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  Middle East & Africa
Manama Dialogue to discuss global security matters
Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa greetsSheikh Abdullah at the airport .

Top politicians and government officials from across the world will gather in Bahrain for the annual Regional Security Summit — the Manama Dialogue on Dec.7. The purpose of the summit will be to discuss global security matters. The first time such a gathering was held was in 2004, in Manama.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan arrived here to participate in the Dialogue, being held under the patronage of Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Bahrain's Crown Prince and Commander in Chief of Bahrain Defence Force.

Sheikh Abdullah was received at the airport by Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, senior officials and Abdul Aziz Hadif Al Shamsi, UAE Ambassador to Bahrain.

Addressing the forum, Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa described the gathering as important in view of the current geo-political challenges faced by the Gulf region.

"In order to deal with the impeding challenges, there is a need for concerted policies. More importantly, it requires coordination among governments and peoples of the region," said Sheikh Khalid.

Organised by the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Manama Dialogue will look to provide a forum for the national security establishments of the participating states to exchange views on regional security challenges. The IISS holds the summit to create a stage where multilateral diplomacy can do its work.

In February 2007, IISS signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Bahrain government to conduct the Manama Dialogue annually through to 2011.

Delegations from 23 governments attend the summit. The American delegation is led by US Defence Secretary Robert Gates.

There will also be private bilateral and multilateral meetings. Issues at the public plenary sessions include, ‘The United States and the regional balance of power; Iran, Iraq and Saudi Arabia; Energy and regional security; territorial integrity, borders and Gulf security; Iraq and the neighbourhood; and regional framework for Gulf security.
(Emirates News Agency, WAM).






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