British personnel in Oman

UK signs 'historic' defence agreement with Oman

British personnel in Oman

The UK and Oman worked together on Exercise Saif Sareea last year (Picture: MOD).

The UK has signed an "historic" new Joint Defence Agreement (JDA) with Oman to develop capabilities and promote regional stability.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson, who travelled to Oman to sign the agreement alongside their Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs, said the agreement brings the two nations "even closer" together:

"This is an historic landmark moment between our two nations and is a significant reinforcement of our mutual security," he said.

"Gulf security is our security, and it is crucial that we expand our horizons and become a truly global Britain after we leave the European Union."

Gavin Williamson with Oman's Badr Bin Saud Bin Harib Al Busaidi
Gavin Williamson signed the agreement in Oman (Picture: MOD).

The JDA follows the culmination of Exercise Saif Sareea 3, which was held in Oman during October and November 2018.

It was the largest exercise by the UK’s military since Saif Sareea 2 in 2001, with 5,500 troops travelling to Oman to test their land, air and sea capabilities.

The Ministry of Defence has committed to spending £3 billion across the Gulf over the next 10 years.

It follows the opening of the British Joint Logistics Support Base in the port town of Duqm opened last year, and the announcement of a new joint military training area to be launched in Oman later this year.

His Excellency Sayyid Bader bin Saud bin Harib Al-Busaidi, the Omani Minister Responsible for Defence Affairs said: "This agreement culminates the efforts of both countries' leaderships to enhance the existing bilateral cooperation and the strategic partnership between them.

"It is a milestone in the history of both nations."

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