Bahrainis angered by UK deal to expand naval base

Bahrainis angered by UK deal to expand naval base
Sun Dec 7, 2014 11:02:17

People in Bahrain have staged a protest rally in the island city of Sitra against an agreement signed between the Manama regime and the UK to expand its military base in the Persian Gulf state.

The outraged protesters took to the streets in Sitra, which is close to the UK base, chanting slogans against such an expansion.

Meanwhile, Bahraini opposition figures, including members of the main Shia opposition party, al-Wefaq National Islamic Society, expressed deep concern over the increase of foreign military presence in the Persian Gulf kingdom.

Al-Wefaq argues that the agreement would transform the country into a main base for foreign military operations in the region.

The pact will give Britain the go-ahead to reinforce its onshore facilities at the Mina Salman Port in Bahrain, where the UK permanently stations four mine-hunter warships, British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said on Friday.

The base, which provides support for British destroyers and frigates in the Persian Gulf, will now be expanded to include a new forward operating base and a place to plan, store equipment for naval operations and accommodate Royal Navy personnel.

Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid has claimed the new base is part of a deal with the United Kingdom to maintain regional security and stability in the face of challenging circumstances and noted that Manama is looking forward to the early implementation of this agreement.

Category:
string(345) "[{"id":"1655480","sort":"3289533","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/12/06/alalam_635534606453057836_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Britain to Open New Military Base in Bahrain"} ,{"id":"1653451","sort":"3289534","contenttypeid":"21","pic":"/2014/11/29/alalam_635528502779978234_25f_4x3.jpg","title":"Bahrain Holding Controversial Runoff amid Boycotts"} ]"