The British Government has just responded to the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee’s report regarding British Foreign Policy towards. Bahrain. The lengthy report and response can be found at the link below. But here are a few interesting quotes from the British Foreign Office’s written response:

Human rights:

“We commend the steps already taken by the Bahraini govt to improve its human rights record and welcome the Bahraini govt’s commitment to implementing the recommendations set out in the BICI. We encourage the govt to build on the positive steps already taken and ensure that the remaining recommendations are implemented soon.”

Iranian interference in Bahrain:

“We are concerned that Iran and other foreign actors are exploiting the situation in Bahrain by offering more direct support to some radical and violent opposition elements… also concerned by the increasing support from foreign proxies to some radical and violent opposition elements. Any attempt to exploit sectarian difference is unacceptable.”

National Dialogue process:

“We are committed to helping Bahrain promote peace and stability through a constructive and inclusive dialogue which addresses the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis and to implement the important programme of reform it has set out”

Reform & implementation of BICI recommendations:

“Progress has been made in a number of areas, in particular relating to judicial and security sector reform. This has included the establishment of a national preventative mechanism against torture; a Special Investigations Unit to investigate allegations of unlawful or negligent acts; an independent Ombudsman… rebuilding of Shia mosques destroyed during the unrest; reform of the National Institute of Human Rights; and a Royal Decree to establish an independent Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Commission.”

Defence relationship

“Bahrain is an important ally in the region with whom we have a positive defence relationship. Bahrain lies in an unstable region and has legitimate defence and security needs which the British Govt seeks to support.”

British support for Bahrain:

“UK reform assistance focuses on strengthening human rights and the rule of law. Through capacity building work with the Office of the Ombudsman, Commission on the Rights of Prisoners and Detainees, Ministries of Human Rights and Justice and the National Institute of Human Rights, UK Govt advisors assist Bahraini institutions to implement BICI recommendations.”

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