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Bahraini FM: Our relations with UK will not be at expense of US

December 9, 2016 at 11:55 pm

GCC leaders gather in Bahrain on December 7 2016 [Stringer /Anadolu Agency]

The GCC-British “strategic partnership”, which was agreed during the 37th GCC Summit in Bahrain, does not reflect a decline of American-Gulf relations, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al-Khalifa stressed.

Speaking at the summit’s conclusion, Al-Khalifa stressed that the Gulf states have major correlations with the US and that the their relations with the UK would not affect the long-lasting relations between the GCC and the United States.

He stated that GCC-US relations have not been confined to a certain administration, but have been ongoing for decades, according to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).

He also expressed the GCC’s hope for cooperation with the new administration of US President-elect Donald Trump to achieve mutual interests, noting that the GCC-US ties are based on the security and stability of the region.

Responding to Iran’s continued interference in the Gulf countries’ affairs, the minister has called on Tehran to change its foreign policies towards its neighbouring countries. He stressed that the Gulf states have no intention of offending Iran, indicating that “our stance towards Iran is to stop its abuse against us”.

“As Iran succeeded in persuading the world that it was serious regarding the nuclear file, it should exert the same effort to persuade us that it is an important neighbour and seeking to build better relations with us,” the Bahraini foreign minister pointed out.

The GCC has accused Iran of “supporting terrorism, training terrorists, smuggling weapons and explosives and inciting sectarian strife” in the Gulf countries, including Bahrain, calling on Iran not to embrace what it called “terrorist groups, including Hezbollah.”