Qatar yesterday signed an agreement to buy 24 Typhoon fighter jets from Britain, the Qatari defence ministry announced in a statement.
The ministry’s Directorate of Moral Guidance said that the Qatari Defence Minister, Khalid Bin Mohammed Al Attiyah, and his British counterpart, Michael Fallon, signed a Statement of Intent during Fallon’s visit to the Qatari capital, Doha.
The agreement stipulated the purchase of the aircrafts as well as the joint intent to strengthen military cooperation between the two countries.
The planes will be supplied by the UK’s defence giant BAE Systems with a contract worth billions of pounds.
The deal, which is considered the biggest export deal for the Typhoon project in a decade, is set to preserve thousands of British manufacturing jobs.
On his part, Fallon said that the deal was “an important moment in our defence relationship and the basis for even closer defence co-operation between our two countries,” adding that it will be “the first major defence contract with Qatar.”
The agreement to supply the planes brings to a close a lengthy negotiating period. “After a number of years of negotiations between our two countries, I am delighted to have been able to sign today with Qatar’s Defence Minister, this Statement of Intent on the purchase of 24 Typhoon aircraft by Qatar,” Fallon said
The two ministers also discussed deepening the mutual cooperation in fighting “terrorism and violent extremism”. They stressed on the importance on reinforcing the security, peace and stability across the region. “The security of the GCC, of all Gulf countries, is critical to the UK’s own security,” the UK minister noted.