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Britain to invest $30m in Oman's strategic Duqm port

DUQM, OMAN - OCTOBER 24: Personnel from 40 Commando, Royal Marines arrive on a beach at night after moving from RFA Lyme Bay for a night time amphibious raid during exercise 'Saif Sareea 3' on October 24, 2018 in the Arabian Sea, Oman. [Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]
DUQM, OMAN - OCTOBER 24: Personnel from 40 Commando, Royal Marines arrive on a beach at night after moving from RFA Lyme Bay for a night time amphibious raid during exercise 'Saif Sareea 3' on October 24, 2018 in the Arabian Sea, Oman. [Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]

Britain announced on Friday that it will invest £23.8 million ($30 million) to expand the size of its base in the strategic Omani port of Duqm, located in the Gulf.

According to the Ministry of Defence, the "logistics hub" will "facilitate Royal Navy deployments to the Indian Ocean" in addition to supporting British Army training in the Sultanate.

"The long-standing friendships between the UK and the Gulf states are more important than ever," said Defence Secretary Ben Wallace as he visited Oman and Qatar.

"Whether tackling Daesh or making our streets in the UK safer thanks to our intelligence networks, these are hugely valuable relationships that I am pleased to be able to renew this week," he added.

READ: Britain acknowledges its 40-year-old debt to Iran 

Last year, Britain sent warships to the Gulf to escort freight vessels after Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps stormed and detained a British flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, two weeks after Britain decided to detain an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar.

On Tuesday newly appointed Omani Foreign Minister Badr Bin Hamad Al-Busaid met with Wallace in Muscat to discuss bilateral relations and regional issues of common interest.

It has also been reported that a joint squadron of RAF and Qatar Typhoon jets would be based in Qatar for the FIFA 2022 World Cup.

READ: Oman welcomes Bahrain-Israel normalisation decision

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