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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Construction of British Military Base in Persian Gulf Underway in Bahrain

Sputnik News

23:36 31.10.2015(updated 23:38 31.10.2015)

The foreign ministers of the United Kingdom and Bahrain have laid the cornerstone of Britain's first permanent military base in the former British colony since the 1970s, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported on Saturday.

MANAMA, (Sputnik) – 'The presence of the Royal Navy in Bahrain is guaranteed into the future, ensuring Britain's sustained presence east of Suez,' British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said at the ceremony alongside Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

Hammond, who last year announced construction of Britain's first Royal Navy facility in the Persian Gulf since 1971, said the opening of the base is planned for next year. Bahrain declared independence from the UK in 1971.

Khalifa, meanwhile, said the new Royal Navy base aims to uphold regional security and is not aimed against a specific state.

Speaking at last year's IISS Manama Dialogue where construction of the base was announced, Hammond said the new Royal Navy facility would accommodate Britain's two new aircraft carriers and F-35 stealth fighters.

Four of Britain's minesweepers are currently based at the US Navy base in the port of Mina Salman.

Sputnik



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