The governments of Qatar and the United Kingdom signed a Memorandum of Understanding on security co-operation following several high-level meetings between HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and senior British government officials here yesterday.
The Emir held separate meetings in the morning with British Home Secretary Theresa May, Defence Secretary Michael Fallon and British Labour Party leader Ed Miliband.
Later in the day, the Emir met the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and UK Commercial Secretary to the Treasury Lord Paul Clive Deighton at the Olympic Village.
The meetings discussed scopes of bilateral co-operation and means to enhance them.
The members of the delegation accompanying HH the Emir also attended the meetings.
Earlier, HE the Foreign Minister Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah and UK Home Secretary Theresa May signed the MoU on security co-operation.
The MoU is aimed at enhancing friendship and co-operation between the two countries.
A number of officials from both sides attended the signing ceremony.
HE the Foreign Minister Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah and
UK Home Secretary Theresa May signing the MoU on security
co-operation in London yesterday.
The Emir’s meeting with British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon dealt with prospects of strengthening relations between the two countries and ways of developing them, especially in military field. They also discussed regional and international issues.
Britain is planning to increase the sale of arms to Qatar, identifying the Gulf state as a “priority market” for its weapons, The Guardian reported quoting documents seen by the newspaper.
Last year the Qatari Emiri Guard ordered more than £3mn-worth of British-made Heckler and Koch assault rifles, the paper reported.
The UK has approved export licences for the sale of £23mn-worth of weapons to Qatar since 2008, most in the last 12 months. They include assault rifles and components for machine guns.
For the first time, Britain set up a national UK pavilion at the annual Milipol military equipment exhibition in Doha earlier this month.
Qatar is on a list of countries described as a “priority market” for UK arms sales, ministers have told parliament.
The British sales team at the Doha exhibition was led by Richard Paniguian, head of UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation. He was reported by Gulf Times as saying: “Qatar is an important partner and we are continuing to deepen and strengthen our security relationships including the cyber sector.”
Meanwhile, rejecting accusations that Qatar bankrolled Isis in Syria and Iraq a senior Qatari official told The Guardian, “It’s absurd that people accuse Qatar of funding these extremists. We don’t share their values. We don’t support their goals. We are part of the coalition trying to stop them. The international community should have taken action earlier. Where tyranny is not confronted, extremism breeds”.
British government officials say that Qatar are now co-ordinating its efforts on Syria more closely with the US and Saudi Arabia.
Qatar-UK Economic Forum begins today
The Ministry of Economy and Trade is organising the Qatar-UK Economic Forum which kicks off in London today.
The ministry said in a statement yesterday that HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, Minister of Economy and Commerce will chair the Qatari side to the forum which includes a number of businessmen, heads of state bodies and government institutions as well as CEOs of major Qatari companies.
The forum will be held on the sidelines of the current visit of HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al -Thani to the United Kingdom.
The Forum, which will be opened by Minister HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, and Lord John A, Minister of State for Defence, will discuss co-operation between businessmen and companies in Qatar and the UK in various areas, as well as ways to develop partnerships in the energy sector and promote joint investments, besides the prospects of co-operation in the areas of research and development and innovation.
HE Sheikh Ahmed bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani will address the forum.
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