Britain and Kuwait strike military deal

Sources said the deal would be worth up to US$2.4bn to UK security and defence firms
The Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah of Kuwait and Queen Elizabeth II stand together outside Windsor Castle (Getty Images).
By Claire Valdini
Thu 29 Nov 2012 01:49 PM

Britain will supply homeland
security expertise and equipment to Kuwait under a deal that has yet to be
announced, UK press reported, citing unnamed sources.

Kuwait’s Emir, who is
currently in the UK on a three-day state visit, on Wednesday signed an
agreement to ease restrictions on immigration between the two countries.

Sources said the military
deal could be worth up to GBP£1.5bn (US$2.4bn) to UK security and defence firms
over ten years. Techniques and military equipment used during the 2012 Olympic
Games in London are thought to be among what the Kuwaitis are interested
in adopting, said the reports.

The deal is likely to
concern human rights groups at a time when political tensions have intensified
in the Gulf state.

Recent demonstrations
against an emergency decree that reduces the number of votes allowed per
citizen from four to one for the sake of Kuwait’s “security and stability” have
prompted clashes with tear gas and smoke bombs deployed by police to break them
up.

The UK has deep ties with
Gulf Arab states, some of them former British protectorates, whose citizens often
travel to Britain to buy homes, shop and study.

Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al
Jaber Al Sabah held talks with Prime Minister David Cameron on Wednesday.
Cameron praised the “long-standing friendship between the UK and Kuwait”.

Discussions included defence
matters and a range of regional issues including Iraq, Bahrain and Syria. The
two sides agreed on the importance of seeing an inclusive, political transition
in Syria.

The two countries
established a joint working group, which will meet twice a year in Kuwait and
London in a bid to boost economic ties, KUNA said. The group will look to work
together on areas including as investment, trade, education, healthcare,
security and military fields.

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Last Updated: Thu 26 Jan 2017 01:27 PM GST

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