HMS Queen Elizabeth welcomed the Dragon Group during the Carrier Strike Group deployment (Picture: MOD).
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Dragon Group: Middle East defence chiefs meet on HMS Queen Elizabeth

The head of the UK Armed Forces hosted Gulf partners on board the UK flagship.

HMS Queen Elizabeth welcomed the Dragon Group during the Carrier Strike Group deployment (Picture: MOD).

Defence chiefs from the Gulf and wider Middle East region – known as the Dragon Group – have been welcomed on board HMS Queen Elizabeth.

The Royal Navy aircraft carrier, on her maiden Carrier Strike Group deployment, hosted a meeting with the military leaders and UK's Chief of the Defence Staff, General Sir Nick Carter.

New capabilities to tackle shared global threats were on the agenda.

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Partnerships in this region help the UK tackle piracy, terrorism and smuggling.

It forms part of the military's role in the UK's 'Global Britain' ambition, deploying the Carrier Strike Group for 28 weeks as part of an Indo-Pacific tilt.

The leadership collective was named after its first meeting on Navy destroyer HMS Dragon in 2018.

Watch: Carrier Strike Group – the story of the deployment so far.

General Sir Nick Carter said: "Today's Dragon Group meeting aboard the HMS Queen Elizabeth was a tremendous opportunity to engage with our Middle East partners and discuss issues of mutual concern.

"The UK Armed Forces truly value our partnerships in the region and we continue to work with them to help them improve regional security, stability and prosperity."

It is hoped HMS Queen Elizabeth, supported by her entourage of British and allied vessels, can promote stability in far-reaching areas.

The Dragon Group meeting will be the last attended by General Sir Nick Carter before he hands over his defence chief role to Admiral Sir Tony Radakin.