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Britain to ‘dispatch’ forces to Kuwait
July 5, 2018, 3:50 pm
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Britain has agreed to deploy military troops in Kuwait in response to a request from the government there, the Kuwaiti newspaper Al Nahar reported on Wednesday, citing an unnamed senior diplomatic source. The consent followed talks of a Kuwaiti-British cooperation committee last week and a visit by Kuwait’s Foreign Minister Sabah Al Khaled to London, the source added.

“Britain has welcome and agreed on the Kuwaiti request for having troops in the country and the details will be sorted out later,” the source told the paper, expecting the deployment to take place later this year.

There was no immediate official comment in Kuwait. In recent weeks, British media reported that London was considering having a limited troop presence in Kuwait.

British Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Michael Davenport has said in a recent interview that the planned troop presence will not be large, describing defence links as a mainstay of relations between his country and Kuwait. Ties between both countries are age-old.

In the late 19th century, Kuwait’s then ruler Mubarak Al Sabah felt worried about foreign ambitions, mainly from the Ottoman empire. In 1889, he sealed a protection treaty with Britain that became committed to defending Kuwait against any foreign attack.

The Kuwaiti-British links grew after oil was discovered in Kuwait in the 1930s. In 1961 the Anglo-Kuwaiti pact was annulled, establishing Kuwait as a sovereign, independent state.

Relations between the two countries deepened in the aftermath of Iraq’s 1990 invasion of Kuwait. Britain was a main partner to the US-led military alliance that liberated Kuwait from the Iraqi invaders the following year.

 

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