A speech held after horse races in England on Sunday 12 May which King Hamad was present for. It’s an interesting talk harkening back to the long relationship Bahrain and Britain have enjoyed. Propaganda, surely, but an interesting speech. Certainly, there are some interesting points he seems to suggest:
On Britain’s withdrawal from the gulf – a unilateral decision – which my father said: “Why? No one asked you to go!” In fact, for all practical and strategic purposes, the British presence has not changed and it remains such that we believe we shall never be without it.
What exactly is King Hamad saying here? Is he suggesting that Bahrain is still directly under the influence of Britain? Again he mentions:
Especially in the field of Defence, where we are each seeking to expand the British presence in our country to mutual advantage. To that end, we signed a new defence-cooperation accord in October last year.
Then there is:
At the same time there are some 9000 permanent British residents in Bahrain, making a major contribution to the prosperity of the kingdom, as they have always done. Indeed, I am proud to say that by due legal process, we have granted Bahraini nationality to 240 British citizens as they themselves had requested, and whose loyal service had more than justified.
240 British residents have been granted Bahraini nationality. It is a clear sign of the friendly relations between Britain and Bahrain.