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Britain committed to ‘deepening’ defense co-op with Kuwait: envoy

Battleship HMS Dragon docks in Kuwaiti waters

KUWAIT CITY, March 7, (KUNA): British Ambassador to Kuwait Michael Davenport affirmed late Wednesday that the visit of battleship HMS Dragon to the State of Kuwait will help bolster and deepen the long-standing defensive relations. Speaking at a joint press conference with the vessel’s Commanding Officer, Michael Carterquinn, Ambassador Davenport said “Britain has always stood side by side with Kuwait, facing common threats over the decades. “Britain’s commitment to continuing and deepening defense cooperation with Kuwait remains strong. And the visit of HMS Dragon to Kuwait is a very strong symbol of that cooperation,” the ambassador stressed.

In regards to Brexit, Ambassador Davenport affirmed in a statement to KUNA that the move will not have an impact on UK’s relations with countries outside the EU.

British battleship HMS Dragon docks in Kuwait’s waters

He showed that Britain is optimistic about relationships with countries in this region, especially with Kuwait, and seeks every opportunity to take the ties forward. He also showed that Britain was looking to develop cooperation with Kuwait in areas such as education, health, cyber and aviation security, as well as trade.

“Britain and Kuwait in 2019 are marking the 120th anniversary of the treaty of friendship of 1899 and celebrating the partnership and friendship, which we have between our two countries across a whole range of different fields that we are looking to develop and broaden for the future,” he added. Back to the vessel’s visit, Ambassador Davenport affirmed that it came in line with the development of bilateral relationship between Kuwait and the UK, especially in defense. “I want to add my congratulations to HMS Dragon on the very successful operations in the region and in particular the seizures of narcotics.” Ambassador Davenport thanked Commander Carterquinn, Captain of HMS Dragon, and the whole ship’s crew for the tour and their visit to Kuwait.

Officers of British battleship HMS Dragon speak to the press

Privileged
On his part, Commander Carterquinn said to the ambassador that, “We would like to welcome you onboard, as we are privileged and honored to be here in Kuwait, as we mark the 120th anniversary of the great friendship between our two nations. “The visit to Kuwait is the final visit in the region before we depart back to the UK after six months in the region.

We have had a number of tasks and we are pretty much focused on providing regional maritime security working with all the other nations that combine all their maritime forces,” Carterquinn added. “Our main task is to conduct counter narcotics operations in the Arabian Sea and we have been very successful, as we seized drugs that were smuggled, these six seizures have amounted to over 15 tons of narcotics that would have made its way through Yemen, Africa and finally to Europe, and the value of those drugs was around 150 million pounds and that is money that would otherwise make its way to terrorists and criminal networks that have an impact on this region, UK and Western Europe and everywhere in between, so that effort was a significant dent in the drug trafficking and terrorist funding and activities,” he added.

“After six successful months we will leave Kuwait and depart back to the UK and we will be replaced in the region by HMS Montrose, and she will be based in the region permanently for the next three years to continue the work that we have been doing,” Carterquinn continued. Ambassador Davenport concluded the press conference by saying, “We are very grateful to the Kuwaiti hosts for welcoming HMS Dragon so warmly today, tomorrow and all together for the excellent cooperation that we are both taking forward during the rest of the year and beyond.”

By Bader Al-Bedah

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