The King of Bahrain has added his voice to the growing wave of criticism sweeping the Middle East at Washington’s handling, or not, of the crisis management process in the Gulf.
Leaders of both countries declared that “We express our determined opposition to any unilateral military action against Iraq” as Sheikh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa completed a visit to supreme Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Teheran. The voice of Bahrain’s leader is particularly important since his nation is host to the US Fifth Fleet.
The leaders expressed their solidarity with the people of Iraq and called on the leadership in Baghdad to respect UN Resolutions, as Baghdad continues to refuse unconditional access of the UN weapons inspection team UNMOVIC (United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission).
Ayatollah Khamenei decpared that “The propaganda campaign about an attack on Iraq is flagrant arrogance”, adding that “The Islamic world must take an appropriate position on this issue” and warning that “any incident in this region will be extremely prejudicial for whoever provokes it”.
King Hamad’s visit highlights the growing diplomatic influence of Teheran in the region, after the visit of Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Saud al-Faisal and the Omani FM Yussef bin Alawi bin Abdullah.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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