The Dragon Group, named after its first meeting aboard HMS Dragon in 2018, is a regular meeting of Defence Chiefs from the Gulf and Middle East. The meeting focused on global and regional security challenges, including the impact of Iran’s support for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
During the meeting, the Chiefs viewed recovered Iranian weapons destined for Yemen that were seized by Royal Navy ship HMS Montrose in the Gulf of Oman last year.
UK Chief of the Defence Staff Admiral Sir Tony Radakin said:
The flow of Iranian weapons to Russia’s war in Ukraine demonstrates that there is no easy geographical distinction on matters of defence. Through the Dragon Group, the United Kingdom and our Gulf partners are better able to understand the interconnected forces that shape our shared security and prosperity.
Today’s discussions underline the continuing importance the UK places on the Gulf, our commitment to working collectively to address the region’s challenges, and our ambition to strengthen cooperation between our respective Armed Forces.
The UK has historic links with countries in the region and remains committed to working in partnership to secure peace, prosperity and security. The UK routinely has over 1,000 military personnel in the region, in addition to aircraft and ships, contributing to counter-terrorism, anti-piracy and counter-smuggling operations.
Members of the Dragon Group include Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Meetings of the group take place twice a year and the UK has recently hosted summits at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth off the Gulf of Oman.