard the stability of the Middle East.

Recently, the RAF Reaper unmanned aircraft launched a strike against Daesh. The attack was carried out in co-operation with RAF’s No.83 Expeditionary Air Group in Al Udeid in Qatar.

Wallace said: “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.”

The event also marked the opening of the new joint Typhoon squadron (12 Squadron) headquarters. The 12 Squadron is said to be the first joint squadron of the UK since the Second World War.

It is expected to enable both the airforces to train together.

Last week, the UK and Ukraine signed an MoI to develop the capabilities of the Navy of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.