US and Bahrain sign military, economic and technological cooperation pact

Washington, Sept 13 (EFE).- US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Bahrain’s Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa signed a security integration and prosperity agreement on Wednesday.

At an event held in the Treaty Room of the White House, Blinken said he hoped the agreement could be used as a “framework” for agreements with other Middle Eastern countries seeking to strengthen “regional stability, economic cooperation and technological innovation.”

“Today’s agreement that we’re about to sign (…) will continue to do what it needs to do, which is deliver for our people and, I believe, help build a more positive future for people throughout the region,” the head of the diplomatic corps said.

The Kingdom of Bahrain is the headquarters of the US Naval Forces Central Command, which operates in the Persian Gulf.

The pact signed Wednesday will strengthen coordination between the two countries’ militaries and intelligence services to “deter and respond to threats as they arise,” Blinken said.

It will also strengthen economic ties between the two countries, which have tripled trade since implementing a free trade agreement in 2006, and facilitate joint work to develop new renewable energy technologies.

Blinken thanked Bahrain for being one of the first Arab countries to normalize relations with Israel under the Abraham Accords, which were signed exactly three years ago this week.

He also encouraged the Crown Prince’s commitment to human rights and the fight against human trafficking.

Prince Salman said the signed agreement lays “the foundation for a new global architecture” because it focuses not only on security and defense, but also on the economy, technology and people.

“As it’s an open-ended agreement, we will be welcoming more members, hopefully,” he said.

The United States and Bahrain established diplomatic relations in 1971, when the latter gained independence from the United Kingdom, although the two countries’ shared history dates back to the early 20th century, when American missionaries opened the region’s first modern hospital there.EFE


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