Bahrain is a core partner in the Abraham Accords and will continue to play a key role in securing stability in the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region, a top UK MP affirmed last night.
Former UK defence and trade secretary Dr Liam Fox, who is also chairman of the UK Abraham Accords Group, asserted that tackling Iranian threats and interference in the region remains a top priority, despite the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
“During this first-ever trip by the UK Abraham Accords group, we wanted to show that Bahrain remains our equal partner in the long-term stability and prosperity of the region,” Dr Fox told the GDN in an exclusive interview during his visit to the kingdom.
“At a time of great uncertainty, especially with the Russia-Ukraine conflict, the Iran threat and its interference in this region is even more important as it continues to destabilise its neighbours.
”Dr Fox went on to note that the risk that Iran poses has not been forgotten and the ongoing conflict underlines how energy and national security are intertwined.Noting the pitfalls of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), he said the nuclear deal with Iran only served to slow down the country’s nuclear proliferation, instead of preventing it.
However, going forward, the Abraham Accords could be a break from recent history, making the issue of Palestine and Israel the priority.“The Abraham Accords take a much more mature view of regional politics, saying that if we can spread prosperity and stability to the whole of the region, it opens up new political options,” Dr Fox added.
The UK Abraham Accords Group is a non-partisan non-profit UK organisation dedicated to the implementation and expansion of the peace agreements signed in August 2020 between Israel, the UAE, Bahrain and the US to move towards normalisation of relations with Tel Aviv.
Dr Fox sees a collective increase in affluence and trade between Israel and the Middle East as the key to overcoming the political divide, going on to note that a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict remains the top priority for the UK.
Bahrain’s model of peaceful coexistence and its small Jewish community could play a big role in uniting the region and making the Accords successful in the long-term.
“The Jewish community in Bahrain and His Majesty King Hamad’s model of peaceful coexistence could provide the ideal model for the rest of the region to emulate,” he added.
This regional unity is crucial to confronting the threat of Iran as well as other concerns like energy security and environmental sustainability, Dr Fox emphasised.
During his visit to Bahrain, the MP will continue to meet various top-level leaders to tackle geopolitical, economic and security issues.
Dr Fox will be joined by Lord John Walney, who formerly served as a Labour MP on the Parliamentary Labour Party’s Defence and Foreign Affairs committees, and as a member of the House of Commons Defence Committee, and they will be in the kingdom until tomorrow.
Conversations will include progress on the Abraham Accords, trade with the UK, and concerns surrounding Iran and the JCPOA.
Yesterday, Defence Minister Lieutenant-General Abdulla Al Nuaimi met Dr Fox, as part of the British MP’s itinerary to sit down with government ministers, business leaders and members of the long-established Jewish community in Bahrain.