UK to establish permanent Mideast military base
The deal ‘reaffirms our joint determination to maintain regional security and stability,’ Bahrain's FM said
Bahrain will host the first permanent British military base in the Middle East as part of a deal to increase cooperation in tackling security threats in the Middle East, the BBC reported.
The deal “reaffirms our joint determination to maintain regional security and stability in the face of challenging circumstances,” Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid said Saturday, Agence France-Presse reported.
The country is part of a U.S.-led coalition carrying out airstrikes on the extremist group, which has carved out vast areas of control in Syria and Iraq.
“Bahrain looks forward to the early implementation of today’s arrangement, and to continuing to work with the UK and other partners to address threats to regional security,” Sheikh Khalid said.
The agreement, reached at the annual Manama Dialogue in Bahrain, means Britain will have a place to plan and store equipment and will be able to add to the four mine-hunter warships currently based in Mina Salman Port.
“This new base is a permanent expansion of the Royal Navy’s footprint and will enable Britain to send more and larger ships to reinforce stability in the Gulf,” said defense secretary Michael Fallon.
“We will now be based again in the Gulf for the long term.”
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