Britain to open new military base in Bahrain




London: Britain will open a new military base in Bahrain in a deal to increase cooperation in tackling security threats in the region, the Gulf kingdom’s foreign minister said on Saturday.

Gulf states, including Bahrain, have found common ground with the United States and European powers in opposing Daesh militants.

The country is part of a US-led coalition carrying out air strikes on the extremist group, which has carved out vast areas of control in Syria and Iraq.

Bahrain’s Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said the deal “reaffirms our joint determination to maintain regional security and stability in the face of challenging circumstances”.

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 defence secretary Michael Fallon.

“We will now be based again in the Gulf for the long term.”

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