Qatar, UK joint fleet to protect 2022 World Cup airspace

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) QNA

London: An agreement to establish a joint operations fleet between Qatar and the UK to ensure mutual combat readiness and increase joint measures in the fight against terrorism and the development of strategic efforts towards stability in the region and beyond, was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defense Affairs H E Dr Khalid bin Mohammed Al Attiyah.

The fleet will play a vital role in the protection of airspace during the 2022 World Cup, which will be hosted in Qatar despite the efforts of some sides to thwart Qatar's hosting of the event, the minister said.

Dr Al Attiyah made the remarks during a speech that he gave at the London-based Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) and touched on several regional and international issues.

At the beginning of the speech, Dr Al Attiyah expressed his pleasure at being at RUSI, which, he said, is a reliable partner in providing training courses for Qatari Foreign Ministry's diplomats since 2014.

He highlighted the extension of this cooperation to include training program of officers, from which 26 middle- and high-ranking officers have recently graduated to become better equipped to serve the country and advance their defence and intelligence capabilities by applying what they have learned at the leading institute.

The deputy prime minister expressed his delighted to be back in the United Kingdom, which, he said, has a special place in his heart as he flew a warplane during his training at the Royal Air Force base in Wales I.
Despite his retirement, Dr Al Attiyah said he still carries memories of those days and the friendships that he has built with fellow candidates since then.

Dr Al Attiyah said his current visit to London represents a very important moment in Doha's ongoing efforts to engage with its allies in the U.K. in developing and strengthening their strategic joint military relationship.
He noted that the two sides have recently signed a major agreement on defence cooperation regarding the purchase of 24 Typhoon fighter jets. The agreement, he said, strengthens the historic friendship between the two countries and develops a defence partnership aimed at achieving their common security goals.

Dr Al Attiyah added that the agreement directly contributes to the preservation and creation of tens of thousands of job opportunities in the UK.

The minister spoke about the impact of the arbitrary measures taken by the so-called quartet against Qatar. He said that since June 5, the Qatari government and people have been harassed through the decision of three Gulf counties to cut their economic, political, military and social ties with Qatar.

These abnormal measures, Dr Al Attiyah said, did not stop there as Qatar's only land border was closed and the people were forced to break away from their families in these neighbouring countries.

In this regard, he said that the recent publication of the report of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which included humanitarian violations resulting from unilateral coercive actions by the four states, has enhanced the right of the State of Qatar in face of the illegal and inhumane acts towards the people of Qatar.

Dr Al Attiyah expressed his pride in the level of commitment shown by the men and women of Qatar towards its adherence to its sovereignty and freedom. He also expressed his pride in their dignity and determination during these difficult times, pointing out that the four countries tried to underestimate the Qatari people by referring to the size of their country and population.

He stressed that the size of a country is not measured in this way but rather by its contributions to the renaissance of humanity through disciplines such as arts and sciences as well as the values of human rights, tolerance and the rule of law, which, he added, the State of Qatar adheres to.

Dr Al Attiyah said that Qatar has spared no effort in its fight against extremist ideology and the elimination of terrorism in all its forms to ensure that all groups that violate international law, commit grave violations of human rights and terrorize societies, are brought to justice.

"We have provided operational and technical support to our allies and we have taken the fight beyond the battlefield and into education in the fight against terrorism," he said, pointing to the establishment of educational and development programs in the Arab region and beyond such as the Educate A Child program, which are committed to providing quality education to tens of millions of children around the world.

These programs, the deputy prime minister said, achieved most of their goals by working in 54 countries to date providing quality education to nearly nine million schoolchildren.

Dr Al Attiyah added that the laws and legislations of the state reflect its commitment to supporting and funding the actual international war on terrorism.


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