LONDON, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- British Defense Secretary Gavin Williamson has signalled his intention to sign an agreement of enduring defense commitment early next year with Oman, the Ministry of Defense (MOD) said in London on Monday.
During a meeting in Oman with the Sultan of Oman Qaboos bin Said al Said and the Omani minister responsible for defense affairs, Williamson said the agreement would also reflect an wider cooperation beyond defense, reaffirming deep cultural links and economic ties between the two countries, the MOD added.
The MOD said Britain is cementing its deep and special relationship with Oman for generations to come with the opening of a new Omani-British Joint Training Base, Williamson announced in Muscat.
As part of his visit to Oman for the culmination of Exercise Saif Sareea 3, Britain's largest exercise in 17 years, Williamson underlined the importance of protecting peace and stability in the Gulf.
Williamson said: "Our relationship with Oman is built on centuries of cooperation and we are cementing that long into the future with the opening of our new joint base."
British troops will deploy to the joint training base in March 2019 to work and train alongside Omani partners.
"For decades to come, it will support a variety of combined and joint training activity in the challenging and austere environment that 5,500 UK personnel have experienced over the last month," said the MOD.
Williamson watched the culmination of the exercise, which tested the interaction and collaboration between civilian and military structures, saw thousands of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen from both nations execute a set piece battle across the desert.