Sultanate, UK ink joint defence pact

Muscat: The Sultanate and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland signed a joint defence agreement between the two friendly countries.

The agreement was signed on behalf of the Government of the Sultanate by Sayyid  Badr bin Saud bin Harib al Busaidi, Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs, and signed on behalf of the Government of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland by British Secretary of Defence Gavin Williamson.

The agreement emphasizes the historic and deep-rooted relations of cooperation between the Sultanate and the United Kingdom in various fields and in the interest of the leaderships of the two friendly countries to deepen these relations and unify common visions to achieve their security and stability and prosperity of their peoples and to strengthen the military cooperation embodied in a number of close cooperation and bilateral exercises, the latest Swift Sword / 3).

This agreement aims at framing the commitment of the two countries to jointly defend their security, stability and prosperity, and their support for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of each country and the development of bilateral military action to achieve harmony between the armed forces of the two friendly countries.

Following the signing of the agreement, Sayyid Badr bin Saud bin Harib al Busaidi, Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs said, “This agreement comes as part of the pursuit of the Government of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and Queen Elizabeth II’s government of Great Britain and the Commonwealth of Independent States to promote bilateral relations and the strategic partnership between the Sultanate and the United Kingdom in the field of defence, which marks a milestone in the course of their cooperation.

The signing of this agreement today comes to affirm the importance of activating the military action to ensure the security and stability of the two friendly countries, and pave the way for more military cooperation and joint exercises translated into the objectives of this agreement.”

“We are delighted to sign this agreement, which will strengthen our relations with one of our most important partners. This is an important historic event between our two countries and we reaffirm our commitment to the common defence of our two countries,” said British Secretary of Defence Gavin Williamson.

“The security of the Gulf is an extension of our security and it is important to expand our horizons to make the United Kingdom a global state following the withdrawal from the European Union,” he added.

On arrival at the Ministry of Defence headquarters at Muaaskar Beit Al Falaj, the British guest was greeted with an official reception ceremony, where a group of the guard of honor greeted him with the military salute.

Following the meeting, the Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs held an official session of talks with the British Secretary of Defence during which they reviewed the relations of cooperation in the military field between the two friendly countries and means of enhancing them and discussing issues of common concern.

The signing ceremony and the talks session were attended by Mohammed bin Nasser al Rasbi, Secretary General of the Ministry of Defence, Maj Gen Matar bin Salim al Balushi, Commander of the Royal Army of Oman, Rear-Admiral Abdullah bin Khamis al Raisi, Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman. They were attended from the British side by Hamish Cowell, the UK Ambassador to the Sultanate and the guest’s accompanying delegation. –ONA

 

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