When the Kingdom of Bahrain and United Kingdom signed a Treaty of Friendship in 1816, few will have predicted the diplomatic, political, military and economic ties between the two kingdoms would endure for two centuries. The start of the 200 year anniversary of relations between the two Kingdoms was marked today, by His Royal Highness, Deputy King Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Simon Martin CMG, onboard the Daring-class air-defence destroyer, HMS Defender.
His Royal Highness, Deputy King Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa said:
This year’s 200th anniversary of Bahrain-UK relations marks a significant milestone in our countries’ deep-rooted relationship. It is a relationship committed to mutual respect and a shared pursuit of safety, stability and prosperity for our peoples. It is particularly apt that we begin our celebrations aboard the impressive HMS Defender, as strong naval ties have underpinned our 200-year relationship. These are ties that will strengthen further this year as we look forward to the opening of Britain’s HMS Juffair Naval Base later in 2016.
Ambassador Simon Martin said:
I am delighted today to mark, with His Royal Highness Deputy King Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the beginning of a year of celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of relations between the United Kingdom and the Kingdom of Bahrain. And I should like to thank His Royal Highness for both attending the launch, and for the crucial role he plays in further strengthening the ties between the UK and Bahrain.
Our two countries share a long and special history and our relations span a huge array of shared interests which benefit both our countries and their peoples. This bicentenary offers an excellent opportunity to celebrate and to develop further this bilateral relationship. The UK and Bahraini Governments, as well as companies, schools, clubs and community organisations will host a year-long series of events – events which will touch on business, entrepreneurship, heritage, culture, sports, health, education, technology, food, and fashion.
I should like to thank His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa for his generous patronage of this celebration.
And I would also like to thank the Prime Minister, His Royal Highness Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, for his continuous support for increasing the ties between our two nations.
It is a great honour to be representing the United Kingdom in the Kingdom of Bahrain, particularly at this time. My wife, Sophie, and I, along with the whole British community in Bahrain, look forward to celebrating our extraordinary relationship with the Kingdom of Bahrain and its people.