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Britain eyes permanent military presence in Kuwait

KUWAIT CITY, Feb 21, (Agencies): Britain is considering establishing a permanent military presence in Kuwait at the request of the government of Kuwait, Michael Davenport, British Ambassador to Kuwait, said during an exclusive interview with Forces Network, reports Al-Rai daily.

“The Kuwaiti government has shown an interest in such a presence, but stressed it would not be a ‘major’ deployment and we are looking at all the possibilities,” said Davenport. “We’re not talking about a major deployment I don’t think, but we’re looking at what might work for both the United Kingdom and for Kuwait,” he added. It would come under a framework between the two nations, known as the ‘Joint Steering Group’, which contains a working group focused on defense cooperation.

The ministers of both countries meet every six months, the last of which took place in December, when the action plan for this new consideration was signed off. Kuwait has recovered since the first Gulf War ended nearly 30 years ago, with the country now in many respects a modern, Westernized part of the world. Iraq’s 1990 invasion, though, is still what many people in the UK tend to remember about the country.

The nation has retained a deep affection for Britain, which played an important part in freeing Kuwait — highlighted by the presence of Union Flags during LibNewswatch eration Day celebrations.

Today, the British military mission team remains in Kuwait, providing training to the country’s armed forces. It is made up of 38 members and funded by the government of Kuwait.

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