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Britain has struck a deal to supply crowd control equipment and other military expertise to Kuwait amid growing political tensions in the Persian Gulf state, local media reported. |
The military deal estimated to be worth up to £1.5billion has been clinched during a visit by Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah to the UK, where he and his entourage held talks with officials, as well as authorities from security and defence firms, both Kuwaiti and British media reported.
The agreement is expected to increase concern among human rights groups, which have been witnessing widespread violations and suppression of dissent in the country.
Kuwaiti police have used British-made crowd control equipment including tear gas and smoke bombs as well as armoured vehicles in recent protests against an emergency decree that reduces the number of votes allowed per citizen from four to one, according to reports.
The two countries established a joint working group, which will meet twice a year in Kuwait and London in a bid to boost ties, Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) reported.
Britain has maintained deep-rooted relations with its former colonies such as Kuwait and Bahrain, where rulers employed the policies adopted by Saudi Arabia.
The Kuwaiti emir’s refusal to end the ruling family’s monopoly of cabinet positions and permit the adoption of legislation imposing accountability for governments are described as the main causes of crisis in the country.
The case is the same in Bahrain, where its rulers are monopolizing power and crushing dissent with the help of their regional and international allies, the UK government, in particular.
But, in a clear sign of double-standard policies, British authorities are spearheading attempts to arm foreign terrorists and a handful of their domestic sympathizers fighting the popular government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad in neighbouring Syria.