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Defence Minister Reveals New RAF Squadron At Qatar Event

The number plate of a new Typhoon squadron set to integrate Qatari personnel was revealed by Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin at a reception to celebrate the country’s national day in London today

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin hands a model Typhoon to His Excellency Mr Yousef Ali Al-Khater. Crown copyright

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin hands a model Typhoon to His Excellency Mr Yousef Ali Al-Khater. Crown copyright

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was in Doha last weekend, where he agreed a package of training and co-operation between the British and Qatari Air Forces which will see them working together more regularly as part of the multi-billion pound deal to supply the country with 24 Typhoon aircraft.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin expanded on that agreement at a State of Qatar National Day reception in London today. She revealed that a new UK-based Typhoon joint squadron will be called No. 12 squadron, and that it will temporarily integrate Qatari personnel, including pilots and ground-crew based at RAF Coningsby, Lincolnshire.

Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin said:

Qatar proudly becomes the ninth nation to buy the world’s leading multi-role combat aircraft.

The formation of a joint squadron means our RAF will take the lead in providing training and support to the Qatari Emiri Air Force as it brings the Typhoon into service.

The Qataris will not be a permanent part of the squadron, but will be integrated ahead of the delivery of the Typhoon aircraft. The move will provide the country with valuable joint frontline experience on an RAF Typhoon Squadron and speed up their preparation for when their own jets are delivered.

The UK and Qatar already share a close defence relationship, with a joint-exercise between the Royal Air Force and Qatar Air force just last week seeing Typhoon aircraft fly over the Arabian Peninsula. Defence Minister Harriett Baldwin visited the country at the end of last month, where she met the pilots taking part in the exercise.

The two countries share mutual interests in countering violent extremism, and ensuring stability in the region, and this formation will further reinforce those ties by helping to prevent terrorism from spreading and protecting the prosperity and security of the UK at home. The new 12 squadron is currently operating Tornados, and will transition to the future Typhoon force.

The biggest export deal for the Typhoon project in a decade, valued at around £6 billion and sustaining thousands of UK jobs, Qatar is the ninth country to purchase the Typhoon. This year also saw the first delivered to Oman, whilst the MOD is leading the offer to replace Belgium’s F-16s with the jets and continues to discuss the prospect of a second batch of sales to Saudi Arabia, as it continues to bang the drum for Britain’s world-leading aerospace industry around the world.

Defence Secretary In Doha As Multi-Billion Pound Jet Contract With Qatar Is Signed

A multi-billion pound contract to supply Qatar with 24 Typhoon aircraft has been signed today, supporting thousands of British manufacturing jobs

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah, oversaw the signing of the deal for 24 Typhoons

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah, oversaw the signing of the deal for 24 Typhoons

The Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson and his Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammed al Attiyah, oversaw the signing of the deal for 24 Typhoons, building on the Statement of Intent signed in September.

In addition, the agreement signed today by the Qatar and British Governments also includes a clear intention to proceed with the purchase of Hawk aircraft.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said:

It is a great pleasure to sign our biggest export deal for the Typhoon in a decade. These formidable jets will boost the Qatari military’s mission to tackle the challenges we both share in the Middle East, supporting stability in the region and delivering security at home.

As we proudly fly the flag for our world-leading aerospace sector all over the globe this news is a massive vote of confidence, supporting thousands of British jobs and injecting billions into our economy.

The aircraft will be assembled in the UK by BAE Systems, supporting thousands of jobs, especially at the company’s Warton site in Lancashire where it will secure work on the production line into the next decade. The biggest export deal for the Typhoon project in a decade, the purchase is valued at around £6 billion.

The deal also includes an agreement with MBDA for Brimstone and Meteor missiles and the highly-accurate Raytheon’s Paveway IV UK-manufactured weapon for the jets. The Defence Secretary also agreed a package of training and co-operation between the Air Forces which will see them working together more regularly, including Qatari pilots and ground-crew training in the UK.

The UK and Qatar share a close and longstanding defence relationship, with a joint-exercise between the Royal Air Force and the Emir of Qatar’s Air Force just last week seeing Typhoon jets fly over the Arabian Peninsula. The two countries share mutual interests of countering violent extremism, and ensuring stability in the region, and this purchase will deepen those ties by helping to prevent terrorism from spreading and protecting our prosperity and security at home.

Qatar is the ninth country to purchase the Typhoon, with this year seeing the first delivered to Oman. The Ministry of Defence is also leading the offer to replace Belgium’s F-16s with the jets and continues to discuss the prospect of a second batch of sales to Saudi Arabia, as it continues to bang the drum for Britain’s world-leading aerospace industry around the world.

British Embassy Welcomes A New British Company To Egypt

Ambassador to Egypt John Casson welcomed LOC Group, an independent marine, engineering consultancy and survey organization, which opened a new office in Cairo

Ambassador to Egypt John Casson welcomed LOC Group

Ambassador to Egypt John Casson welcomed LOC Group

The UK’s Ambassador to Egypt H.E. John Casson welcomed (on 6 December 2017) LOC Group, an independent marine, engineering consultancy and survey organization, which opened a new office in Cairo, Egypt to increase its presence across North Africa and the Middle East.

This is the latest in a new wave of British companies entering Egypt in 2017, in response to the new economic reform programme. LOC has worked on projects in the region for more than 15 years, mainly offshore in the gas fields of the West Delta Deep Concession, however, an increasingly optimistic economic outlook in the region is driving greater demand for LOC’s services. The new Cairo office will be staffed by local engineers and surveyors. All of LOC’s services will meet the company’s global quality service standards and every project will be locally delivered, with group-wide support offering additional expertise, experience and skills 24/7 whenever needed. Ultimately, the Cairo office will act as a bridge into the North Africa markets giving access to countries to the west and ultimately to be LOC’s regional hub for North Africa. Longer term, LOC plans to develop the Cairo office into a larger multi-function office providing marine warranty surveying, marine surveying, marine casualty response and engineering consultancy.

LOC’s entry into Egypt follows a chain of recent announcements from British companies scaling up their impact in Egypt:

  • SEWS inaugurated its second factory in Egypt, aiming to create 5000 jobs and export to Japan and Europe.
  • British kimal and Egyptian Ameco partnered up to establish a medical production facility in Egypt. The investment amounts will reach $20m in five years.
  • CDC Group, announced it is investing over EGP 1.7bn in Benban Solar Park. The investment will support the generation of 400 MW of clean energy.

Andrew Squire, Group Chief Executive says:

This is an exciting region to work in, we have long standing relationships with many clients from our work over the last decade, but the volume of the work and demand for our different services is increasing. It now makes good sense to have a solid base in Cairo, employing local talent supported by our international specialist teams. We look forward to developing our client relationships and building new ones, while supporting positive economic growth in the region.

Peter Baggaley, LOC’s Group Energy Director covering Europe and Africa, officially opened the office on Wednesday 6 December saying:

Egypt, for us offers and exciting growth opportunity, not least because a third of the world’s shipping fleet passes through the Suez Canal. The country is attracting significant investment internally and from abroad. As a result, there are some significant oil & gas projects underway and in the pipeline, with further opportunities on the West Delta Deep Concession, Atoll and Zohr gas fields in the Mediterranean.

We know these sites well and have many years of experience working in the region. Our new office will allow us to offer a much more enhanced range of services to both existing and new customers.

UK’s Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said:

I am happy to welcome LOC as the latest in a new wave of British companies entering the Egyptian market. LOC aims to create jobs for bright Egyptians and ultimately make Egypt its North Africa regional hub. The arrival of world class companies like this reflects Britain’s strong support for economic reforms as Egypt’s number one partner building a resilient economy that serves all Egyptian men and women.

LOC was established in 1979, and consists of more than 400 highly skilled professionals, based in 34 offices worldwide. LOC works with insurers, certification and classification societies, adopting a pragmatic approach and working to manage risk with the best resources available.

Chancellor Visit To Saudi Arabia: 10 December 2017

The Chancellor is expected to discuss a range of issues, including the economic reform plan Vision 2030

HM Treasury

HM Treasury

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond has travelled to Saudi Arabia to meet King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and the Ministers of Finance, Energy, and Economy and Planning.

The Chancellor is expected to discuss a range of issues, including the economic reform plan Vision 2030, the situation in the Yemen, and trade and investment with the UK.

He is accompanied by Ken Costa, the Special Representative for Vision 2030, and Donald Brydon, the Chairman of the London Stock Exchange Group.

The Chancellor said:

Saudi Arabia is a key partner for the UK and we are offering ongoing support as it progresses with its ambitious economic reform plan, Vision 2030.

We will work closely with Saudi Arabia as it modernises and its economy diversifies, ensuring that both our nations benefit from the growing trade and investment opportunities.

The Chancellor will also meet female Saudi entrepreneurs including alumni from UK universities.

The visit follows the Prime Minister’s visit to Saudi Arabia last month.

U.S. Applauds Iraqi Government’s Announcement Of The Full Liberation Of Iraqi Territory From ISIS Control

U.S. Department of State

U.S. Department of State

After a courageous three year campaign of intense fighting, Prime Minister Abadi has announced the complete liberation of all Iraqi territory from ISIS control. The United States applauds the leadership of Prime Minister Abadi, and we offer our sincere congratulations to the Iraqi people and to the brave Iraqi Security Forces, many of whom lost their lives heroically fighting ISIS. The Iraqi announcement signals the last remnants of ISIS’s self-proclaimed “caliphate” in Iraq have been erased and the people living in those areas have been freed from ISIS’s brutal control.

The United States joins the Government of Iraq in stressing that Iraq’s liberation does not mean the fight against terrorism, and even against ISIS, in Iraq is over. The United States, along with the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, will continue to partner with the Iraqi Security Forces, advising, training, and equipping them. Together, we must be vigilant in countering all extremist ideologies to prevent the return of ISIS or the emergence of threats by other terrorist groups.

Throughout its vile occupation of large areas of Iraq, ISIS showed its despicable nature by using children and other civilians as human shields and turning hospitals, mosques, universities, and schools into weapons-making and storage facilities and bases for its terrorist operations. The Global Coalition has been proud to support the Iraqi Security Forces who fought bravely to defeat these terrorists.

Beyond human casualties, ISIS left a trail of destruction in its wake, with an unprecedented number of Iraqis displaced from their homes and massive damage to infrastructure. The United States has contributed nearly $1.7 billion in humanitarian assistance and committed more than $265 million in stabilization assistance to Iraq since 2014. The United States has also contributed $112 million to assist in clearing improvised explosive devices, mines, and unexploded ordinance, as well as educating Iraqis on the dangers of explosive hazards that ISIS left behind. These efforts have helped facilitate the safe and voluntary return of more than 2.7 million Iraqis to their homes.

Working “by, with, and through” the Government of Iraq, we will continue to help our displaced Iraqi friends return to their communities and support them as they begin to reestablish their lives. We remain committed to standing with the Government of Iraq and the Iraqi people to stabilize areas liberated from ISIS control.

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