Manama: Saudi Arabia has lent its full support to the legal measures taken by Bahrain, saying they were meant to fight terrorism and preserve stability.

The Saudi cabinet, holding a regular weekly session chaired by King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud in Jeddah, stressed the kingdom’s support for “all the judicial efforts made by Bahrain to fight extremism and terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and the measures taken to preserve the security, stability and safety of its citizens and to safeguard Bahrain’s unity and social cohesion,” the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Bahrain last week took legal action against four societies, including Al Wefaq Islamic Society, and a bookstore, charging them with failing to comply with rules and regulations.

On Monday, the government revoked the citizenship of Eisa Qasim, a prominent Shiite cleric, after it accused him of “establishing organisations that follow an external religious political authority, playing a major role in creating an extremist sectarian environment and working on dividing society along sectarian lines and in accordance with subordination to his orders.”

The government said that “Qasim has, on numerous occasions, violated the rule of the law by issuing edicts (fatwas) that affected the elections and their processes, influenced voters’ decisions using religious emotions, and rallied many groups to prevent the issuance of the second section of the Family Law (Jaafari Section).”

Chairing the weekly cabinet session on Monday morning, Prime Minister Prince Khalifa Bin Salman Al Khalifa said the government would be moving ahead with its “firm procedures and decisive measures aiming to reinforce security and stability and rectify the political process and protect it from deviations.”

“The measures also aim to safeguard the political process in the kingdom from being used as a means to deepen sectarianism, violence and incitement, and to seek support from foreign parties through allowing interference in Bahraini issues or through foreign political and religious allegiances,” a statement issued following the cabinet session said.

“The government, which is responsible for the security and safety of all the segments of the Bahraini people, will never allow any activities or actions that target the nation’s high interests or indicate disloyalty, and will take every measure it deems adequate in this regard. There will be no place for whoever incites violation of the law, poses a threat to the nation’s integrity or tries to distort its reputation or to denigrate its advanced human rights and democratic forward-movement,,” the statement said.

Addressing local editors and columnists, Information Minister Ali Al Rumaihi said that Bahrain “rejected sectarianism, incitement and political dependency,” and stressed the “importance of the legal measures taken to maintain security, stability and the unity of the community and to move forward with the reforms and development process.”

Dr Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, expressed support for Bahrain on Twitter:

“Until when are states expected to be patient with those who incite violence and harm national unity and sectarian harmony? Bahrain’s decision to strip the citizenship of Eisa Qasim comes in that context,” he wrote.

In Cairo, The Arab League Secretary-General Dr Nabeel Al Arabi expressed support for Bahrain, backing the steps it has been taking to regulate the work of social and non-governmental organisations.

In a statement he issued late on Monday, Al Arabi said the measures complied with national laws and legislations and aimed to maintain Bahrain’s security and stability and protect national unity.

The Arab League supported the reform process launched by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, and rejected any blatant foreign interference in Bahrain’s internal affairs, he said.