Bahrain’s stability crucial to GCC

February 27, 2011

Bahrain’s foreign minister has said that the stability of his country was of paramount importance to the other five Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members.

“The other GCC countries see Bahrain’s stability as a crucial part of the region’s stability,” Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa said.

“The GCC has highlighted this significance during the Manama meeting this month when the member countries expressed their political, security and military support to Bahrain’s security and stability,” he said.

Shaikh Khalid, a veteran diplomat, said that several international organisations have also voiced support to the call by Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa for a national dialogue.

Prince Salman was last week vested by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa with the power to start a dialogue with all parties in Bahrain, without any exception, to discuss all issues in order to start a new phase of national unity.

The crown prince has repeatedly called for all parties to get involved for the sake of Bahrain and pledged that the talks could herald “genuine reforms”.

National dialogue

“Dialogue is the best and most civil way to overcome problems. This is nothing new since Bahrain has been able to move forward thanks to open and direct dialogues. Ten years ago, the last national dialogue resulted in the national action charter. Shaikh Khalid said that the countries that had issued statements condemning Bahrain’s stance towards the incidents that hit the country this month should make moves to “learn the reality on the ground”.

“Some media did not report fairly on the situation and either exaggerated what was happening or used false data. Many people were influenced by the misleading information in the first two days,” he told the Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

“We can see now that many countries have now changed their views after they learned about the crown prince’s call for national dialogue and about facts on the ground.”

The foreign minister did not however refer to the speculations that flooded Bahrain about a possible partial reshuffle of the cabinet.

A report on Al Jazeera that King Hamad had replaced three ministers sparked a frenzy of speculations, mainly on social networks, about the officials who would leave and those who would replace them.


Speculations spread that the ministers of health, housing and cabinet affairs will leave the government and will be replaced either by incumbent ministers or, by fresh faces.

It was also rumoured that the labour minister will be moved to the housing ministry and Nizar Al Baharna, the state minister for foreign affairs, will be given the health portfolio.

However, neither BNA nor Bahrain Television, the regular sources of official news, neither confirmed nor denied the reported reshuffle.

Mashaima arrives

In the afternoon, people’s attention focused on the arrival of Hassan Mashaima, the head of Haq, a movement that splintered from Al Wefaq in 2005 after the society decided to stand in the parliamentary elections.

Haq has vehemently opposed the constitution promulgated in 2002, rejected the parliamentary and municipal elections and refused to register itself officially.

Mashaima, who was on self-exile in London where he was initially receiving medical treatment, is expected to radicalise demands set by the opposition before agreeing to the national dialogue.



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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