Former PM visits HMS Iron Duke in Kuwait

John Major with a memeber of the crew during his visit to HMS Iron Duke

John Major with a memeber of the crew during his visit to HMS Iron Duke

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FORMER prime minister Sir John Major visited HMS Iron Duke in Kuwait as part of celebrations of Kuwaiti independence since 1961 and its liberation in 1991.

Many leading figures from the 1991 operation attended, including Mr Major.

The ship also welcomed officers from the Kuwaiti armed forces and other coalition partners.

Iron Duke’s Commanding Officer, Commander Nick Cooke-Priest, also attended the opening of the UK Wall in the Kuwaiti National House of Works.

Local schoolchildren were given tours of the ship while members of Iron Duke’s crew explored Kuwait.

Cdr Cooke-Priest said of the visit: ‘The international effort to liberate Kuwait took place shortly after I joined the Royal Navy and, like many, I vividly remember that operation.

‘It has been a great honour and privilege to bring HMS Iron Duke to Kuwait and help commemorate both the country’s independence 50 years ago and the liberation of 1991.’

The Portsmouth-based ship is in the Arabian Gulf taking part in Combined Maritime Forces’ counter-terrorism and counter-piracy operations.

HMS Cumberland, currently on standby off Libya, handed over to Iron Duke on February 8.

The Type-23 frigate left the UK in January and is due to return home in July.

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