An official of the Italian Air Force has lauded the ongoing developments in defence co-operation between Qatar and Italy, which includes joint training and other military exercises.
This was revealed yesterday by Lt Gen Settimo Caputo, deputy chief of staff of the Italian Air Force, who spoke to reporters on the sidelines of an airshow organised by the Italian embassy in Doha and Leonardo, an Italy-based global high-tech company.
“We are also offering the possibility to send some pilots to be trained in Italy where the Italian Air Force operates the M-346, a state-of-the-art aircraft, and houses one of the best trainer system. This is an ongoing co-operation with Qatar. On Monday, I will be having discussions with my Qatari counterpart…in each level, we have a lot of discussions being held to improve the cooperation between Qatar and Italy,” Caputo said.
Speaking to Gulf Times earlier, Italian ambassador Pasquale Salzano said a deal for helicopters from Leonardo and joint military training was concluded between Qatar and Italy, citing the recent visit to Italy of HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah.
“He attended the MoU signing for joint Qatari-Italian military training in Italy; and what we had realised now is that the airshow today and tomorrow showcases the high-level of friendship between Italy and Qatar,” Salzano said.
Last month, Dr al-Attiyah held a meeting with Italian Minister of Defence Elisabetta Trenta at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Rome.
Both officials attended the signing ceremony of the operational training agreement with the Italian side and the establishment of the national squadron of the NH90 helicopter in Italy.
In a statement, Leonardo said: “According to a contract signed in March during the Doha International Maritime Defence Exhibition & Conference (Dimdex) held in Doha, Leonardo will act as prime contractor for the 28 NH90 helicopter programme and will be responsible for assembly, delivery, and support of the 12 helicopters dedicated to naval applications.”
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