Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
Manama: Bahrain has called for setting up a regional security network that protects countries, strengthens security and preserves interests.
“It is time to formulate a new regional security network that presents realistic, effective and fair mechanisms capable of strengthening the security of our countries, that ensures peace and stability, protects national capabilities and the Gulf principles, creates genuine guarantees ... and adopts a political dialogue and initiatives for crises in the region,” Royal Guard Commander Brigadier-General Shaikh Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa said.
“The network will be a substitute for interference in internal affairs, and attempts to impose hegemony and instability,” he said in Manama as he inaugurated the Middle East Military Alliances and Coalitions Conference (MEMAC2017) held on the sidelines of the Bahrain International Defence Exhibition and Conference (BIDEC2017).
The Information and Communications Technology revolution and shifts in the structure of the international system have given new dimensions to the concept of security, as well as the changing interests, and their associated influence and conflicts, Shaikh Nasser, the Chairman of BIDEC2017, added.
“The security of the Arabian Gulf is one of the priorities of the international security system, given the strategic importance of the region to global energy supply and its status as a key pillar of regional stability,” he said, and praised “the leading and pivotal role played by Saudi Arabia and by the UAE in bringing peace and security to the region and confronting the forces of evil that are trying to spread chaos and extremism”.
Shaikh Nasser added that Bahrain, on the basis of its effective role in combating terrorism, and in the face of Iran continuing with its irresponsible practices, welcomes the strategy announced by US President Donald Trump to address Tehran’s attempts to export terrorism.
In his speech, Shaikh Abdullah Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Chairman of the Conference Committee and BIDEC2017 spokesman, said that “the destiny of the region is that it always has to confront regional and transnational security challenges”.
“Our steadfast and lasting choice is peace and cooperation with the region and the world on the basis of mutual respect and non-interference in internal affairs,” he said.
“However, regional cooperation has clashed with the practices of other parties that do not recognise human values or good neighbourliness and are obstacles to a stable, prosperous and secure environment. Iran’s expansionist policies are contrary to the principles of international law after it made support for terrorism, the promotion of sectarianism, development of missiles and nuclear armaments, and the militia industry cornerstones of its strategy as a rogue state. Qatar also chose to orbit Iran, supporting terror groups and spreading chaos,” he said.
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