SOS Hillary Rodham Clinton to Travel to Bahrain in December
There is more travel in Secretary Clinton’s immediate future. She will be heading the US delegation to the Manama Dialogue hosted by the International Institute for Strategic Studies
US Secretary of state Hilary Clinton will head the US delegation to the Manama Dialogue, the annual conference on security held in Bahrain in December, a senior official said.
“In Washington earlier this month, I was delighted to learn that it is the intention of the US Secretary of state Hilary Clinton to lead a very significant and broad-ranging delegation to the 2010 Manama Dialogue to be held this December,” John Chipman, the head of the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) and co-sponsor of the conference, said. “The Manama Dialogue is now in its seventh year and maturing, into the only region-wide forum that encourages active defence and security diplomacy between the key actors of this Gulf region, its immediate Middle East neighbours, and the powers of North America, Europe and Asia who have a growing stake in this vibrant area,” Chipman said at the opening of the IISS-Middle East in Bahrain, yesterday.
The office is set to serve as a base for the institute’s research programmes and activities throughout the region, as well as be a connection to IISS initiatives in Europe, North America and Asia.
Hilary Clinton’s participation in the conference will be the first by a senior US civil official since it was first held in December 2004.
The US has been traditionally represented by military officials, mainly Defence Secretary Robert Gates who used the high-profile gathering to highlight his country’s policy in the region.
Iran has also used the Manama Dialogue to emphasise its policy towards the countries in the area and press for the departure of foreign powers. However, Iran missed the international get-together in 2007 and 2008, but attended last year.
“I hope that the work of the IISS-Middle East in Bahrain can help us understand more deeply how best to address the numerous challenges we face,” Shaikh Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, Bahrain’s foreign minister, said. “This will help us ultimately bring about peace, security, stability and prosperity to the whole region while safeguarding the key tenets of our society and values: an open market economy, an open society that ensures economic and social development, the importance of democracy, the rule of law, and civic rights and freedoms.”
According to the veteran diplomat, the Bahrain office will a remarkable research centre where “independent, high-quality research and analysis, and candid discussions with visiting dignitaries, thinkers, business leaders and fellows will be of tremendous value in helping to inform thinking and future strategies on geopolitical and strategic issues.”