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Bahrain and Britain sign defense treaty to increase military co-operation

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Britain has promised Bahrain to stave off any external aggression that threatens the Gulf country’s sovereignty when both countries signed a defense treaty, a newspaper reported on Friday.

The treaty which was signed in London on Thursday, stipulates that both sides agree to promote co-operation in all fields, including exchanging intelligence, training, education as well as scientific and technical co-operation and joint training of military forces, Gulf Daily News said.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmad al-Khalifa and the UK’s secretary of defense Philip Hammond signed the defense co-operation agreement in a ceremony attended by Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of Bahrain.

The agreement aims to bolster Bahrain’s security with regards to its regional standing, as well as its internal stability.

Bahraini rulers have blamed foreign countries such as Iran for manipulating sectarian differences in the Gulf state. Iranian threats against Bahrain include possible aggravations in the coastal waters of the Gulf state as well as air attacks by Iranian-made missiles.

Bahrain’s crown prince said the deal is a reflection of deep-rooted historic relations between his country and Britain. He went on to stress the pivotal role played by the UK in consolidating security in the Gulf.

The signing ceremony was attended by various Bahraini state officials including crown prince’s court chief Shaikh Khalifa bin Daij al-Khalifa and Bahraini ambassador Alice Samaan.