Britain to finalise Typhoon plane order talks with Saudi

11 March, 2018, 01:31 | Author: Irene Delgado
  • A visitor stands before an acrylic image by artist Mohammed Siam renowned for his cubist-style paintings and known as “the Picasso of Saudi Arabia”
Credit David Parry  PA Wire

BRITAIN will get a £16billion boost during its Brexit woes after Saudi Arabia said it wanted to buy 48 British-made Typhoon jets.

In a statement to the London Stock Exchange on Friday, military equipment maker BAE Systems said it signed the preliminary order from Saudi Arabia for 48 Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets, without providing any financial details.

"We are committed to supporting the kingdom as it modernises the Saudi Armed Forces and develops key industrial capabilities critical to the delivery of Vision 2030".

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman asked the chiefs of some of Britain's largest banks and a handful of business leaders to attend an impromptu meeting this afternoon in London, people with knowledge of the matter said.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson welcomed the news.

Prime Minister May defended the two countries' defence ties on Wednesday, saying all arms sales were strictly regulated.

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However, opposition MPs and people in the aid sector have slammed the deal due to Saudi Arabia's ongoing military operations in war-torn starvation hit Yemen, the Guardian reported.

In a similar thanks cable to the UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Salman hailed the establishment of the Strategic Partnership Council between the two countries, noting that the move confirms the determination of the two kingdoms to proceed with enhancing relations between them.

Later this month Prince Mohammed, 32 will visit the United States, which also wants lucrative ties with the country.

According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade, over the past three years, Britain has licensed $6.4 billion worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

During the hour-long visit at Lambeth Palace, the pair discussed the crown prince's reform plans and Welby - the head of the Anglican church - expressed his concerns about the treatment of Christians in Saudi Arabia.

The deal will be welcomed at Warton, Lancashire, where the swing-role combat aircraft are built by BAE Systems.



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