October 29, 2020
Readout of Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper's Meetings With His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Bahrain Defence Force Commander Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa
Yesterday in Manama, Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper met with His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa at Sakhir Palace, and also met with the Commander in Chief of the Bahrain Defence Force, Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, who he thanked for their gracious hospitality on his first official visit to Bahrain.
Secretary Esper expressed his gratitude to HM King Hamad and Field Marshal Al Khalifa for their friendship with the United States and U.S. forces. The parties reaffirmed the importance of the U.S.-Bahrain security relationship and shared commitment to advancing stability and security in the Arabian Peninsula, particularly in the face of Iranian malign influence.
On behalf of the President, Secretary Esper commended the leadership of Bahrain on their country's historic normalization of relations with Israel last month, joining the United Arab Emirates in a critical step towards strengthening regional stability.
Secretary Esper expressed his deep appreciation to HM King Hamad for nearly a quarter century of hosting the U.S. Fifth Fleet and he and the Field Marshal's continued support for U.S. forces operating out of Bahrain.
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