Bahrain king granted nationality to 240 UK citizens

Bahrain king granted nationality to 240 UK citizens
Mon May 13, 2013 13:35:16

Bahrain king Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa says he has given nationality to two hundred and forty British citizens to appreciate their “loyal service”.

The King who was speaking at a dinner banquet hosted by him at his London residence said there are already some 9,000 permanent British residents in Bahrain, “making a major contribution to the prosperity of the kingdom as they have always done”.


King’s remarks come as Bahrain has been facing widespread protests against royal family’s controversial ties with foreign countries such as Saudi Arabia and UK which the opposition groups say has let foreigners interfere in their country’s internal affairs.


At least 31 Bahraini activists were expelled from the country during the protests which started in 2011 for criticizing the Al Khalifa regime. 


"I am happy to say that the relationship is as strong as ever - perhaps even stronger. We have the closest co-operation across a wide range of activities and especially in the field of defense where we are seeking to expand the British presence in our country for mutual benefit. To that end we signed a new defense co-operation accord in October last year," king Hamad said in his speech.


The UK government is considered as one of the most supportive of the Al Khalifa monarchy and it has licensed nearly £13 million worth of weapons to Bahraini regime between 2008 and 2012.

 

The Bahraini uprising began in mid-February 2011, when the people started holding massive demonstrations against the Al Khalifa regime, which promptly launched a brutal crackdown on the peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states to help quash the revolt.

 

Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds including doctors and nurses.

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