In the Face of Adversity

Putting the Newfound
Saudi-Bahraini Coordination Council in Context

Arabic Translation Available here.

On 28 July 2019, Bahrain’s King Hamed bin Isa Al Khalifa and Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Dr Ibrahim bin Abdulaziz Al-Assaf, unveiled a new form of bilateral cooperation by establishing the Saudi-Bahraini Coordination Council. The Council aims to cooperate in a more robust level in various fields including political, economic, development, and security, as well as in following-up on the progress of joint projects and initiatives.  According to King Hamed, the establishment of the Coordination Council between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is a new strategic initiative that will reinforce the mechanisms of bilateral cooperation at all levels. King Hamed also hailed Saudi Arabia’s policy of defending Arab and Islamic interests and strengthening mechanisms of peace, security and stability regionwide. 

 

Manama remains committed to its traditional alliances. In this case, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia (among other allies, re: the United Arab Emirates) are facing an acute, and growing, challenge from the Islamic Republic of Iran and its many proxies such as Hezbollah and Houthi rebels. Riyadh shares, with Manama, the same visions of regional stability. In 2018, Riyadh pledged support to Bahrain’s economy as part of an assistance package with other Gulf states, including Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. This was in response to the deliberate dumping of the Bahraini Dinar as a way of damaging its national economy. 

 

More recently, the growing maritime tensions in the Arab Gulf together with Iran’s repeated deployment of agents of disruption (re: Hezbollah and Saraya Al-Ashtar) and its continued attempts to export sectarianism to the Island, securing Bahrain remains atop the agenda of its closest allies. This Bahrain-Saudi Council is yet another step to rolling-back Iran’s nefarious activities in and beyond the region.

31 July 2019

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