Bahrain keen on strong relations, sovereignty: Crown Prince

Bahrain keen on strong relations, sovereignty: Crown Prince

July 8, 2014

Manama: Bahrain will always endeavour to develop its relations with friends and allies, but will also be keen on preserving its sovereignty and its higher national interests, Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa said.

The orientations that we seek to achieve will be successful because they are purely Bahraini and consensus-based, bringing together all parties, Prince Salman said.

All Bahrainis should be committed to preserving their national unity and social fabric, the main sources of the country’s strength, he added as he visited Ramadan majlises on Monday evening.

Prince Salman spoke shortly after the foreign ministry issued a statement that “US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, Tom Malinowski, was unwelcome and should immediately leave the country, due to his interference in its internal affairs”.

“These activities have included holding meetings with one party, leaving out others who represent different parts of society, which is indicative of a policy of discrimination amongst the people of this one nation,” the ministry said.

“Such activities are contrary to diplomatic norms and relations between states, as well as running counter to the recommendations of the National Assembly during its extraordinary session in July 2013.”

The statement added that “Bahrain reaffirms its strong and solid relations with the United States of America, and underlines that the progress and development of these ties should not be affected by such unfortunate acts.”

Bahrain’s bicameral parliament on July 28 last year endorsed a recommendation that called for the authorities to alert all ambassadors and diplomats in Bahrain not to interfere in the kingdom’s domestic affairs in line with international laws and norms.

Two days later, the state minister for foreign affairs Ganem Al Bu Ainain briefed the diplomats accredited in Bahrain about the recommendation by the parliament at the extraordinary session.

Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, the foreign minister, on Monday evening said that the current situation was very sensitive and that the ministry’s statement was appropriate with the measure taken.

He added in a brief statement to local daily Al Ayam that the public would be notified of all future developments.

Al Asala Islamic Society, the expression of Salafism in Bahrain, welcomed the decision to consider Malinowski persona non-grata and to ask him to leave, saying that he had failed to respect the sovereign rights of the host country.

“This is a brave historic and patriotic decision that is fully in line with international diplomatic standards that do not allow discrimination between the citizens of one country and empowering one party to impose through force its agenda on the others,” the society said. “We demand that the foreign ministry move forward with preserving its interests. It should not hesitate for the slightest moment to resort to diplomacy-related texts, agreements and covenants,” Al Asala said.

Several outgoing lawmakers have also expressed support for the unprecedented decision to expel the US official.

Writing for local daily Al Watan, columnist Sawsan Al Shaer said that Malinowski should “learn the difference between partnership and subordination”.

“The decision by Bahrain to expel the US Assistant Secretary of State has made us breathe freedom and dignity,” she wrote in her column published on Tuesday. “The decision has raised our heads and deserves to be commended. It merits an open public support as it came after a long wait during which the United States flouted our dignity one thousand times but we did not do anything,” the columnist said.


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