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Construction of British Military Base in Persian Gulf Underway in Bahrain

© AP Photo / Hasan JamaliIn this picture taken Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, an unidentified British sailor works aboard the British Royal Navy's HMS Atherstone in the Persian Gulf. More than 30 nations are participating in an exercise responding to simulated sea-mine attacks in international waters _ a demonstration of international resolve to ensure maritime security in the strategic but volatile region.
In this picture taken Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, an unidentified British sailor works aboard the British Royal Navy's HMS Atherstone in the Persian Gulf. More than 30 nations are participating in an exercise responding to simulated sea-mine attacks in international waters _ a demonstration of international resolve to ensure maritime security in the strategic but volatile region. - Sputnik International
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The foreign ministers of the United Kingdom and Bahrain have laid the cornerstone of Britain’s first permanent military base in the former British colony since the 1970s, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported on Saturday.

MANAMA, (Sputnik) – "The presence of the Royal Navy in Bahrain is guaranteed into the future, ensuring Britain’s sustained presence east of Suez," British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said at the ceremony alongside Bahraini Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa.

A Bahraini man walks past a display that reads, national dialogue in Arabic and English. - Sputnik International
Defense or Truth: Fears UK May Block Bahrain Cable Over Naval Base Plans
Hammond, who last year announced construction of Britain’s first Royal Navy facility in the Persian Gulf since 1971, said the opening of the base is planned for next year. Bahrain declared independence from the UK in 1971.

Khalifa, meanwhile, said the new Royal Navy base aims to uphold regional security and is not aimed against a specific state.

Speaking at last year’s IISS Manama Dialogue where construction of the base was announced, Hammond said the new Royal Navy facility would accommodate Britain’s two new aircraft carriers and F-35 stealth fighters.

Four of Britain’s minesweepers are currently based at the US Navy base in the port of Mina Salman.

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