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UK and Saudi Arabia Sign New Agreement

RSAF Typhoon and Tornado, Riyadh, February 2022 [© Bob Morrison]

UK and Saudi Arabia sign new agreement during defence minister Ben Wallace’s visit and meeting with HRH Prince Khalid bin Salman.

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Press Release, Whitehall, 02 March 2023: The Secretary of State for Defence the Rt Hon Ben Wallace MP is visiting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (28 February to 2 March). The Defence Secretary held a number of bilateral meetings, including with HRH Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Minister for Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and others in the Saudi government.

It was an opportunity to reflect on the strength and depth of the UK-Saudi partnership, including following the signing of the Defence Cooperation Plan in December 2022. The Defence Secretary reaffirmed the UK’s enduring commitment to work with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with discussion of how to enhance the bilateral relationship yet further in support of regional stability and security.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace expressed his gratitude to Saudi Arabia following the recent commitment of $410 million in aid for Ukraine, announced during Foreign Minister HH Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al-Saud’s visit to Kyiv last weekend.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “It was a pleasure to meet with HRH Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Minister for Defence of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and build on the long history of UK-Saudi defence collaboration. The Statement of Intent signed today will strengthen our Saudi-UK combat air relationship and our ability to address shared security challenges for decades to come, supporting Saudi Vision 2030 aspirations.”

The Defence Ministers signed a Statement of Intent (SoI) during the visit, which will initiate a Partnering Feasibility Study to explore how we can best position our decades long combat air relationship for the future. Both Governments confirmed a common desire for closer industrial collaboration, to develop key capabilities and boost prosperity in both nations, including in support of Saudi Vision 2030 objectives.

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