HMS Defender Hosts Bahraini Royalty to mark Bicentenary

A Royal Navy warship has hosted His Royal Highness, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Bahrain, Simon Martin CMG, to launch the year of 200th anniversary celebrations of Bahrain-UK relations.

The event was an opportunity for HMS Defender to demonstrate her capability to guests, especially His Royal Highness Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Visitors were invited to the Operations Room to see Defender’s Operations Team in action, controlling the air space and demonstrating how, if required, she would defend herself and the Task Group against potential attack.

After the Capability Demonstration, His Royal Highness Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa said the Bahrain-UK relationship was built on mutual respect and a shared pursuit of safety, stability and prosperity for both nations.

“This year’s 200th anniversary of Bahrain-UK relations marks a significant milestone in our countries’ deep-rooted relationship,” he said.

“It is a relationship committed to mutual respect and a shared pursuit of safety, stability and prosperity for our peoples. It is particularly apt that we begin our celebrations aboard the impressive HMS Defender, as strong naval ties have underpinned our 200-year relationship.”

His Excellency Simon Martin thanked His Royal Highness Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa for attending the event and for the crucial role he plays in further strengthening ties between the UK and Bahrain.

He added: “Our two countries share a long and special history and our relations span a huge array of shared interests which benefit both our countries and their peoples.

“This bicentenary offers an excellent opportunity to celebrate and to develop further this bilateral relationship.”

Bahrain is a key ally in the Middle East; it is home to the Headquarters of the United Kingdom Maritime Component Command (UKMCC) and the planned opening of the Mina Salman Support Facility reaffirms the UK’s determination to work with Bahrain to maintain security and stability in the region.

HMS Defender is undertaking a prominent role in promoting regional stability in the Middle East and keeping the world’s sea lanes open to all-important global trade.

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