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Bahrain, UK set up joint work team

Coordination on security, trade, terrorism stressed

Gulf News

Manama: Bahrain and the UK have signed a major Memorandum of Understanding that establishes a joint work team.

Under the agreement, signed in London by Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, the foreign minister, and William Hague, British Foreign Secretary, the two sides pledged to bolster deep-rooted historic relations and to step up political and diplomatic coordination.

The two countries also committed to coordinate stances on security, the fight against terror, trade, investments and regional cooperation.

The annual meetings of the joint Bahrain-Britain work team will be held alternately in the two countries.

Shaikh Khalid stressed Bahrain’s firm resolve to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), the international panel that looked into the events that unfolded in the country in February and March 2011 and their consequences.

The commission issued its report one year ago and laid down a series of recommendations to help reconcile all parties and ensure that the events would not be repeated.

King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa who called for the international investigation accepted the report and set up a commission to supervise the implementation of the recommendations.

Shaikh Khalid at his meeting with his British counterpart affirmed Bahrain’s keenness on working in tandem with all parties to renounce violence and to promote a favourable environment conducive to a comprehensive national dialogue, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.

Hague commended the Bahraini government for its efforts to overcome the challenges resulting from last year’s unrest as well as its firm commitment to implement the BICI recommendations.

He also reiterated the UK support to Bahrain and to promoting cooperation to build competency in all sectors.

The British minister lauded the role of Bahrain and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries regarding key Mideast issues and their efforts to help find solutions amid fast-paced changes and developments.

He also underscored the importance of coordinating international stances to promote security and stability in one of the world’s most strategic and volatile regions.