UK to send military trainers to Jordan

Prime Minister Theresa May is due to confirm that the UK is set to send military trainers to Jordan to help its air force in the fight against so-called Islamic State.

At the start of a joint visit to Jordan and Saudi Arabia, May will first visit Amman, where she is expected to agree new support for the Royal Jordanian Air Force to improve their capability to strike ISIL targets and defeat the terrorist threat.

The Prime Minister will then visit Saudi Arabia, where she will make clear that they are a close and important ally and that we will continue to work closely in a range of areas, particularly on counter-terrorism where UK-Saudi co-operation is vital.

On trade, the Prime Minister is expected to explore ways of boosting our already very strong ties. Saudi Arabia is currently the UK’s largest trading partner in the Middle East, with exports of British goods standing at £4.67 billion and services at £1.9 billion in 2015.

Speaking ahead of the visit, the May said: “It is clearly in the UK’s security and prosperity interests to support Jordan and Saudi Arabia in tackling regional challenges to create a more stable region, and in delivering their ambitious reform programmes to ensure their own stability. An even deeper partnership with these countries, and greater knowledge and understanding of one another, will increase our ability to address the issues that concern us, including the promotion of international standards and norms.

“To tackle the threats we face from terrorism and from geopolitical instability, we must meet them at their source. Jordan is on the frontline of multiple regional crises and I’m clear that by working with them, we are helping keep British people safe.

“Likewise in Saudi Arabia: we must never forget that intelligence we have received in the past from that country has saved potentially hundreds of lives in the UK. And there is so much we can do together on trade, with immense potential for Saudi investment to provide a boost to the British economy.

“So I hope my visit will herald a further intensification in relations between our countries and deepen true strategic partnerships, enabling us to seize the opportunities ahead and ensure the security and prosperity of our people for decades to come.”

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