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His Majesty King Hamad ... popular and loved by Bahrainis

Bahrain ‘beacon of stability amid chaos in Mideast’

WASHINGTON, February 14, 2015

Bahrain has been hailed as an island of stability amid chaos in the Middle East, said a lead article in The Washington Times, adding that His Majesty King Hamad's leadership and good governance have helped the kingdom weather the storm.

“On all counts King Hamad has practised good governance, and herein lies the real reason why on the fourth anniversary of the so-called Arab Spring, Bahrain remains an island of stability in the midst of the ongoing chaos that continues to engulf the region,” our sister publication the Gulf Daily News quoted the US newspaper as saying.

When demonstrators took to the streets in February 2011, His Majesty opened a dialogue with the opposition and appointed a third party to probe allegations of abuse against security forces.

Following Iranian intervention and sensing an imminent threat to Bahrain's security, the King appealed directly to the people to rally around the flag to prevent instability.

'Indeed, the people responded to their monarch's call for unity,' said S Rob Sobhani, author of the article.

As anti-government demonstrators tried to destroy the economy with boycotts and violence, the King opened the doors to foreign investment which helped reverse the slide of economic growth. American companies were able to invest their capital and create jobs in Bahrain.

In addition to creating a climate of stability and reigniting Bahrain's economic growth throughout the past four years and before 2011, the King also practised religious tolerance, said Sobhani, chief executive of Caspian Group Holdings.

'While the opposition played the sectarian card, King Hamad went about addressing the challenges facing his country in the context of respect for all Bahrainis, irrespective of their faith,' he said.

'Not surprisingly, King Hamad is popular and loved by ordinary Bahrainis.'

The article added that even in the midst of unrest and foreign intervention, the King never turned his back on Bahrain's 60-plus years of alliance with the US.

'Not only did he extend the lease on the US Navy's base in Bahrain, but King Hamad provided more land for expansion of the Fifth Fleet.

'At a time when America needs stable and reliable allies to counter the myriad threats emanating from the Middle East, we are very lucky to have a friend in King Hamad, whose stewardship of Bahrain's challenges since 2011 has kept both his country stable and enhanced global energy security.

'The King deserves America's gratitude,' said Sobhani. - TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | US navy | His Majesty King Hamad | Arab Spring |

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