British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, who signed the deal at a security conference in Manama, Bahrain, said it was “just one example of our growing partnership with Gulf partners to tackle shared strategic and regional threats”. He said the move “builds upon our 30-year track record of [Persian] Gulf patrols”.
According to reports, this would be one of the most important Royal Navy bases in the world and would be used for a “whole host of things” including supporting UK operations in Iraq. British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon added: “This new base is a permanent expansion of the Royal Navy’s footprint and will enable Britain to send more and larger ships to reinforce stability in the [Persian] Gulf.”
Bahrain’s foreign minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Khalifa said: “Bahrain looks forward to the early implementation of today’s arrangement and to continuing to work with the UK and other partners to address threats to regional security.”