Muscat: Michael Fallon, British Secretary of State for Defence valued the Sultanate’s role, under the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said, in reducing tension in the region.
He also valued the Sultanate’s contributions in maintaining security and stability.
In an exclusive interview with Oman News Agency (ONA) on the sidelines of his current visit to the Sultanate, the British Secretary of State for Defence affirmed that the Sultanate’s foreign policy in dealing with different issues has become obvious.
He added that peacemakers, such as the Sultanate, exert sincere efforts to solve the thorny issues among different conflicting parties and bringing them to the table of dialogue.
He explained that his current visit to the Sultanate aims to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Sultanate and the UK regarding the use of some facilities of Duqm Port to enhance the cooperation between the armed forces in the two friendly countries.
The British Defence Secretary affirmed that this MoU reflects the British continuous commitment towards constructive cooperation with the Sultanate.
He commended the remarkable progress in Duqm in general and its port in particular.
He also explained that his visit to the Sultanate comes to enhance and strengthen the existing bilateral relations between the two friendly countries, affirming that the Sultanate and his country are bound with deep-rooted relations.
As for the cooperation between the Sultanate and the friendly UK, the British Secretary of State for Defence said that the Royal Air Force of Oman (RAFO) recently received Eurofighter “Typhoon” and “Hawk” advanced jet trainer aircraft from the UK as a number of Omani pilots received training in the UK to handle these aircraft. He furthered that the two sides agreed to provide the Royal Navy of Oman (RNO) with a number of vessels.
He explained that the two countries will implement during the upcoming period one of the biggest military exercise between the two sides with participation of all formations of the armed forces in the two countries, in addition to the Red Arrows, Britain’s Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team will perform an aerobatic display over the sky of Muscat next September.
As for Brexit, Michael Fallon, British Secretary of State for Defence pointed out that this step will enable Britain to find new partnerships and sign new agreements outside Europe.
He added that it will also enable Britain to find new allies and maintain the existing ones, taking into consideration that Brexit means that the UK will be out of the political framework of the European Union (EU).
He affirmed that Brexit will not affect areas of defence in the UK, as Britain is part of the NATO in this side.