'Bahrain's ties with US strong': minister
Manama, July 13, 2014
Bahrain's Foreign Minister has stressed strong partnership with the US in maintaining security in Gulf waters.
The expulsion of US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labour Tom Malinowski had nothing to do with Bahrain's relations with US but with him personally, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said in an interview with Rotana Khalijia TV channel.
He said Bahraini citizens are sensitive towards any foreign interference in their internal affairs and Malinowski's meeting with Al Wefaq National Islamic Society is provocative, stressing Bahrain-US partnership in maintaining the security of Arabian Gulf waters, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
"The US doesn't interfere in our domestic issues, nor did it put any pressure on us to allocate cabinet seats for Shi'ites," he said.
Bahrain's foreign policy is peaceful, stands by what is right and defends victims of injustice, he pointed out.
"Those who use a sectarian language in this enlightened, peaceful country or import sectarian diseases from other countries should live on another planet and therefore they better leave us," he said.
"We are part and parcel of GCC, the basis of our unity," he said.
"Bahrain has gone through a crisis that threatened its security and independence, and we are now dealing with a sovereign issue that we want to end in order to proceed further on the right path," he said.
He said the integrated security force of the Gulf region, the Peninsula Shield, is off negotiation and that the GCC union project is not under preparation but on the agenda. Rather its implementation is too soon.
It was in Iran's best interest for the situation in Bahrain to remain unstable.
"We have proof that Iranians trained Bahrainis in Iraq and Syria to execute operations against Bahrain and smuggle weapons," he said.
"But, from our side, we are seeking to establish relations with Iran based on mutual respect. Interference and separation are from the Iranian side, not from ours," he added.
Any project targeting any GCC country is not acceptable to us, he said, describing the Qatari movie A Cry in the Dark as unprofessional, erroneous and an affront to Bahrain.
He said Bahrain had requested Qatar rulers to stop Al Jazeera TV channel from offending Bahrain, but they said "we don't interfere in freedom of the media. Here, we ask them: 'Is it freedom of the Press to insult your neighbours?'"
He said dialogue is not new to Bahrain and it has helped to achieve many political strides.
He also stressed the need to treat Palestinian people like humans and give them their rights.
He also called on the Iraqis to prevent division of their country, describing Bahrain's relations with Iraq as historic. - TradeArabia News Service