§ Sir Antony Buck
To ask the Secretary of State for Defence what is the current status of the project Al Yamamah; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Sainsbury
I am very pleased to be able to announce that a formal understanding has been signed between the Government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Government of the United Kingdom, which will provide for a significant enhancement to the existing52W defence capabilities of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a major new phase of project Al Yamamah. The enhancements to the project involve the supply to the kingdom of Saudi Arabia of additional aircraft, a construction programme, and specialised naval vessels; the new agreement also involves a positive and constructive economic offset programme which should be of great benefit to the private sectors of both countries.
The understanding was signed on behalf of the Government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Abdullah Aziz, second deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Aviation and Inspector General, and by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence.