The Foreign Secretary today arrived in Bahrain to take part in the Manama Dialogue. The Dialogue, hosted by the think tank International Institute for Strategic Studies, is a leading forum for governments and non-government experts to discuss regional security issues in the Middle East. These issues are a top priority for the UK and the event provides an important opportunity to discuss shared concerns with representatives from the region and key members of the international community. The Foreign Secretary is leading a UK delegation, which also includes Lord Astor of Hever, MOD Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State and Government Spokesperson, and General Sir David Richards, the Chief of the Defence Staff.
The Foreign Secretary will meet members of the Government of Bahrain during his visit. As a close friend and ally, the UK has consistently encouraged the Government to take further steps to implement promised reforms and urged all sides to enter into an inclusive and constructive dialogue. While progress is being made in some areas, we believe there is still more to be done to achieve long term stability and prosperity in Bahrain.
Speaking ahead of the visit, the Foreign Secretary said:
“I am delighted to attend the Manama Dialogue, which brings together key figures from a variety of backgrounds to discuss events and regional security in the Middle East. I will lead discussions in a session on the influence of sectarian politics in the region, highlighting the importance of universal human rights and access to justice as the most effective ways to tackle the tensions that sectarianism inflames.
“I will also meet representatives of the Government of Bahrain to continue our discussions on the need for full and timely implementation of their reform programme, and the UK’s offer of support.”