First Published: 2012-11-06

 

Abu Dhabi, London: Joint defence partnership reflects strong ties

 

In joint statement, two countries say they will work together to deepen their defence ties for ‘security of UAE and wider Gulf region’.

 

Middle East Online

Close collaboration

ABU DHABI - Britain and the United Arab Emirates agreed on a defence partnership and to boost the British military presence in the Gulf state, they said as Prime Minister David Cameron ended a two-day visit Tuesday.

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

They agreed to "establish an industrial defence partnership that involves close collaboration around Typhoon (fighter jets) and a number of new technologies," it added.

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 aimed at boosting economic ties, specifically in the defence industry, the official WAM news agency reported.

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.Cameron was expected to use the trip to push Britain's defence industry and to have a dialogue about human rights, an issue he has come under fire for at home.

In an interview with the BBC on Tuesday, Cameron said human rights issues were on the agenda in the talks but that the differences between countries should be noted.

"I'm a believer in the growth of democracy and human rights but we should recognise that all countries are different. They have different pathways, different histories, different cultures," he said.

"And we should recognise in many of our strong Gulf partners, for instance in Kuwait you have a Kuwaiti parliament, you have the growth of building blocks of open societies and democracies and that's the case in the United Arab Emirates as well."

He also defended doing military deals with Gulf states.

"(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 (Moamer) Gathafi," Cameron told the BBC.

"Every country in the world in my view has a right to self defence. But you cannot expect every country in the world to produce every tank, every ship, every plane that is necessary for that self-defence."

"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 defence partnerships because their security is important for our security, and this is vital for British jobs."

He is expected in Saudi Arabia later Tuesday before travelling onwards in the Middle East. His itinerary for the rest of the trip remains undisclosed for security reasons.

 

Calm reigns over Gaza amid celebrations

US rules out coordination with Syria on targeting jihadists

UN moves to impose sanctions on Libya militias

Algeria president sacks Belkhadem

Saudi Arabia could earn $8.5 billion from Mecca pilgrimage

Mother of US hostage to leader of Islamic State: Please spare my son

Turkey ruling party officially approves Davutoglu as new PM

US spy agencies face difficult task in Syria

Saudi Arabia jails 18 militants on terror charges

Gazans breathe sigh of relief

Litany of horrors becomes regular fixture in jihadist-held Syria

Iraq forces mass for onslaught on jihadist siege of Amerli

Doha offers help to rebuild Gaza

Iran alters Arak heavy water reactor over Western worries

New Turkey PM leaves successor troubled legacy

Palestinians ‘reach’ long-term Gaza truce with Israel

Barzani: Iran provided us with weapons

US to track jihadists in Syria with spy planes

Top Iran official in Saudi to repair strained ties

Drums of war are beating anew on Capitol Hill

Israel air raid in Gaza kills two Palestinians

Deadly bus tragedy in Egypt

Car bomb rips through Baghdad intersection

Shebab flee Somalia strategic town in latest advance of African troops

South Sudan warring leaders sign fresh ceasefire deal

Who’s funding extremists? Qatar struggles to clean up tarnished image

Abadi calls on militias to come under Iraq state control

Nile dam row at heart of talks in Sudan

Ansar Sharia calls for jihadist unity in Libya

No let-up in Gaza war as Egypt raises new truce proposal

Thousands march in support of Yemen President’s call for national unity

Syria reaches out to former foes in fight against ‘terrorism’

Libya parliament names new army chief

Egypt warns only disarmament could spare Libya from intervention

Egypt offers new Gaza ceasefire

Iran to Israel: we will arm Palestinians

American held hostage for 22 months in Syria freed

Iraq calls for global support in fighting jihadists

Iran bolsters arsenal with new drones and missiles

Arab ministers discuss ‘rise of extremism’ in Saudi Arabia

In Jordan, students stay home as teachers strike

Iran ‘shoots down’ Israel drone near Natanz nuclear site

Netanyahu vows to maintain Israel offensive in Gaza ‘as long as necessary’

Libya neighbours meet in Egypt amid serious concerns

Zarif meets Ashton in September to discuss framework for renewed talks