Bahrain, Russia resolved to consolidate cooperation

Moscow, Feb. 8 (BNA): Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa and his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov held a press conference following the meeting between His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Lavrov said that talks between the sides were held in an atmosphere of trust and friendship and focused on bolstering bilateral relations in all fields. He stressed the resolve of President Putin and HM the King to strengthen ties, underlining shared desire to continue political dialogue and promote parliamentary cooperation, focusing particularly on military, economic and trade cooperation.

He commended the establishment of the joint governmental committee which, he said, will contribute to bolstering trade and economic cooperation, including energy, industry, transport and infrastructure, pointing out that a draft agreement in this regard is under consideration.

“The governmental circles and the business community in the two countries do not wait for the official decisions and take the initiative to bolster relations in all fields”, he said. Lavrov said that Mumtalakat, Bahrain Government’s investment arm, pumped $250 million in the Russian Fund for Direct Investments, adding that other projects worth 20 billion Rouble are in the pipeline.

He pointed out intensive contacts undertaken by Gazprom to bolster cooperation with the Kingdom of Bahrain regarding liquefied natural gas. “President Putin and HM the King discussed the activity of the Russian-Bahraini Business Council”, Lavrov said, adding that the panel holds regular meetings in Russia and Bahrain.

He underlined the establishment of the joint governmental committee in charge of military and technical cooperation and said that the panel discusses tangible projects, looking forward to consolidating military contacts between the two countries. Lavrov said that the Bahraini side, including the military, has been invited to attend the air games as well as International Tank Biathlon Championship.

Lavrov underlined the three-year cultural cooperation programme (2015-2017) and the two-year tourism cooperation programme (2015-2016). He pointed out that the two sides discussed cooperation regarding the FIFA elections, scheduled to be held this month, commending the stance of HM the King in support the Russian bid to host the 2018 World Football Cup.

He said that President Putin and HM the King discussed regional and international issues, in light of current developments in the Middle East and North Africa. The two leaders, he said, stressed the importance of giving the priority to combating the scourge of terrorism relentlessly, settling international crises peacefully and preventing the disintegration of countries.

“The two leaders focused on the situation in Syrian, stressing the importance of implementing the UN Resolution 2254, which calls a comprehensive and inclusive dialogue that enables Syrians to decide their own future”, he said, pointing out that the International Group in Support of Syria would meet in Munich, Germany, on February 11.

He said that Russia and Bahrain underlined the need for Syria to be a stable and secular country and preserve its territorial integrity, stressing the need to ensure guaranties to all segments of the Syrian society. “These same principles shall be adopted to settlement the brewing crises in Libya, Yemen, Iraq and Afghanistan”, he said, urging the international community to step up efforts to reach a just settlement to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Lavrov backed the rights of peoples in the region to self-determination, stressing his country’s approach regarding security in the Gulf region. He thanked Bahrainis for dealing positively with this Russian approach to security in the Gulf region, pointing out that the Russian blueprint would be on the agenda of the upcoming session of the of the Russia-GCC Strategic Dialogue, scheduled to be held in the first half of this year in Moscow. Lavrov said that President Putin and HM King Hamad are very satisfied as to the outcome of their key official talks which they held today.

Shaikh Khalid hailed the outcome of the talks between HM the King and President Putin, stressing the concordant stances of the two countries regarding steadily-growing relations as well as regional issues and developments.

He commended the strides achieved by the two friendly countries since the establishment of diplomatic ties, pointing out that bilateral relations have since evolved and developed in record time. He stressed the establishment of the joint governmental committee and the military and technical cooperation committee stressing the role of the panels in exchanging expertise and training, concluding military purchases and promoting economic and investment cooperation.

Shaikh Khalid underlined joint cooperation in other domains, including the sport field, saying HM the King was keen on the Russian bid to host the 2018 World Football Cup. He highlighted the concordance of stances between the two countries, regarding the war on terrorism and the peaceful settlement of conflicts and disputes, stressing the need to avert the disintegration of states.
He underlined the plight of countries which fell in the cauldron of sectarian internecine strife, which displaced thousands of people who fled to other countries, thus causing a global humanitarian crisis.

“HM the King values the role of President Putin as well as his Government and country in helping Syria emerge from this difficult situation”, he said, stressing the importance for all countries, particularly major powers, to cooperate with Russia in order to maintain security and stability in Syria. He looked forward to strengthening cooperation through the Russia-GCC Strategic Dialogue, welcoming the Russian approach to security and stability in the region.

“We value and support the updated Russian approach to security and stability in the region”, Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa, saying that HM the King looks forward to the visit of President Putin to Bahrain in the coming period. He thanked his Russian counterpart, looking forward to working together in different regions in the world.


BNA 1946 GMT 2016/02/08

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