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Minister of Foreign Affairs speaks at the Manama Dialogue 2017




The following is some extract from Bahrain's FM speech at the Manama Dialogue 2017
Dec. 9, 2017

... If we consider all the challenges we face, we will find that the spread of terrorists whether state sponsored or as violent non-state actors in the region is the most pressing. In Yemen, we are fighting to prevent a proud Arab country with a rich and varied history from falling under the control of a vicious militia that has subjected our Yemeni brothers and sisters to violence, wanton assassinations, and terrible destruction. If anybody has any doubt as to the intentions of the Houthis in Yemen, one need look no further than the events unfolding in Sanaa as we speak. Houthi terrorists are executing men by the hundreds and have cut access to the internet and social media to prevent Yemenis from reporting their crimes to the world.

The Houthis were offered a seat at the table, they were part of the political solution agreed to in 2011, in fact, the first and second time I met them was in Riyadh, but they refused to take their place among Yemen’s political representatives and instead decided to violate the agreements, betray their countryman, and capture Yemen attempting to turn the country into a repressive offshoot of the Islamic Republic on our very doorstep.

We cannot and will not allow that to happen. Our coalition remains committed to taking the fight to the Houthis, freeing Yemen, and paving the way for the return of stability and security to all Yemenis, I would also like to stress the importance of providing adequate humanitarian aid and I commend the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s efforts in providing and facilitating aid to affected areas through the King Salman Humanitarian aid and relief centre.

In Lebanon, we have a cautionary tale of what might transpire if the Houthis remain a force in Yemen. Hezbollah which began as a terrorist organization founded by a few radicals and funded by the IRGC in 1982 has now developed into a potent political force that dictates the future of millions of Lebanese citizens who do not share their vision for the country or the region. It ignores the laws and customs of Lebanon at will and answers not to the Lebanese people, but to the supreme leader of the Islamic Republic. Hezbollah has used its base in the south of Lebanon to expand its operations into other regions, it has been a key factor in prolonging the Syrian crisis, it has wreaked havoc in Iraq, and it continues to train operatives to undertake terrorist acts in Bahrain, and in Kuwait, along with smuggling weapons and explosives and stashing them in our neighborhoods. We cannot stand by while an armed and dangerous terrorist organization has its way in country after country, and we continue to urge all our friends and allies to recognize Hezbollah for what it really is, a terrorist organization.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is of course the prime culprit, it has built a network of surrogates wherever it can in the region and beyond, reaching as far as west Africa and Latin America, and at any moment, it could call on its surrogates to violence and destruction. We see this in Yemen clearly, we see it in Syria as well. And we continue to experience Iranian sabotage and terror in our own country.

When we look at Iran, we see a stark difference between Iran as a country with a proud people and a rich culture and history and the Islamic Republic as a regime, that impedes the progress of Iran and prioritizes regional expansion to the welfare of their own people. We see clearly what might have been and what could be achieved in terms of economic, trade, and cultural ties. Should Iran stop attempting to export its revolution and return to the fold of responsible members of the international community, the entire region will benefit....



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