HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister of Bahrain visited last week the Bahrain Defense Force (BDF)’s Mina Salman base to join with HRH Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, in officially opening the UK Naval Support Facility (NSF).
Upon arrival, HRH was received by HE Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Commander-in-Chief of the BDF, HE Lieutenant General Dhiyab Bin Saqr Al Noaimi, the BDF Chief-of-Staff, as well as a number of senior BDF officers, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
HRH the Crown Prince stressed that close cooperation with international partners and allies remains an essential component of Bahrain’s comprehensive development program, led by HM King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa.
HRH the Crown Prince went on to note that the opening of the NSF represents an important milestone in Bahrain and the United Kingdom’s joint efforts to support regional security and stability, and a clear indication of the strength of relations between the two countries.
HRH the Crown Prince noted that defense cooperation between the two countries has played a pivotal role in ensuring stability and peace in the Gulf region for over 90 years.
He also praised HM King Hamad's continued support towards the bilateral relationship, which has served to deepen friendship and cooperation across a range of areas.
The ceremony began with the playing of the national anthems of both countries, followed by an inspection of the guard of honor.
HRH the Duke of York delivered a speech in which he highlighted the role of HM the King and HM Queen Elizabeth II in strengthening bilateral relations, and noted that the NSF will serve the common interests of both countries.
HRH the Duke of York emphasized both countries’ eagerness to further develop the horizons of cooperation, and expressed confidence in the growing partnership between Bahrain and the United Kingdom.
Finally, HRH the Duke of York wished every success to the maritime arms in both Kingdoms.
Also speaking at the ceremony, HE Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Minister of Foreign Affairs, noted that the launch of the NSF marks a new chapter in a defense relationship that has cemented ties between the two Kingdoms.
He affirmed that the strong partnership between the Royal Navy and the Royal Bahrain Naval Force forms an important component of bilateral ties between the two nations. In this regard, HE praised the Royal Navy’s support to Bahrain and its allies both within the Gulf region and beyond.
The opening ceremony concluded with an inspection tour of the NSF facilities, and the unveiling of a plaque by their Royal Highnesses to mark the occasion.