In December 2021, officials from Qatar and the United Kingdom met to discuss collaborative security for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
The Royal Air Force and Royal Navy will provide counter-terror policing at this year’s Fifa World Cup in Qatar, Ben Wallace, the Secretary of State for Defence of the United Kingdom, announced.
Britain and Qatar will “join forces to provide air policing in the skies,” Wallace said in an official statement, so that “citizens from all across the world” can enjoy the tournament, which begins on November 21.
The announcement came after Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, Qatar’s amir, met with Boris Johnson, the UK’s prime minister, earlier this week. It is the first time Britain has provided this level of security to a World Cup held outside the UK.
“I am delighted that our joint squadron with the Qatari Emiri Air Force of Typhoons will patrol the airspace during the tournament,” he said.
The Ministry of Defence will support Qatar with military capabilities to counter terrorism and other threats to the tournament through maritime security, operational planning, and command and control support, according to a defence source who spoke to The Telegraph.
The Joint Typhoon Squadron, also known as 12 Squadron, is the United Kingdom’s first joint squadron since World War II and will be in charge of counter-terrorism operations.
The UK-based Typhoon squadron is headquartered at RAF Coningsby in Lincolnshire, and has regularly trained in Qatar since its creation as a combined squadron in July 2018.
The Qatari Emiri Air Force will be in charge of air security and will carry out the majority of the operations, while the UK will contribute with experience and capability.
The first Typhoon aircraft is planned to be delivered to Qatar in August of this year. This was “in part gained through the UK’s Olympic experience in 2012,” according to the defence source.
Qatar is one of the UK’s most important defence customers and the two countries have worked together on military concerns.
The UK and Qatar announced the formation of a new Joint Hawk Training Squadron in November of last year to deliver advanced and high-speed jet training to pilots.
Then, in December, officials from Qatar and the United Kingdom met to discuss collaborative security for the FIFA World Cup 2022.
However, the UK is not the only country that will be assisting Qatar in security concerns and matters throughout the World Cup.
Morocco has agreed to deploy a team of cybersecurity experts to Qatar ahead of the 2019 FIFA World Cup, at Qatar’s request and as part of a broader framework to strengthen security cooperation between Rabat and Doha.
Morocco has also indicated an interest in assisting Qatar in successfully hosting the World Cup in 2020, proposing to provide the Gulf Kingdom with personnel and logistical support.
Amir Tamim’s UK visit
Qatar revealed last week that it will invest £10 billion in the UK economy as part of a strategic investment agreement struck in London between the two countries.
The deal was signed during Qatar’s Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani’s visit to the United Kingdom, where he met with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Queen Elizabeth II.
As part of his European tour, he arrived in the UK on Monday night, with the 2015 nuclear deal and energy security high on his agenda.
Under new memorandums of understanding (MoUs) signed on Tuesday in London, Qatar and the United Kingdom also agreed to expand economic and energy links, according to Qatar’s national news agency (QNA).