A major annual security conference in Bahrain that attracts hundreds of top officials has been cancelled, said a leading official from the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).
The 8th Manama Dialogue, which was due to take place in December 2011, has been called off due to the situation in the Kingdom, added IISS Middle East Managing Director Mark Allworthy.
“Though the situation is far better at this time than it was earlier, we have decided, together with the Bahrain government, not to hold the event,” he said.
“Instead, we shall hold two “sherpa meetings” to prepare for the event in December next year. These will be attended by senior officials from governments who usually take part in the Dialogue.”
IISS Chief Executive Officer and President John Chipman was quoted by foreign policy website Cable as saying the meetings would take place in January and May “to sustain the momentum” of the conference.
He said each would be held off the record at the IISS office in Manama and would feature more than 60 officials from 20 countries.