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Britain eyes closer military ties with Kuwait - Fallon
August 26, 2017, 12:11 pm

British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon has revealed that his country is planning to sign a new military cooperation agreement with the State of Kuwait. In an interview with KUNA, a day ahead of his visit to Kuwait, Fallon said that he would discuss with Kuwaiti officials plans to buttress military cooperation and joint action to overcome security challenges.

He pointed out that Britain is ready to expand military training cooperation with Kuwait. The British Royal Air Force use the same "Eurofighter" aircraft and increasing joint exercises and training would help take military relations to new heights, he said.

He stated that the British Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team, known as the Red Arrows, would perform a display in Kuwait next month, which reflects the distinguished military relations between the two countries. He reiterated his country's commitment to the security and stability of Kuwait and Arabian Gulf region.

During his visit, the British Secretary is expected to hold talks with His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and Deputy Prime Minister and Defense Minister Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. The talks will aim to tackle the Gulf's security challenges, especially those related to the conflicts in Yemen and Syria and the progress made in Iraq as well as the next steps of the international coalition against the so-called Islamic State (IS) group, he said.

In this regard, he lauded the pivotal and great role of Kuwait as the host country of the command of the anti-IS international coalition. He also expressed appreciation of Kuwait's humanitarian role in Iraq and its support to people of the war-ravaged areas there.

He said that the international coalition has liberated some four million Iraqis from the grip of the IS militants after driving them from Mosul, the last biggest city that was under their control. He, however, stressed that there is still much to be done in Northern Iraq. Thus, there is a need to discuss the next steps of the international coalition's campaign, he said.

On the post-IS Iraq, the British official underlined the need for upholding the Iraqi government's control over the liberated areas and the launching of a political reconciliation among all Iraqis, especially the people of Anbar Province with a view to winning the hearts and minds of Sunnis through assuring them that they would have a role in building Iraq's stability.

On the IS claiming of responsibility of the recent terror attacks in Europe, Fallon said that the group must be defeated first in its main strongholds in Iraq and Syria, particularly in the Syrian city of Raqqa, in order to curb their ability to carry out terror attacks in other parts of the world. 

Source: KUNA

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