Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Discuss Expansion of Defense Ties
Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are examining prospects for expanding defense cooperation, according to a Sunday report by Middle East Newslink (MENL).
The report said that Saudi defense chiefs met their Bahrain counterparts and discussed the issue on the sidelines of a US-Arab command exercise in Manama. The exercise ended on Wednesday.
The talks were headed by Saudi Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Salen Bin Ali Al Muhaya and his Bahraini counterpart, Lt. Gen. Abdullah Bin Salman Al Khalifa, according to MENL.
The Bahraini chief of staff said his military had close relations with the Saudi military and expressed hope that coordination would be increased.
Saudi Arabia has helped train Bahraini military personnel in such fields as aircraft maintenance and operations. Both militaries are based on Western platforms, but the Saudi air force is built on F-15s while Bahrain relies on the F-16, said the report.
Saudi Arabia approved a Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) defense treaty in early May.
Riyadh the was the latest member of the Gulf Cooperation Council to approve the treaty. Under the treaty, GCC members pledge to defend each other from outside military threats.
The six-member GCC signed the defense accord in December in Manama.
The Saudi approval is expected to clear the way for full ratification of the pact – Albawaba.com