Chiefs of Defence for the UK and Oman hosted their counterparts from UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, and Jordan as well as the Gulf Cooperation Council’s Assistant Secretary General Military Affairs onboard HMS Dragon…

UK Chief of the Defence Staff Sir Nick Carter and Omani Chief of Staff SAF Lieutenant General Ahmed bin Harith al Nabhani co-chaired the meeting that discussed issues of mutual security, including maritime security, and defence reform.

Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter said: “As Chiefs of Defence we share a long-standing friendship, respect and understanding of the regional challenges in the Gulf. The UK is committed to sustaining security in the region and will continue to work in partnership with our allies to uphold the stability on which it depends.”

At the meeting, the Chiefs gave their assessment of the current issues affecting maritime security and discussed proposals for increasing cooperation and information sharing. They also commended the fact that for first time all three Coalition Maritime Forces Task Forces are under command of GCC nations.

In addition, the Chiefs shared their experiences of defence reform as the UK and many regional partners are currently undergoing, or considering, reform and modernisation programmes. They also discussed the common challenges, how to tackle them collectively, and how the constantly evolving security context and risks drive defence’s objectives and procurement choices.

The meeting follows the success of Exercise Saif Sareea 3 which saw over 70,000 UK and Omani personnel live, work and train side by side over the past five weeks. It also marks the beginning of a wide-ranging defence engagement programme which will see the UK Armed Forces work with every single one of our Gulf partner nations in a combination of engagements in the air, on land, and at sea in the coming months.