Amid his two-day trip to Kuwait, Prince Charles of Wales on Monday paid a visit to HMS Dauntless, a British Destroyer warship deployed in the Gulf waters taking part in the international military operation against ISIL.
After being welcomed on board by a military salute, the heir apparent to the British throne met senior crew members on board the vessel shortly before bidding farewell to attending dignitaries, including senior Kuwaiti Navy officers, who were invited to a reception on the ship.
Speaking on board the vessel, which is one of the largest owned by the British Navy, its Lt. Commander Mike Klidjian told KUNA that the air defence destroyer is protecting the US Navy carrier USS Carl Vinson, whose aircraft are launching airstrikes from the Gulf against ISIL.
According to a press release handed out by the ship, it is "conducting maritime security patrols to deter terrorist activities and illegal trafficking as part of the 30-nation Combined Maritime Forces." The vessel is armed with highly advanced weapons, including a potent anti-aircraft missile system, a highly sophisticated radar and a Merlin or Lynx armed helicopter.
It has been in the Gulf for a week now - after taking over the role assumed by HMS Defender - and will soon switch to a next phase of deployment following the US carrier to the east of the Suez canal as it continues to launch jets over Islamic State militants across Iraq and Syria.
Meanwhile, Klidjian, who comes second in the ship's line of command, said it was an "honour to be present in Kuwait," adding that it was an opportunity for the British Navy to "reinvigorate our relations (with Kuwait)." On Tuesday, the crew are set to receive some 120 young Kuwait Navy cadets who will be receiving training on board the British Navy vessel, he said, a matter he highly welcomed, adding "this mirrors the depth of ties between both countries."
Also attending the event was British Ambassador Matthew Lodge, who told KUNA that he was "delighted" with the third visit of a senior British official to Kuwait, most recently that of the Foreign Office Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Tobias Elwood.
Prince Charles earlier held talks with both His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and their discussions reflected the values of friendship both nations share, he said.
Afterwards, the British monarch held talks with Kuwait Investment Authority officials, on how the sovereign wealth fund could contribute to environmental projects which could contribute to sustainable development and low carbon emmissions, he added.
He went on to hail the long standing relationship between the KIA - one of the biggest investing sovereign wealth funds in London - and Britain, which he said mirrors the relationship between both sides.