§ Mr. Portillo
The Governments of the United Kingdom and of the United Arab Emirates have signed today a defence co-operation accord in Abu Dhabi. The accord provides for the strengthening of military co-operation between the UAE and the UK in a number of areas, including training, the conduct of combined exercises, the provision of modern defence equipment and related services to the UAE armed forces and the development of joint military plans and military deployment strategies for the defence of the UAE. Under the terms of the accord, the UK is committed to assisting the UAE in deterring threats or preventing aggression against the UAE and, in the event of such aggression taking place, to implementing the joint military plans which are judged appropriate for the defence of the UAE. Discussions will now take place on these military plans and military deployment strategies under the auspices of a joint military committee; the accord will take effect once these discussions are complete.
The accord builds upon the 1971 treaty of friendship between the UK and the UAE and upon the long-standing history of co-operation between our two countries on defence. It is a welcome sign of our close and valuable relationship and it underlines our continuing commitment to working with states both in the Gulf and outside it to secure security and stability in a region of strategic importance to the UK.