PM hints at more troops in Gulf

David Cameron undertook a three-day visit to the Gulf states in November

David Cameron undertook a three-day visit to the Gulf states in November

First published in National News © by

David Cameron has hinted that more British forces could be based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Prime Minister said troops could be stationed there as part of a multibillion-pound deal for the purchase of Typhoon fighter jets.

The UK already has some forces based in the Gulf, including in Bahrain, as well as aircraft in the UAE and Qatar.

But Mr Cameron indicated that the deal being negotiated with UAE, which has shown an interest in buying up to 60 Tyhoons, could see a substantial boost in numbers there.

He said: "I think what you are seeing significantly in the UAE is not just a plan to sell Typhoon aircraft but a big, significant defence cooperation which could, yes, lead to more British troops stationed in that country.

"I think this is an exciting possibility for both countries, to have a proper strategic defence relationship and defence partnership. I think that is the way the world is going. People don't just want to buy equipment now, they want to have proper industrial defence partnerships.

"Where we have strong alliances, like with the UAE, I think it is all to the good."

The Premier sealed a £2.5 billion deal for Oman to buy 12 Typhoons when he visited Muscat.

The country is also purchasing eight Hawk aicraft from BAE Systems.

"This is an extremely important deal," Mr Cameron said. "This supports thousands of jobs in the UK and they are hi-tech, high-skilled engineering and technology jobs. We need to do more of that."

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-defence(Ministry of Defence)

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