Update on Bahrain from Minister for the Middle East & South Asia

Thu, Mar 17, 2011

foreign policy

17 March 2011

Dear Colleague, 

Further to my previous messages on Libya, I thought it would be helpful to send you an update on the situation in Bahrain and what action the British Government is taking.

On the consular side, our travel advice is today advising British nationals against all travel to Bahrain and recommending that all those without a pressing need to remain should leave. Commercial flights continue to operate out of Bahrain International Airport, and the British Government has chartered additional flights today to Dubai and London. We have deployed a Rapid Deployment Team (RDT) to Manama to assist British Nationals wishing to leave, and our Embassy continues to function with reinforced staffing. We are in contact with British nationals in Bahrain through our LOCATE system, facebook and our website. Please refer constituents to www.fco.gov.uk for the latest travel advice and contact details for consular assistance.

On the political side, we are concerned by reports on the ground of violence and the arrest of opposition figures. We are publicly urging all security forces in the country not to use violence against demonstrators, and urging demonstrators not to engage in provocative or intimidating actions.  The Prime Minister has spoken to the King to emphasise that violence is unacceptable and counter-productive whether from protestors, vigilante groups, or security forces.  The dialogue on reform initiated by the Bahraini Government should continue, and we are encouraging both sides to begin dialogue as soon as possible. We are in close contact with the US, EU and other partners, and are also speaking regularly with Gulf states at all levels.

If I can be of any further assistance, do contact me directly. We will continue to keep colleagues informed.

 

Kind regards

 

Alistair Burt

Office of Alistair Burt | Member of Parliament for NE Bedfordshire | Minister

for the Middle East & South Asia | Foreign and Commonwealth Office

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