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UK’s Deployments In Middle East Not A Direct Response To Tensions But Pre-planned: Defence Official
The UK’s current military deployments in the Middle East are not a direct response to the existing US-Iran tensions in the region, according to a top British defence official
ABU DHABI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News / WAM - 12th Jul, 2019) The UK’s current military deployments in the middle East are not a direct response to the existing US-Iran tensions in the region, according to a top British defence official.
"The current UK deployments are pre-planned and are not a direct response [to the existing tensions]," Lieutenant General Sir John Lorimer, the UK’s Defence Senior Advisor to the Middle East, who recently visited the UAE, told the Emirates news Agency, WAM.
"Our continued military presence demonstrates this intent. We have over 1500 personnel permanently stationed in the region, along with several Royal Navy ships and some of the most advanced military aircraft," he added.
The British official, however, affirmed that his country is seeking a diplomatic solution and a de-escalation of the tensions.
"In targeting civilian shipping, international norms have been violated. It is essential that trade is able to pass safely through international waters in this region and we are working closely with our partners to restore maritime security in the Gulf," he added The UK, along with the US and European partners, have recently expressed their concern at Iran’s announcement that it has exceeded the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, JCPoA, stockpile limit for low enriched uranium.
Talking about that, Sir John Lorimer said, "We have been consistent and clear that our commitment to the nuclear deal depends on full compliance by Iran. We regret this decision by them, which calls into question an essential instrument of nuclear non-proliferation.
"The UK urges Iran to reverse this step and to refrain from further measures that undermine the nuclear deal. We are urgently considering next steps under the terms of the JCPoA in close coordination with other JCPoA participants," he added.
"We continue to support a regular programme of training, advice and exercises, in line with mutual development objectives. The UK remains committed to promoting regional stability and security through our work with the UAE Armed Forces," he added.
The UK remains strongly committed to working with all regional partners to develop modern, capable and agile armed forces, he emphasised. "In support of this objective, we hosted a meeting of military leaders from across the region on 4 July [in the UK]," said the veteran military official.
The forum was a follow-up to the successful meeting of the GCC, Egypt and Jordan Chiefs of Defence, hosted by the UK Chief of Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter in Oman last November, Sir Lorimer concluded.