|Saturday, February 16, 2013|
|France, U.K. Highlight Ties to Arabian Gulf Countries|
France, U.K. Highlight Ties to Arabian Gulf Countries
ABU DHABI – British and French defense ministers pointed to longstanding
French defense minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, in a keynote speech at the Gulf
The high-level conference, organized by Inegma, is tied to the International
The French presence at the IDEX trade show shows France is ready to deepen
Paris hopes to sell the Rafale fighter to Abu Dhabi and faces competition
France also hopes to win a UAE tender for 700 armored vehicles, with
“There’s one chance in two,” an announcement could be made at the IDEX show,
In wide ranging remarks on policy, Le Drian said there is no compromise
“We have to maintain the capacity to react militarily far from our borders,”
Strong links between France and Arab world carried “responsibilities and
The creation of a French permanent military base in Abu Dhabi showed Paris’
The base is part of a relationship, which includes military cooperation,
“Engagement is not a vain word, or a pious wish. When a state friend needs
Le Drian pointed to three major crises: a perceived threat of nuclear
In Syria, a political transition is needed, in which president Bashar
Nuclear proliferation, international terrorism, chemical warfare and
France is committed to security and stability in the region, Le Drian said.
Flights of Mirage 2000-9 and F-16 Block 60 fighters flew in formation over
Britain also sees the Gulf region as a key area, and wants to promote the
“In age of uncertainty, Britain is a consistent partner. We will respond to
Britain recognized the “vision to develop indigenous capability,” he said.
“We recognize in the years to come, supply of defense and security equipment
“We are not restricted in the UK only to procure defense capability within
“Our market is open to your growing defense industries,” he said.
Britain last year published its open procurement philosophy, he said.
“Britain has one of the most technologically advanced defense industries in
Almost 100 British firms are exhibiting at IDEX and NAVDEX, the associated
As part of the close ties, bilateral trade between Britain and the Gulf
Some 160,000 British nationals live in the Gulf, with many more visiting
The Gulf is vital to global energy supply, and the UK imports about 20 pct
The British armed forces have some 1,500 personnel deployed in the Gulf,
Since the conservative government won power in Britain in May 2010, there
That has been matched by more 100 visits to the UK by senior Gulf officials,
“Our approach is one of friendship and partnership,” Dunne said.
London has long standing relations with many Gulf countries stretching back
“Our economies and cultures are increasingly intertwined,” he said. The Gulf
“The impact from inward investment from Gulf nations is rapidly growing,”
“A threat to the security and prosperity of this region represents a threat
Britain’s capacity to intervene in the Gulf region will grow under the Force
London looks to boost joint training and interoperability with Gulf forces.
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