Bahrain’s Interior Minister: ‘Qatar Government’s Policy Threatens GCC Security’

Manama- Bahrain’s Interior Minister Lieutenant General Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said that Qatar poses a threat to the security of Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries as it adopts a discrete policy and harbors extremist and terrorist elements.

“There are many facts that condemn the Qatari behavior, such as the attempted assassination of the King of Saudi Arabia, the coup in the UAE and support of conspirators to overthrow the regime in Bahrain. Thankfully, these attempts have failed, and if they had not, their consequences would have been grave,” Al Khalifa said.

He pointed out that Qatar continues to interfere in Bahrain’s internal affairs and spy on its security and military apparatuses, which threatens the country’s national security.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Khalifa added that Qatar also has naturalized a number of Bahraini families, affecting Bahrain’s social security; it has prevented the export of gas to Manama, forcing Bahrain to import it from Russia although Qatar exports it to different countries around the world; and it also disrupted the construction of a bridge between Bahrain and Qatar by not providing its share of the Gulf support program like its GCC counterparts.

On the Iranian interventions in Bahrain’s internal affairs, Khalifa said that the most important forms of the Iranian intervention in his country’s affairs are exporting extremist ideology, smuggling of weapons and explosives, spreading explosives-manufacturing technology and training Bahraini nationals to use weapons, explosives and field skills in order to support terrorism in Bahrain.

He noted that terrorist operations are managed by people who have fled and are present in Iran, confirming that his country has strengthened security capabilities in various aspects to face such challenges.

These interventions include the hostile statements made by Iranian officials at all levels.

“Iranian satellite channels and media have been working around the clock to spread hatred, malicious rumors and distort facts to serve their agenda in the region,” he said.

Khalifa replied to the question on how Bahrain is facing these interventions by confirming that it is redoubling the efforts of the security services in uncovering terrorist cells, identifying their sources and methods of work and arresting elements involved in terrorist operations that led to the death and injury of many Bahraini security personnel.

When asked about the security situation in Bahrain these days, Khalifa said that “despite security challenges facing the region, the security situation in Bahrain is stable in general due to the wisdom and leadership of the king, the efforts exerted by the government, the great sacrifices made by security men and the cooperation and awareness shown by citizens and residents to maintain security.”

“Every society faces its own security challenges, and here comes the role of the security institution to point out these challenges and take the necessary measures under the rule of law to eliminate it,” the interior minister explained.