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The governments of the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia have announced a new Military and Security Cooperation Agreement, signed in Jeddah by the Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon and the Saudi Crown Prince HRH Mohammed bin Salman.

Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon said:

“The security of the GCC, of all Gulf Countries, is critical to UK security. I am delighted to have signed today with HRH the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia a new Military and Security Cooperation Agreement between our two countries; this Agreement further cements the UK’s long standing relationship with our key Gulf partner.”

New estimates released by the children’s charity ‘War Child’ reveal that since the Saudi-led coalition began its intervention in Yemen, UK weapons companies including BAE systems and Raytheon have earned revenues exceeding $8bn from dealings with Saudi Arabia, generating profits estimated at almost $775m.

The UK government, however, has received just $40m of corporate tax, the report said.

According to the government:

“The agreement will promote cooperation between our two countries across the Defence and Security sectors, helping Saudi Arabia better protect her national security, including counter-terrorism, intelligence, training and education, medical services and logistics.”

Qatar recently signed an agreement to buy 24 Typhoon fighter jets from Britain while regional power Saudi Arabia and allies Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt cut ties with Qatar earlier in the year, accusing it of backing extremism and fostering ties with their rival Iran.

28 COMMENTS

  1. KSA is an important military partner and a large customer for defence industry.

    Regards Yemen, well war is a bloody business and people die. I consider the Saudi response to the situation to be proportionate and legal.

    I am sure some disagree, but KSA is not a brutal terrorist supporting state that some would like to believe.

    I am proud to have served in KSA as a UK serving soldier and latter as a contractor for the UK MOD, for which the Saudi government paid to the UK treasury an awful lot of money.

    • Turn it in Mike.

      Bombing a civilian area is a war crime for crying out loud.

      4,600 civilians dead, I’m sure you wouldn’t think it’s proportionate and legal if it was your child killed when a bomb lands through his/her bedroom roof.

        • Mike – Its OK mate there are those who think war is a clinically clean and clear cut game. they judge just the reaction not the provocation. They probably play war games on xBox so they are now experts. Some of us who have tasted that special fear know different.

          These PC thought controllers are why corrupt lawyers have been allowed to hound innocent lads for years over non-events in Iraq. And why Paras who did as they were ordered 30 years ago are now facing criminal charges while Blair gave ‘get out of jail free’ cards to murdering IRA trash.

          The world has gone upside down mate …..

          • “Its OK mate there are those who think war is a clinically clean and clear cut game. they judge just the reaction not the provocation. They probably play war games on xBox so they are now experts. Some of us who have tasted that special fear know different.”

            What the hell are you talking about, just because there is usually collateral damage and civilians will most likely get caught in it sometimes, does not give any country the right to kill thousands of civilians needlessly you moron, its a basic human right to not get blown to bits for crying out loud.

            Countries should aim to wage war in a way that minimizes civilian casualties, this is not WW2 its 2017! not sure if you have heard Chris but that’s not the norm anymore.

            One of the main reasons for military interventions is to protect civilians, now you’re saying its ok if thousands are killed needlessly.

            “These PC thought controllers are why corrupt lawyers have been allowed to hound innocent lads for years over non-events in Iraq. And why Paras who did as they were ordered 30 years ago are now facing criminal charges while Blair gave ‘get out of jail free’ cards to murdering IRA trash.”

            Now hang on a minute, I might be mistaken but is that you saying bloody sunday was ok?

            “These PC thought controllers are why corrupt lawyers have been allowed to hound innocent lads for years over non-events in Iraq.”

            Chris not one British soldier has been charged, but there has been complaints, just like there was complaints about the Americans which led to this
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mahmudiyah_rape_and_killings

            That was the rape and murder of a 14 year old girl, 3 American soldiers are serving life sentences after pleading guilty.

            The Americans have a lot more resources than us so they investigated and dealt with it quickly, now the complaints against our boys are taking years to investigate through lack of funds and I hope to god they are innocent because I would be ashamed.

            Just out of interest after your comment on bloody Sunday, if in the worst case scenario British soldiers pleaded guilty to rape and murder what would your reaction be?

      • Concealing ammunition dumps and weapons positions in a civilian area is a war crime. The law of reciprocity and retaliation is clear.
        You conceal weapons or firing positions in a hospital or residential area. The perfectly innocent wounded and civilians wind up playing a game of, Is There A God. If this is not done the behavior of using noncombatants as human shields will only increase.
        The only alternative the KSA would have to their current tactics would be mass deployment of infantry. In order to go door to door slowly clearing each and every building. During which they would sustain heavy casualties and still wind giving many a room its dose of machine gun and grenade. In the end guess what, civilian casualties would still be astronomical.

    • “the houthis have been murdering Saudi civilians since the 1960s.”

      The IRA were murdering British civilians for decades, we didn’t flatten Dublin did we?

      The Saudi regime are cowards, plain and simple, they don’t want to send in troops so they bombard the place from a distance no matter what the civilian cost, when it was the Russians in Aleppo it was a war crime, Assad? war crime, Gaddafi? war crime, Saddam? war crime, Saudi Arabia? the largest producer of oil in opec? not a problem..pathetic and beyond hypocrisy.

      I cannot believe any western man is defending the sordid Saudi Regime.

      Women need permission to travel, work, or leave the house, they’re not even allowed to drive!

      16 year old boys are sentenced to death by beheading and crucifixion
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Mohammed_Baqir_al-Nimr

      John Podesta to Hilary Clinton via wikileaks..
      “We need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.”

      US state department 2009..
      “Donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide,”
      “More needs to be done since Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, LeT, and other terrorist groups, including Hamas, which probably raise millions of dollars annually from Saudi sources.”

      Hillary Clinton 2013..
      “The Saudis and others are shipping large amounts of weapons – and pretty indiscriminately – not at all targeted toward the people that we think would be the more moderate, least likely, to cause problems in the future.”

      You need to take your heads out your a***s

      and Mike as a former soldier, you should be a man of honour, your job was to protect innocent civilians, to openly and publicly back a regime with a disgusting human rights record that treats women as second class citizens, gives political opponents 50 public lashes, and beheads schoolboys you should be ashamed of yourself.

          • Wow, you know sometimes on the internet you can be debating with people or commenting on something and not see or understand something, either you are looking for something different or just have not picked up on it, either way Lewis you absolute legend for picking that up.

            Because it makes total sense, I have debated with Mike on numerous occasions and it’s always the same side he is arguing for, even in procurement, if its American it’s ok but anything else bad, he argues that point on a regular basis.

            And I am 30 years old, and not once in my whole life have i heard a fellow Brit use the term “kindergarden” it’s not even an American term you can be forgiven for using through tv/film etc.

            So now we have it, Mike Saul the American who is pretending to be a former UK soldier, what is it Mike? a bored American on his computer or CIA haha.

            What an idiot.

    • “KSA is an important military partner”

      In what way? your comment after reading it again and again just continues to be absolute garbage, in fact its embarrassing.

      Canada is an important military partner, France, USA, Norway, Australia.

      Saudi Arabia? you mean they buy stuff off us now and again.
      where were their troops in Afghanistan? Iraq?

      Have a big long word with yourself Mike, absolute clueless doughnut of the highest order.

      Just so you know Mike, Saudi Arabia is no important ally of mine, and quite a lot of the normal population who think their attitude towards women and anyone who has a different point of view from them being lashed, beheaded and crucified in the street is something they don’t want to be associated with.

  2. What’s the difference between Saudi & Russian oil billionaires?

    Both know the end is coming domestically.

    Saudi’s quietly buy anonymous high end property in London so they can hide anonymously when the shit hits the fan.

    Russians buy very high profile assets like newspapers and football clubs so everyone knows who they are when the shit hits the fan.

  3. Not a nice comment from me i know and i will probably get hammerd but if we didnt sell them someone else would
    Again not nice to say but it keeps the jobs in this country rather than going to somewhere else
    Do you think any other country would bother and have a guilty conscience i think not
    We have to many libs in this country messing everything up
    Messing Brexit up
    Cant say things as you will more than likely be called a racist
    Take a look at yourselves libs you think you are doing good but all you are doing is breeding hatred amongst people

    • Excuse me, Baz? If another country would sell weapons to rapists and murderers of civilians, let them do it. There are plenty of legitimate opportunities to sell British military hardware to countries, the MoD is just terrible at it. Shouldn’t they focus on learning how to sell stuff than supporting the terrorist government there? Jobs are one thing, lives are quite another. If our government was really that bothered it would do a better job of preserving jobs by better means than this. I think you went off on one a bit at the end there, either way you’ve got the meaning of liberalism wrong.

  4. Let’s be very honest with ourselves, Saudi is governed by a pretty nasty totalitarian state, they do nasty things to dissidents, subjugate large parts of their population and would do a lot worse to stay in power, they do participate in and fuel proxy wars to support their own power base. Anyone who does not think they have been funnelling support into terrorist groups is propably living in Lala land.

    Should we be supporting them probably not, but can we afford not to ? at present we need them and one thing we have learnt is the Middle East can always offer an even more evil regime, if the present one gets destabilised. 20-50 years from now the whole place will be a nasty dream with almost no one living there so we don’t have to hold our noses for much longer………

    • I think we can afford to lose £40 million quid mate.

      We do not need them at all, Britain’s foreign policy in the middle east should not be dictated by anyone, we created half the countries there, we split blood in that sand before Saudi and Israel were even an idea in a British politicians mind, we should promote peace and free trade, we do not need Saudi Arabia for that.

      I cannot wait for the day (hopefully I will see it) when western Europe becomes totally electric and we stick our combined finger up at the middle east and tell them to stick their oil, because believe me that’s happening.

      • Due explain how your going to make every industrial chemical and polymer that make the modern world possible without the petrochemical industry. Then enlighten me as to where all this electricity is going to come. Because I doubt you can hook a power station to a Green Energy supporters great flapping jaw.

        • Elliot when cars and transportation in general are totally electric the need and importance of oil will fall massively, we have biofuels, new technology.

          Some people say we have already passes peak oil, the US oil production has been declining since 1970, we will eventually have to find a new source, that’s a given.

          The chemicals will have to be made a different way, or they will still be made from oil, either way oil wont be that important so that does not really matter.

          Where this electricity is going to come from? solar, wind, tidal, Nuclear, a probable new technology later down the line.

          I’m struggling to see where you are coming from here, are you saying we have an unlimited amount of crude oil and can never develop new technology?

          • US oil production is higher than it was in 1970 it surpassed that back in 2014. Due to barriers to drilling removed by Bush and advances in drilling and extraction technology. Production is expected to fall in Q4 17 to 2018 but due to an oil glut not lack of supply.
            I am pointing out current alternative energy is not even capable of supplying a fraction of electricity currently needed. If you add transportation to the mix you adding an even higher electric burden.
            My other point is every polymer in major use and of any strength is made out of petrochemicals like the container of cookies in the grocery store to the laptop casing to nearly every new firearms furniture . Many of the medicines you take are treated and made with them or there byproducts. Almost every modern industrial chemical petroleum based. Oil will be fought over regardless of fuel only the intensity will change.
            No green energy company has turned a profit without eye watering amounts of subsidies. If the technology was ready this wouldn’t be needed. As it is the only thing solar panels are good for is a tax right off. Windmills kill more endangered birds in a week than poachers manage in a year and can’t send their power far enough to be useful. So as it is you would have an electric car powered by coal, nuclear, or natural gas. Not what I am guessing what the greens had in mind.
            So far it looks like Europe and the UK and therefore the US will be entangled in the Middle East and Africa. For at least the next 30yrs. Barring significant and independently profitable therefore self-sustained developments.
            Doesn’t mean I have to like it just the only option available. Given another option I would happily turn Riyadh into a radioactive hole in the ground due to terror links. However there is no longer a brutal but secular Shah of Iran now there is psychotic mullahs with a death cult. So I think it’s best for the time being to go with the country not calling for mines death from the presidential palace.

      • Its not a 40m loss. The end suppliers (Bae etc) of these weapons made 700m profit from 8b, so they spent 7.3b on wages and pensions and with their suppliers. The suppliers to Bae etc themselves were taxed and their employees were paid and taxed. Employees spend and when they do they pay VAT, companies the employee buy from also pay corporation Tax and so on. There’s also local taxes paid like employee council taxes and business rates.

        The article shows complete financial illiteracy of the supply chain and UK tax regime.

        So this was 7.3b injection into the economy of which a large part was taxed in one way or another.

        Now put that into perspective, heart bypass surgery costs upto 200k, even if the UK only recouped 1b (15%) through all taxes in the supply chain thats 5000 heart operations or lives saved.

        The Saudi’s would have bought weapons anyway so you can’t say lives would have been saved in Yemen.

  5. Kieran whilst it is a free country and everybody is allowed to have their say, but have you been outside your bedroom in the past 5 years to experience the real world?

    By the way I am not CIA and my British army number is 24311052. I enlisted at army careers office in Portsmouth and my first unit was JLRRA at bramcote. So forget your wild fantasies about me being this that and other.

    That is all.

  6. Saudi Arabia is an example of a feudal system that works by and large. Immensely wealthy ruling family uses oil wealth to build schools and hospitals for the people and provide jobs.
    Nepotistic? Absolutely. Unequal? Absolutely. Mysoginist? Absolutely. Old Testament eye for an eye justice? Absolutely. But stable and everyone is well fed and gets a shot at family life.
    The main problem is that the ruling family needs to rely on the Islamic clerics. There’s your real problem.
    But things are chnaging slowly in the region. Softly softly…
    http://www.newsweek.com/uae-names-abu-dhabi-mosque-after-mary-mother-jesus-625904

  7. Have any of you actually been to Saudi.
    Lived there?
    Worked there?
    I have.
    Yes its not the liberal fun house that the UK is but it isn’t all as bad as the press would have you believe.

    So why do we sell arms to Saudi?
    Two reasons.
    1. They are an important strategic ally in an area we wish to and do have influence in.
    2. The arms sails keep 5 pence in the pound off of everyone’s income tax in the UK. So before you get all moralistic on the rights and wrongs of the Yemen conflict why not ask the UK population as a whole if they would rather pay an extra 5 p in the pound income tax for someone else’s moral indignation.
    Methinks that most people will say I want the lower income tax.

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