British Armed Forces Minister Visits Jordan
King Abdullah II on Wednesday discussed Jordan-British defense cooperation with the British armed forces minister, John Spellar, two days after Jordan received a third batch of Challenger-One tanks.
Abdullah met Spellar in the Red Sea resort of Aqaba where on Monday a ceremony was organized for the third batch of British-supplied tanks to the Hashemite kingdom, officials said.
Talks centered on bilateral defense cooperation and Abdullah thanked Britain for the Challenger-one tanks which are aimed at upgrading Jordan's armed forces, the officials said.
Earlier in the day Spellar also had talks in Amman with the Jordanian joint chief of staff, General Mohamad Malakawi, on the situation in the region as well as means of cooperation between the two countries.
The British official also toured the King Hussein workshops where maintenance work is carried out on the tanks used by the Jordanian armed forces, the British embassy said in a statement.
Spellar, who arrived late Tuesday in Jordan, was also due to have talks with Jordanian Foreign Minister Abdel Ilah al-Khatib before wrapping up his one day visit to Amman late Wednesday or early Thursday, the embassy said.
Britain supplied Jordan with a third batch of Challenger-One tanks Monday as part of its military aid to the kingdom, the official Petra press agency reported.
Jordan received 20 Challenger-One tanks on Monday.
The British government had already supplied Jordan with around 30 tanks in September 2000, after an initial delivery of 14 similar tanks in October 1999.
London decided to supply a total of 288 as a sign of support for King Abdullah II, after he ascended the throne following the death of his father King Hussein in February 1999.
The Jordanian army has renamed the Challenger-One "Al-Hussein" after the late king of Jordan -- AMMAN (AFP)
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