His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, received US Defense Secretary James Mattis and his accompanying delegation, at the Sakhir Palace, in the presence of HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.
HM the King praised the solid strategic relations and partnership between the two countries, highlighted by their progressive cooperation in various fields, mainly military and defense areas, as two friendly and allied countries bound by longstanding relations, expressing pride in working together towards maintaining peace and security in the region, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported.
HM the King pointed out the key role of the US Administration in establishing cooperation with its friendly and allied countries to maintain security and stability in the region and protect international peace and security, emphasizing Bahrain’s support for the efforts.
He affirmed Bahrain is moving forward towards further development and modernization in various fields, taking pride in the spirit of solidarity, cohesion and respect for all religions and sects.
He also highlighted the contributions of the US community in Bahrain at various levels and throughout history, noting that they are welcomed and respected by Bahrainis.
Defense Secretary Mattis expressed appreciation of the royal efforts to enhance the friendly relations and cooperation, pointing to Bahrain’s role as a key partner in promoting regional and international peace and stability. Topics of shared interest and regional developments were also discussed during the meeting.
HM the King hosted a dinner banquet in honor of the US Defense Secretary and his delegation.
HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, also received US Secretary of Defense James N. Mattis at Riffa Palace.
He praised the long-standing ties between Bahrain and the US, reinforced by the joint commitment of His Majesty King Hamad and President Donald Trump to further advance cooperation across a range of areas and sectors.
He highlighted that Bahrain has served as the United States’ principal naval support facility in the region since 1947, and the strength of defense cooperation between the two countries continues to play an important role in addressing regional challenges, including combating terrorism.
HRH and the US Secretary of Defense then reviewed further ways of advancing the defense relationship and discussed a number of current international issues.
For his part, Bahrain’s Minister of Defense Affairs Lieutenant-General Youssef bin Ahmed Al-Jalahma also welcomed US Secretary of Defense James Mattis on his arrival at the Bahrain International Airport on an official visit to the Kingdom.
Lastly,Bahrain Defense Force (BDF) Commander-in-Chief Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa Mattis at the BDF Officers’ Club.
The Minister of Defense Affairs Lieutenant-General Youssef bin Ahmed Al-Jalahma and the BDF Chief-of-Staff Lieutenant-General Dhiyab bin Saqr Al-Nuaimi attended.
The BDF Chief hailed the deep-rooted historic relations binding the two countries and their growing military cooperation.
Field Marshal Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa hosted a lunch banquet in honor of the US Defense Secretary at the BDF Officers’ Club.
Mattis stopped in Oman earlier this week where he met His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said and top Omani military officials.