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Archive for Bahrain

Newsline: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt break diplomatic ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt on Monday broke diplomatic relations and all land sea and air contacts with fellow Gulf Arab state Qatar, accusing it of supporting “terrorism and extremism”. Saudi Arabia’s state news agency said the kingdom had decided to sever diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar “proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by international law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”. It urged “all brotherly countries and companies to do the same.”



Newsline: Bahrain to set up embassy in Malaysia

Bahrain will set up an embassy in Malaysia to strengthen ties between the two countries. A Malaysia-Bahrain High Joint Commission co-chaired by the two nations’ foreign ministers will also be set up to serve as an umbrella framework for this bilateral cooperation. Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the historic state visit to Malaysia by the King of Bahrain, King Hamad Isa Al Khalifa, had taken the cordial relationship between both countries to a higher level and paved the way for a greater exchange of technical, scientific and technological expertise, as well as security and defence coordination.


Newsline: Kerry calls Bahrain foreign minister over expulsion of US official

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his deep concern to Bahrain Foreign Minister Khaled al-Khalifa over the expulsion of a U.S. diplomat for meeting with an opposition leader and over charges brought against the politician. A senior State Department official said Kerry, who was in Vienna for talks between Iran and major powers over curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, spoke by telephone with the Bahraini minister. Bahrain expelled Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, last week, saying he had “intervened flagrantly” in the country’s internal affairs by holding the meeting. Kerry “reiterated our view that the Government of Bahrain’s demand to have a Foreign Ministry representative present at private meetings between U.S. diplomats and Bahraini political figures is an unacceptable requirement that runs contrary to international diplomatic protocol,” the official said. The official said Kerry told the Bahraini minister that “our actions should be consistent with our strong bilateral relationship.” Bahrain is one of Washington’s main regional allies and hosts the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet. But the Gulf state has bristled at American criticism over its human rights record since suppressing a popular uprising in 2011. The U.S. State Department summoned a senior envoy from Bahrain – the charge d’affaires of its embassy in Washington – to formally protest Malinowski’s expulsion.


Newsline: US diplomat expelled from Bahrain

Bahrain has expelled a high-ranking American diplomat, accusing him of meddling in the Persian Gulf kingdom’s internal affairs. Tom Malinowski, US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, arrived in Bahrain on Sunday and met with members of Bahrain’s main opposition bloc al-Wefaq. The Foreign Ministry of Bahrain said in a statement published by the official BNA state news agency that Malinowski “held meetings with a particular party to the detriment of other interlocutors, thus discriminating between one people, contravening diplomatic norms and flouting normal interstate relations.” The statement added that Malinowski “is unwelcome and should immediately leave the country, due to his interference in its internal affairs.” Meanwhile, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Malinowski “is on a visit to reaffirm and strengthen our bilateral ties and to support his royal majesty King Hamad’s reform and reconciliation efforts at an important time, particularly given events elsewhere in the region.” Bahrain hosts the headquarters of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, where thousands of US military personnel are based. Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have staged numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.


Newsline: Bahrain has no plans to return ambassador to Qatar soon

Bahrain ruled out returning its ambassador to Qatar soon, signalling that efforts to resolve the unprecedented rift within the U.S.-allied Gulf Cooperation Council have yet to bear fruit. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates recalled their ambassadors from Doha in March, accusing Doha of failing to abide by an accord not to interfere in each others’ internal affairs. The three GCC states are angry at Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement whose ideology challenges the principle of conservative dynastic rule long dominant in the Gulf. The Gulf Arab states in April agreed on steps to try to heal the rift. But Bahrain state news agency BNA said on Sunday the foreign minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, speaking about a GCC meeting in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to assess progress in efforts to end the dispute, had said: “Bahrain’s ambassador to Qatar will not return to resume his duties in Doha at the present time.” Qatar has said that its foreign policy is “non-negotiable.”


Newsline: Bahrain approves opening embassy in Indonesia

The Cabinet has approved a memorandum presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs for the establishment of a diplomatic mission in the Republic of Indonesia. The move comes 30 years after the establishment of diplomatic relations at the ambassadorial level between the two countries and the opening of the embassy of Indonesia in the Kingdom in 2010. The new diplomatic mission aims to strengthen friendly relations and develop bilateral cooperation in various areas of common interest, as well as to support trade and economic exchange, which was estimated at more than BD53 million of non-oil products in 2011.


Newsline: Bahrain to open first South American embassy

Bahrain will soon open its first South American embassy in Brazil, with others also being considered, it was announced on Sunday. The Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, made the decision after a study by the Foreign Ministry, Gulf Daily News reported. “There are huge interests between Bahrain and South American countries, but we are not represented there,” Minister of State for Information Affairs Sameera Rajab said. “Anything in relation to South American countries was being done by our embassy in Washington and that is illogical.”