Bahrain Crown Prince rules out spread of unrest to Arab countries

February 9, 2011

Bahrain’s Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa has ruled out that the unrest in Tunisia and Egypt would spread to other Arab countries.

“Every country has its own peculiarities. What happened in Tunisia was very different from what happened in Egypt…I cannot say there will be a domino effect,” he said in Ankara after talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

However, Prince Salman said that the message from both countries is that Arab leaders should make popular demands for political freedoms a “priority”.

“What people… want primarily is respect, free life, participation in decision making and justice. And responding to those demands should be a priority for us, Arab leaders or other leaders,” he said.

Erdogan stressed that demands for democratic change in the region should not come with political chaos.

“Permanent stability is only possible by guaranteeing peace, prosperity and security for the people. And the way to that goes through respect for basic rights and freedoms,” he said.
“Naturally, the use of basic rights and freedoms should not turn into a chaos.”

Prince Salman arrived in Turkey on Tuesday on an official visit at the invitation of the Turkish prime minister.

During bilateral talks, the two sides reviewed the latest developments in the Middle East including in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon and Iraq.

Prince Salman affirmed Bahrain’s support for Egypt and its people and emphasized the need to push forward the peace process between the Palestinians and Israelis on the ground that a resolution to the situation represents the aspirations of all people in the region.

He also stressed that the unity of Palestinian leadership is important to achieve peace with Israelis and emphasized the importance of Turkey playing a positive role in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The two leaders said they also discussed major regional conflicts and ways to boost bilateral economic ties.

Later, at a joint press conference, the Crown Prince indicated that Turkey was a glowing example for the region to follow as it combines both the traditional and modern into one when conducting its affairs.

He also said that it was the key of advancement in the region and had a great impact on all levels whether it is economic, political or even cultural.

He said that Bahrain is considered as the gateway to the GCC for investment and trade which has an estimated wealth of one trillion dollars in 2020.

According to the Prince Salman, Turkey aspires to strengthen its ties with Bahrain in the fields of electricity generation and transportation.

Erdogan praised “the ongoing process of democratic reform in Bahrain” and said that Ankara’s political, military, economic, commercial and cultural relations with Manama had been steadily improving. He offered to share Turkey’s expertise and technology with Bahrain.

Referring to commercial relations between the two countries, Erdogan said that Bahrain-Turkey trade volume rose to $244 million in 2010 from $150 million the previous year.

“We aim at taking some steps to increase our trade volume in parallel with our excellent political relations,” he said.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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