UK and Saudi Arabia enhance joint security strategy

London, UK

Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom have confirmed and reinforced the relations between the two countries, and committed to developing a deeper and more strategic partnership to enhance mutual interests. According to a jointly issued communique the discussions resulting from the recent visit of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia to the UK last week, included various issues including, strategic partnerships, Vision 2030, education, health, culture, trade, investments, international issues, and security and defence.

On the subject of security, the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia reiterated the importance of the defence and security relationship for mutual security and regional stability. They celebrated a defence partnership of over half a century of cooperation on issues such as countering terrorism, developing joint capabilities and strengthening regional security. Both countries stressed the importance of continuous strong collaboration in defending their national security and fighting terrorism and its funding as well as on areas of defence. They affirmed that this cooperation was decisive in saving lives in the two countries, as well as in other areas of the world, and they pledged to deepen their cooperation and broaden their partnership in facing new challenges. This would include strategic cooperation in areas of cyber security, where a framework agreement on strategic cooperation in cyber security between the two countries was signed.

The two countries expressed their resolve to intensify their efforts to combat terrorism and extremism until its roots were eradicated and its funding exhausted, especially by exchanging information and understanding the different methods that extremists and terrorists use to influence vulnerable people, and working together to protect people from negative terrorist campaigns that terrorists use to spread extremism and conduct recruitment online.

The United Kingdom has expressed their appreciation to the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in countering terrorism and terrorist financing by announcing the establishment of the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition with Riyadh as a centre consisting of 41 Islamic countries. The United Kingdom also expressed pleasure to be the first supporting country signing an agreement of collaboration with the Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition in its initiative to combat threats from terrorism and violent extremism in four working sectors: Media, Counter-terrorism, Military and Ideology. The United Kingdom also welcomed the establishment of the International Centre for Targeting Terrorism Funding in Riyadh.

The two nations have signed a number of MoU’s to deepen and broaden cooperation between them and enhance the Kingdom’s industrial defence capabilities, noting that this was being achieved through technology transfer and capability development, training, and building a partnership in research and development on a national and industrial level, and providing technical advisory to the development program of the Ministry of Defence in Saudi Arabia. As a central part of this, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom signed a letter of intent to finalise discussions for the purchase of 48 Typhoon aircrafts.

The two countries agreed to increase cooperation on aviation security. The United Kingdom expressed its appreciation of Saudi Arabia’s partnership in aviation security and in countering the continuing terrorist threat, fulfilling commitments under United Nations Security Council Resolution 2309. The United Kingdom underlined the importance of the recently signed Department for General Authority of Civil Aviation Priority Action Plan to work together to further develop aviation security standards.

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