Manama: Bahrain's King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa has stressed the significance of dialogue as the best way to resolve differences and achieve peace.
"Individual nations can have the most formidable armed forces and the most impressive intelligence services, but it is only through dialogue that we can understand one another better, resolve our differences and forge the path to lasting security," King Hamad said as he received senior participants in the Manama Dialogue, an international security conference held annually in the Bahraini capital.
"For the past 13 years Bahrain has been proud to host the Manama Dialogue, bringing together leading policymakers from the Middle East and beyond. We do so in the belief that ultimately, dialogue is the answer to the challenges we face," King Hamad said.
King Hamad said that the event was taking place at a crucial moment for the region and the world.
"We meet at a time when discussion and dialogue are needed more than ever. The Middle East faces challenges which are profound and wide-reaching, from the fallout of the conflicts in the Middle East to cyber warfare and piracy to extremism and terrorism," he said.
"This is a difficult chapter in the history of the Arabian Gulf. We face multiple threats. However, I believe they are more than matched by our resolve to overcome them."
King Hamad said he hoped the conference would help to lay the foundations for all to come together in a spirit of unity and ever deeper collaboration.
"This is the place to form new partnerships, to engage in genuine debate and to enrich our understanding of one another," he said as he wished the success of the conference "for the sake of peace and prosperity in the Middle East and in the wider world."