At the NATO Summit in Chicago
May 22, 2012 § Leave a comment
On Sunday, I arrived in Chicago with Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, as part of the Kingdom’s official delegation to the 2012 NATO Summit in Chicago. Bahrain is participating in the Summit as a key member of the International Security Assistance Force – the NATO-led coalition currently engaged in securing and reconstructing Afghanistan . For its part, Bahrain is working to build capacity in the Afghan national police to assume security control over the country following the coalition’s planned withdrawal in 2014.
Bahrain ’s commitment to the ongoing effort in Afghanistan is a high profile example of the fruitful military-security partnership the Kingdom shares with the United States . In 2002, American President George W. Bush designated Bahrain as a Major Non-NATO Ally in recognition of the mutually beneficial partnership that has existed between both countries for decades. Bahrain has been home to an American naval base since the 1940s and has been the official home of the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet since 1995. Bahrain also commands a division of the joint naval taskforce that combats piracy in the Arabian Sea and off the horn of Africa .
Bahrain has always been proud to stand side by side by our American allies to protect our mutual interests in the region and look forward to continuing this partnership for many years to come.