The people of Bahrain will never forget how King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia stood shoulder to shoulder with us during one of the most difficult phases of our history. His passing will be deeply felt in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the wider region.

King Abdullah will be remembered as a far-sighted leader who introduced important reforms, including measures to empower women at all levels of society. Across the Middle East King Abdullah worked for peace and security. At a time of growing instability in Yemen, Syria, Lebanon and Iraq we will all miss his wise leadership.

We wish King Salman Bin-Abdulaziz every success as the new ruler of Saudi Arabia and under his rule the continuation of excellent relations between Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other GCC states in responding to the collective challenges that we face.

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"We are the new sultans of the Red Sea; we the new sultans of the Gulf. We, the axis of resistance: Tehran, Damascus, southern Beirut, Baghdad and Sanaa. We are the ones who will create the map of the region and we are also the sultans of the Red Sea” – Iranianwriter Mohammed Sadeq Hosseini

Clashes are raging in Yemen as Houthi rebels extend their control. Iran’s role in supporting these Shia insurgents is often referred to. But what evidence exists for the claim that Iran is seeking to gain power on Saudi Arabia’s southern border through its Yemeni proxies?

When we look at Iran’s role in a number of countries in the region - like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Bahrain - a pattern becomes clear of military support for Shia militias and coordinated attempts to aggressively extend Iran’s influence and neutralize its enemies.

It is difficult to understand how a small and marginalized sect like the Houthis can suddenly overrun most of Yemen, without having received massive support from outside sources.

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With the Duke of Westminster here in Bahrain; Bahrain’s Information Minister praising the significance of the British expat community at the Bahrain-British Business Forum; and Britain’s Foreign Minister praising Bahrain’s commitment to reform – in the space of just 24 hours we have numerous examples of the value of British-Bahraini ties. Below we take a look at several of the reasons why Bahrain-British relations are currently making so much progress...

Duke of Westminster: “Bahrain is an “oasis of religious tolerance”

In meetings in Bahrain with the King and Prime Minister, Britain's Duke of Westminster has praised Bahrain as an “oasis of religious tolerance”. The Duke hailed the success of the recent parliamentary and municipal elections in advancing Bahrain’s democratic process.

Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman said that Britain and Bahrain’s mutual understanding, respect and co-operation had contributed to strengthening ties, particularly in culture, trade and economy.

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The case for and against Ali Salman

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The below analysis looks at the charges facing Al-Wefaq Islamic Society Secretary-General Ali Salman and what different sides are saying concerning these charges and other accusations made against him.

Ali Salman has been charged on a number of counts, including “public speeches that promoted political change, confronting state authorities, calls to stage unlawful protests, in addition to incitement to non-compliance with the law”. 

According to the Public Prosecution Ali Salman “used public statements to spread extremist views that encouraged the use of force against the kingdom's authorities”. Furthermore, according to prosecutors, Ali Salman has acknowledged meetings abroad with individuals who offered to provide him with weapons.

The case against Ali Salman

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