Manama: Bahrain’s Prime Minister has paid rich tribute to the Northern Thunder initiative, saying that it showed strong Arab and Islamic resolve and unity in confronting threats.

The threats have emanated from the interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries and from terrorism which now poses high risk to the security and stability of the Islamic nation and the international community, Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa said.

Northern Thunder, the largest joint military exercise to be held in the region, was conducted in Hafr Al Baten in northern Saudi Arabia in February and March, with the participation of 20 Arab and Islamic countries, including the six-member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) — Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE — and the Peninsula Shield, the military arm of the GCC.

Prince Khalifa told diplomats accredited in Bahrain that Gulf, Arab and international coordination was needed in a world dominated by tensions and conflicts that have become grave threats for all, targeting the security of nations and their economic development.

The world today is afflicted by unprecedented social and economic tensions, which require vigilance and caution, Prince Khalifa said.

Regional and international cooperation should have new formulas that can succeed in protecting people and ensure their success is not affected by any negative development, he added.

Bahrain fully supports all efforts to consolidate peace and stability in the region and enable its governments to focus on the development plans and programmes, he said.