Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

US sailors aboard an amphibious assault ship keep watch on the Strait of Hormuz last week. (AFP/US Navy)
Updated 19 August 2019
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Bahrain to join US-led efforts to protect Gulf navigation

  • Bahrain’s King Hamad voiced his appreciation of the US role in supporting 'regional security and stability'
  • US is seeking coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf

DUBAI: Bahrain said Monday it would join US-led efforts to protect shipping in the Arabian Gulf amid tensions between Washington and Tehran after a series of attacks on tankers.
Bahrain’s King Hamad voiced his country’s appreciation of the “US role in supporting regional security and stability” during a meeting with US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Kenneth McKenzie, state media said.
“The king confirmed the kingdom of Bahrain’s participation in the joint effort to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy,” the official Bahrain News Agency reported.
The US has been seeking to form a coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf.

Central Command welcomed the Bahrain's decision to join the coalition and take an "active role in preserving the freedom of navigation, promoting maritime security and de-escalating regional tensions."

"The free flow of commerce throughout international waterways is a linchpin of the global economy, and we appreciate the Kingdom of Bahrain's leadership and support in preventing aggression from curtailing that freedom,"
Britain, which already has warships on protection duty in the Gulf after a UK-flagged tanker was seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards, has said it will join the planned operation.
But other European countries have declined to join, for fear of harming European efforts to rescue a 2015 treaty with Iran over its nuclear program.
Bahrain, which hosts the US Fifth Fleet, said last month that it would co-host a conference with the US on “maritime and air navigation security,” set for October.
Iran has seized three tankers in strategic Gulf waters since last month, including a British-flagged vessel.
That came after British Royal Marines helped impound a tanker carrying Iranian oil off the British overseas territory of Gibraltar on July 4.
Britain suspected it was destined for Syria in defiance of European Union sanctions, which Iran denies.
The US and its Gulf allies have also accused the Islamic republic of carrying out several mysterious attacks on ships in the region, which Tehran denies.


Israeli Arab parties back Gantz for PM in break with precedent

Updated 22 September 2019
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Israeli Arab parties back Gantz for PM in break with precedent

  • Ayman Odeh published an opinion piece speaking of the move
  • It was the first such endorsement by Arab parties since 1992

JERUSALEM: Israeli Arab political parties are backing ex-military chief Benny Gantz as the country’s next prime minister in a break with precedent, they announced Sunday.
The mainly Arab Joint List alliance made the announcement at roughly the same time as its leader, Ayman Odeh, published an opinion piece on the New York Times website speaking of the move.
It was the first such endorsement by Arab parties since 1992.