Prime Minister Theresa May met GCC leaders including Saudi Arabia’s King Salman….reports Asian Lite News


British Prime Minister Theresa May in Manama, Bahrain
British Prime Minister Theresa May in Manama, Bahrain

British Prime Minister Theresa May praised the strategic value of UK’s relations with the Kingdom of Bahrain. She is on a two-day trip to the Gulf country to attend the 37th Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Manama.

May says she is keen to keen to harness all potentials to maintain the security and stability of the Gulf region. “Gulf security is our security,” she said.

With the visit, May become the first British Prime Minister and only the third Western leader to attend and address the most influential Arab forum in the Middle East.

On her 2-day visit to Bahrain tomorrow, the Prime Minister will seek to open a new chapter in relations between the UK and the Gulf States, which include Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and Oman. She will renew centuries old ties and forge a stronger partnership focussed on security and prosperity with the UK’s third largest export market.

The Prime Minister’s visit follows on from more than 40 bilateral meetings with international leaders in the 5 months since she took office, underlining her commitment to personally ensuring that the UK forges a bold, outward-looking role in the world as we leave the European Union.

Theresa May has visited Bahrain for the GCC Summit 2016
May with Saudi KIng Salman

Speaking as she visited the British Royal Naval forces at the Khalifa bin Salman Port, May said: “This is a particularly special moment for me because it’s my first time as Prime Minister on board a Royal Navy ship, and it’s a very proud one too as I have the privilege of talking to you, our brave men and women, who put yourselves on the line to keep our country safe and protect Britain’s interests.”

“Britain takes enormous pride in our Royal Navy, known the world over for its professionalism and expertise, and for the dedication and courage of its sailors, Royal Marines and officers,” she added.
May said she was delighted to “see and hear for myself the terrific work that you’re doing out here where, more than ever, Gulf security is our security”.

“Today, as we face multiple global challenges and an increasingly uncertain and dangerous world, you are vital to protecting our nation’s interests and provide a clear demonstration of the UK’s enduring security commitment to the Gulf,” she said while addressing the British Royal Navy personnel.

Theresa May has visited Bahrain for the GCC Summit 2016
Prime Minister May with Prime Minister of Bahrain

“And as Britain steps up to forge a new, positive, confident role for our country on the global stage, the Royal Navy will be an important part of our vision, pursuing our objectives of security on land and at sea and helping to ensure the free flow of international trade,” she added, highlighting the strategic importance of the oil and gas supplies from the Middle East.

The British Prime Minister also pointed out to the key role played by the British Royal Navy in supporting the diplomatic efforts and consolidating the solid historical relations between the two countries.

Royal Welcome

Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, met May in Manama.

During the meeting, the crown prince highlighted the importance of Prime Minister May’s visit to the Kingdom and her attendance of the 37th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit as a guest of honour, a reflection of the long-standing and strategic ties between Bahrain and the United Kingdom, and the wider GCC Countries.

The Crown Prince emphasised the shared commitment to further developing bilateral ties between Bahrain and the UK, which are celebrating their bicentenary this year.

He underscored the extensive cooperation between the two countries, noting the wide-ranging opportunities that exist, particularly in economic, strategic and security areas. His Royal Highness added that this cooperation is reinforced by a regular exchange of visits at all levels, which served to strengthen bilateral coordination.

Defence Ties

Commander-in-Chief of Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Field Marshal Shaikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa received British Prime Minister MP Theresa May during her visit to the Royal Bahrain Naval Force (RBNF)’s naval base in Hidd, in the presence of Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Dhiab bin Saqr Al Nuaimi.

The BDF Commander-in-Chief welcomed the British Premier, lauding distinguished relations of friendship between Bahrain and the United Kingdom and growing cooperation between both countries mainly in the military field. They also discussed issues of common interest and exchanged commemorative gifts.

The meeting was attended by RBNF Commander Rear Admiral Shaikh Khalifa bin Abdullah Al Khalifa and senior BDF officers.



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