Diplomatic Briefing

Your exclusive news aggregator handpicked daily!

Archive for Bahrain

Newsline: Israel’s secret embassy in Bahrain

Israel has been conducting undercover diplomacy in Bahrain for more than a decade through a front company listed as a commercial consulting firm. The existence of the covert diplomatic mission in the Bahraini capital Manama shows the depth of a secret relationship that came out into the open with a White House ceremony last month. Negotiations over a potential secret diplomatic mission started in 2007-2008 through a series of secret meetings between Israel’s then-foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, and her Bahraini counterpart, Khaled Bin Ahmad al-Khalifa. Their close relationship, along with a decision by regional rival Qatar to shut down Israel’s diplomatic mission in Doha, convinced the Bahrainis to approve the opening of a secret Israeli mission in Manama, Israeli officials say. (https://www.axios.com/israel-secret-embassy-bahrain-d5cd012a-51a7-40bc-a7a3-6426ffa15dcf.html) On July 13, 2009, a company named “The Center for International Development” was registered in Bahrain. It was a front, providing cover for Israeli diplomacy. According to Bahraini public records, the company offered marketing, commercial promotion and investment services. The front company changed its name in 2013. And the front company was in fact hiring a very specific type of employee: Israeli diplomats with dual nationality. The Israeli diplomats all had cover stories, backed up by unconvincing LinkedIn profiles. A small group of Bahraini officials was aware of the secret mission. The secret mission really did promote hundreds of business deals struck by Israeli companies in Bahrain. It also served as a secret communications channel for the Israeli government. On Sunday in Manama, minutes after the signing of a joint communique on establishing diplomatic relations, an Israeli official handed the Bahraini Foreign Minister a note with a request to open a genuine embassy in Manama. The infrastructure is already largely in place thanks to the secret mission, Israeli officials say. “All we have to do is change the sign on the door,” one told Axios.

Newsline: Bahraini dissident says embassy staff in London tried to kill him

A Bahraini dissident has filed a formal complaint with police in the United Kingdom, claiming that staff at the Bahraini embassy in London tried to murder him. Moosa Mohammed climbed to the top of the embassy in July to protest against the imminent executions of two anti-government activists in Bahrain. (https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2019/11/bahraini-dissident-embassy-staff-kill-191120070419148.html) He says staff tried to push him off the roof then began the process of trying to kill him inside.

Newsline: Bahraini activist feared becoming a ‘second Khashoggi’ at London embassy

A Bahraini activist who scaled the country’s embassy in London has said he feared becoming a “second Khashoggi” after allegedly being attacked by embassy staff. Moosa Mohammed, who is based in the UK, climbed to the top of the Bahraini embassy on 26 July to protest the executions of Bahrainis Ali al-Arab and Ahmad al-Malali, who Manama put to death following what rights groups have said were confessions extracted through torture. UK police later broke into the embassy to save Mohammed after his cries were heard coming from the rooftop, as embassy staff allegedly beat him with wooden planks and threatened his life. A staff member reportedly told Mohammed that they had “two people being executed in Bahrain and you will be the third”. (https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/bahraini-activist-feared-becoming-second-khashoggi-after-embassy-staff-threats) “While one of them pinned his knee against the back of my neck, another soaked my T-shirt in a puddle and held it over my face, attempting to suffocate me,” said Mohammed, according to new comments released by the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD).

Newsline: Bahrain recalls ambassador to Iraq over embassy attack

Bahrain recalled its ambassador to Iraq for consultations after demonstrators broke into the courtyard of the kingdom’s embassy in Baghdad and took down the flag to protest a U.S.-led meeting in Bahrain on Israeli-Palestinian peace. (https://www.reuters.com/article/us-israel-palestinians-plan-bahrain/bahrain-recalls-ambassador-to-iraq-over-embassy-attack-statement-idUSKCN1TS36F) “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Bahrain condemns the attack on the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the Republic of Iraq by the demonstrators (which) led to sabotage in the embassy building,” said a statement on the ministry’s website.

Newsline: Bahrain says work in Syria embassy ‘continuing’ after UAE move

Bahrain has announced that “work is continuing” at its embassy in Syria, day after the UAE reopened its own diplomatic mission in the country. The Bahraini embassy in the Syrian capital, Damascus, was closed following the start of a popular uprising against President Bashar al-Assad in 2011, which escalated into a brutal and multifaceted war that has killed hundreds of thousands of people, displaced millions and destroyed the country’s infrastructure. The Bahraini Foreign Ministry made the announcement in a statement on its website on Friday, saying it was “anxious to continue relations” with Syria and wants to “strengthen the Arab role and reactivate it in order to preserve the independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and prevent the risk of regional interference in its affairs”. Syria’s embassy in the Bahraini capital, Manama, is also operational and flights between the two countries are set to resume, according to the ministry statement.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2018/12/bahrain-work-syria-embassy-continuing-uae-move-181228061159563.html

Newsline: Bahrain summons Iraqi diplomat

Bahrain’s Foreign Ministry summoned the deputy charge d’affaires of the embassy of Iraq to denounce footage of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki criticising Manama’s crackdown on the Shi’ite opposition. Maliki who now heads an Iraqi coalition called “the State of Law”, attended a meeting last week organised by the February 14 movement, a Bahraini activist group which Manama designated a terrorist group in 2014. “Discrimination, marginalisation … have reached a severe limit on the people of Bahrain,” Maliki said according to videos from the event published by Iraqi media. He was quoted as urging dialogue with those “demanding freedom and justice” to protect Bahrain and Bahrain’s people, Sunnis and Shi’ites. Bahrain described Maliki’s statements as “blatant and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of Bahrain”, state news agency (BNA) reported. Iraq’s Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment but it was expected to issue a statement. Bahrain, like Iraq, is a flashpoint for the proxy-war between the two regional arch-rivals Sunni Saudi Arabia and Shi’ite Iran.

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/world/bahrain-summons-iraqi-diplomat-over-criticism-from-ex-pm-maliki-11060014

Newsline: Man on hunger strike outside Bahrain embassy in London

An activist who has been on hunger strike for four weeks to protest against the Bahraini government’s treatment of his imprisoned father has asked Britain’s Queen for help. Ali Mushaima began his protest outside Bahrain’s embassy in Knightsbridge, London on 1 August over the detention of his 70-year-old father, opposition leader Hassan Mushaima, whom rights groups say is being denied proper medical care. Hassan was arrested in 2011 along with dozens of other Shia leaders over his role in anti-government protests during the height of the Arab Spring uprisings across the region.

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/queen-protest-hunger-strike-ali-mushaima-hassan-mushaima-bahrain-embassy-a8503351.html

Newsline: Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt break diplomatic ties with Qatar

Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt on Monday broke diplomatic relations and all land sea and air contacts with fellow Gulf Arab state Qatar, accusing it of supporting “terrorism and extremism”. Saudi Arabia’s state news agency said the kingdom had decided to sever diplomatic and consular relations with Qatar “proceeding from the exercise of its sovereign right guaranteed by international law and the protection of national security from the dangers of terrorism and extremism”. It urged “all brotherly countries and companies to do the same.”

http://www.trtworld.com/mea/saudi-arabia-uae-bahrain-and-egypt-break-ties-with-qatar-372298

Newsline: Bahrain to set up embassy in Malaysia

Bahrain will set up an embassy in Malaysia to strengthen ties between the two countries. A Malaysia-Bahrain High Joint Commission co-chaired by the two nations’ foreign ministers will also be set up to serve as an umbrella framework for this bilateral cooperation. Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said the historic state visit to Malaysia by the King of Bahrain, King Hamad Isa Al Khalifa, had taken the cordial relationship between both countries to a higher level and paved the way for a greater exchange of technical, scientific and technological expertise, as well as security and defence coordination.

http://www.thestar.com.my/news/nation/2017/05/04/bahrain-to-set-up-embassy-here-manama-and-kl-seek-to-further-strengthen-bilateral-ties/

Newsline: Kerry calls Bahrain foreign minister over expulsion of US official

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry expressed his deep concern to Bahrain Foreign Minister Khaled al-Khalifa over the expulsion of a U.S. diplomat for meeting with an opposition leader and over charges brought against the politician. A senior State Department official said Kerry, who was in Vienna for talks between Iran and major powers over curbing Tehran’s nuclear program, spoke by telephone with the Bahraini minister. Bahrain expelled Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, last week, saying he had “intervened flagrantly” in the country’s internal affairs by holding the meeting. Kerry “reiterated our view that the Government of Bahrain’s demand to have a Foreign Ministry representative present at private meetings between U.S. diplomats and Bahraini political figures is an unacceptable requirement that runs contrary to international diplomatic protocol,” the official said. The official said Kerry told the Bahraini minister that “our actions should be consistent with our strong bilateral relationship.” Bahrain is one of Washington’s main regional allies and hosts the headquarters of the U.S. Fifth Fleet. But the Gulf state has bristled at American criticism over its human rights record since suppressing a popular uprising in 2011. The U.S. State Department summoned a senior envoy from Bahrain – the charge d’affaires of its embassy in Washington – to formally protest Malinowski’s expulsion.

http://www.turkishweekly.net/news/169167/kerry-calls-bahrain-minister-over-expulsion-of-us-official.html