Muscat: UK Secretary of State of Defence Michael Fallon has hailed the leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said and described the Sultanate under His majesty’s leadership as 'peacemaker' in the region. Fallon described the Sultanate as a country that spares no effort to maintain security and stability in the world.
At a press conference held yesterday at the residence of the UK Ambassador in Muscat, he affirmed that the international community valued the Sultanate's efforts to solve a number of thorny issues in the region and bringing the disputing parties to the dialogue table, pointing to the Sultanate's hosting this month in Salalah the meeting of the Constitution Drafting Assembly (CDA) of Libya under the patronage of the United Nations.
He praised the Sultanate's prominent role in settling the dispute in Yemen by bringing all warring factions to the dialogue table to reach a peaceful solution to the conflict.
Michael Fallon also praised the developments witnessed by the Sultanate in all fields under the wise leadership of His Majesty the Sultan, adding that the Sultanate has all the potential to play a pioneering economic role, especially as it has many ports that are strategically located such as Duqm Port.
As for the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed yesterday between Oman Dry Dock and British Babcock International Group, he said that the MoU aims at providing experiences and technical support in vessel and military fleets maintenance at Duqm Port.
He added that the MoU would benefit all the military fleets in the region as vessels of the region's navies will benefit from the services that will be provided by the port.
As for the growing relations between the Sultanate and the UK in many areas including defence, he said the two friendly countries would continue to carry out joint military land, marine and air exercises during the coming period.
He affirmed that the UK would provide training services to a number of Omani pilots on Typhoon fighters. During the past years, the UK has provided the Royal Air Force of Oman with different Typhoon fighters and supplied the Royal Navy of Oman with a number of vessels.
As for the effect of oil price slump on UK defence sales to the region, he pointed out that the UK focuses with its partners in the region on defence cooperation in general rather than weapons' sales alone.
On the Palestinian cause, he affirmed that his country has been and is still backing peace process in the Middle East and that the UK government attaches great importance to this issue and makes great effort to settle the dispute between the disputing parties.
With regard to Britain remaining within or outside the European Union, he said his country is better off, stronger and more secure by staying within the EU. He pointed out that the UK government wants the British people to vote for remaining within the EU.