HM king receives senior Manama Dialogue participants

Manama, His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa has today received, at Al-Sakhir Palace, senior participants in the 14th Manama Dialogue, annually organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), in cooperation with the Foreign Ministry.

HM the King welcomed the high-level participants in the 2018 IISS Manama Dialogue. He then delivered the following keynote speech on this occasion.

It is my great pleasure to welcome you all to Bahrain for the 14th Manama Dialogue. For 60 years, IISS has advanced global stability and promoted peace � and we in Bahrain are proud to support this work. Given its history and reputation, the Institute has a unique ability to attract the world's most respected figures, be they government ministers or senior military, intelligence officers or key thinkers. We extend our sincere thanks to Dr. John Chipman and his team for arranging this summit in Bahrain each year.

We are also delighted that the IISS Middle East office has its first Bahraini Executive Director. Although he is British, Lieutenant-General Sir Tom Beckett was born and grew up in Bahrain. We welcome him home and wish him every success.

Distinguished friends, the Middle East faces a range of threats which are profound, complex and wide-reaching. Beyond the ever-present dangers of extremism and terrorism, we must confront piracy on our seas, people trafficking across our borders, nuclear proliferation and cyber warfare. When distorted ideologies meet modern technologies, a grave challenge is presented to us all.

The challenges we face must be outmatched by our collective determination to defeat them. Bahrain is proud to host the Dialogue not only for the calibre of its participants and the quality of its debate, but for the spirit of optimism that is found here. We believe that through meaningful collaboration, like-minded nations in the GCC and beyond can find a new path through old difficulties.

It is my sincere wish that this year's Dialogue throws a fresh light on the challenges we face across the region, and that the path it illuminates is one of hope, harmony and peace.

Source: Bahrain News Agency