Egypt and Bahrain
Sunday، 23 October 2016 12:00 AM
Egyptian-Bahraini relations are distinguished by their stability and strengths, as Bahrain was one of the first countries who supported June 30 Revolution. The Bahraini King has been always keen on attending all Egyptian important events. He attended the inauguration ceremony of President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and Suez Canal opening ceremony, and participated in The Arab Summit that was headed by Egypt. On one hand, the Bahraini monarch visited Egypt three times under the rule of El Sisi, and on the other hand, President El Sisi visited Bahrain in October 2015 and May 2017.
On the political level, Egypt and Bahrain have a unified vision towards the issues in the region. They encourage a Middle East free of mass destruction weapons and agree on applying unified standards on all countries with no exceptions. They also support the Palestinian legitimate struggle, ending occupation and establishing an independent state. Both Egypt and Bahrain seek to maintain Iraqi sovereignty, political independence and unity. The two countries also promote the exerted efforts to calm down the situation in Darfur region and urge the international community to support the Sudanese government to enhance its capacities to be able to face the situation in Darfur.
On the economic level, Egyptian-Bahraini trade exchange agreements go back to 1982. The Agreement to Facilitate and Develop Trade among Arab States was signed within the context of the League of Arab States activities. The trade exchange volume with Bahrain reached $ 160.35mn in 2016. Food, cosmetics, furniture, cotton, Ceramics, iron, machines and materials are on the top of Egypt’s exports list to Bahrain. The top Bahraini exports to Egypt are oil, plastic products, Aluminum and its products, cleaning products and iron and steel.
The Bahraini investments in Egypt are ranked the 14th in the list of countries investing in Egypt.
Egypt - Bahrain relations are unique on the Arab scale. Both have a unified vision concerning the issues in the region. They encourage a Middle East free of mass destruction weapons and agree on applying unified standards on all countries with no exceptions. They also support the Palestinian legitimate struggle, ending occupation and establishing an independent state. Both Egypt and Bahrain seek to maintain Iraqi sovereignty, political independence and unity. The two countries they also promote the exerted efforts to calm the situation in Darfur region and urge the international community to offer the needed support for the Sudanese government to enhance its abilities and face the situation in Darfur.
In the framework of Egypt’s support to Bahrain in combating terrorism, Egypt condemned in a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the terrorist bombings in Manama on the 2nd of October 2017, which caused injury for a number of policemen.
The FM statement expressed Egypt’s government and people condolences to the Kingdom of Bahrain. It was highlighted in the statement that Egypt supports Bahrain in confronting violence and terrorism. It was also stressed that Egypt trusts the Bahraini government to surpass and face these incidents which aim at terrorizing innocent people and disturb security and stability of the society.
The foreign ministers of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain met in Cairo on July 5, 2017 for consultations over the current efforts being exerted to stop the support that the State of Qatar provides for terrorism and extremism , its interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries and the subsequent threats of the Qatari policies on the Arab national security and international peace and security .
The four countries confirmed their stance which is based on commitment to all international agreements, conventions and resolutions along with the well-established principles of the charters of United Nations, the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and agreements on fighting international terrorism .
The following principles were highlighted :
1- Commitment to fighting terrorism and extremism in all their forms and preventing their funding or providing safe havens for terrorists
2- Stopping all acts of instigation and the discourse of hatred or violence
3- Full commitment to Riyadh agreement for the year 2013 and its supplementary agreement and its mechanism of implementation for the year 2014 within the framework of the Gulf Cooperation Council
4- Commitment to the outcome of the Arab-Islamic-American Summit that was held in Riyadh in May 2017 .
5- Stopping interference in the internal affairs of other countries and stopping supporting outlawed entities
6- All countries of the international community are responsible for fighting all forms of terrorism and extremism as they constitute a threat to international peace and security
The four Arab countries confirmed that supporting terrorism and extremism and interference in the internal affairs of Arab countries do not tolerate any bargaining or procrastination. The demands that were presented to Qatar came within the framework of guaranteeing commitment to the six principles that were above mentioned and for protecting the Arab national security and maintaining the international peace and security along with fighting terrorism and extremism. These demands are also meant to provide a suitable atmosphere for hammering out a political settlement to regional crises as it became impossible to tolerate the destructive role undertaken by the State of Qatar.
The mutual visits of Egypt and Bahrain officials have a pivotal role in enhancing the political and sisterly relations between the two countries. They show how understanding the two countries are.
On 29/7/2017, Minister of Foreign Affairs Sameh Shoukry visited Kingdom of Bahrain to participate in the quartet ministerial meeting of countries fighting terrorism (Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain).
On 22/7/2017, Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Deputy King, Crown Prince of Bahrain visited Egypt to participate in the inauguration of “Mohamed Naguib Military Base” at the El Hamam city, west of Alexandria which is considered the largest military base in the Middle East and Africa.
On 2/5/2017, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi paid a visit to Baharin and King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa received him. Both leaders conferred and probed means of enhancing bilateral relations on all levels and discussed a number of regional issues of joint interest. Both sides agreed on enhancing the joint efforts to fight terrorism and stressed that the international community should cooperate to reach a political settlement for the crises in the region. Bahraini King Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al Khalifa bestowed on Egypt's President Abdel Fattah El Sisi the Issa bin Salman al Khalifa's Order of Merit-Excellence Class in appreciation of Egypt's continued support to Bahrain.
The multiple and reciprocal visits between the leaderships and officials of Egypt and Bahrain represent an important axis in the field of strengthening political and fraternal relations between the two countries, as these visits demonstrate the extent of the spirit of friendship and understanding between the two brotherly countries.
King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa made several official visits to Egypt during 2005, the first in March and the second in May of the same year, during which he discussed areas of cooperation and joint coordination between Egypt and Bahrain in various political and economic fields. He also participated in a tripartite summit with former President Mubarak and Jordanian King Abdullah II, which dealt with the overall situation in the region.
- The visit of the Bahraini King to Egypt during the tripartite Egyptian-Saudi-Bahraini summit on July 1, 2009, which was held in Sharm El-Sheikh within the framework of Arab support for the Egyptian efforts aimed at advancing the peace process.
- King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, the King of Bahrain, visited Egypt on 26/8/2010, confirming the depth of the close and strong fraternal relations between the peoples and leaders of the two countries and within the framework of the political will of the two countries aimed at strengthening and expanding the horizons of bilateral cooperation in addition to coordination And political consultation on the overall Arab and international situation.
- Former President Mubarak visited Bahrain, in December 2004, 16th February 2009, and 25th November 2010, within the framework of affirming support and declaring solidarity with the Kingdom of Bahrain.
These visits represented a form of strong cohesion and a profound indication of the depth of the brotherly and historical relations between the two brotherly countries.
They also dealt with developments in the Gulf, Arab and international levels, in addition to the efforts made to promote joint Arab action and issues of interest to the two countries.
It dealt with Arab issues, developments in the regional situation, efforts to revive the peace process, developments in the Arab arena, especially the Lebanese, Yemeni, and Sudanese file, and the security of the Gulf region, in light of the threat of escalation over the Iranian nuclear file As well as strengthening bilateral relations between Egypt and Bahrain, and discussing the situation of the Egyptian community there.
On 3rd October 2013, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, visited Egypt, where he was received by former President Adly Mansour, and their discussions dealt with ways to strengthen relations between the two countries in various fields.
On 8th June 2014, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, visited Egypt to participate in the ceremony of President Sisi's inauguration as President of the Republic.
- King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, visited Egypt 3 times during 2015, the first on 13rd March to attend support and develop the Egyptian economy conference, the second on 27th March to attend the Arab summit in its 26th session, and the third on 6th August to attend the new Suez Canal opening ceremony, the two sides discussed ways to support bilateral relations between the two countries and issues of common interest.
- On 30/10/2015 President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi visited Bahrain to participate in the eleventh session of the "Manama Dialogue Forum", received by the Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. The two sides reviewed the strong historical fraternal relations existing between the Kingdom of Bahrain and Egypt and means of supporting and strengthening them in all fields, and emphasized the importance of continuing consultation and continuous coordination between the two countries in a way that serves their interests and meets the aspirations of their brotherly peoples.
- On 26/4/2016, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, visited Egypt, and was received by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The two sides discussed means of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries at all levels, and following up the implementation of the results of the recent joint committee meetings between the two countries. The two sides also discussed a number of regional and international issues of common interest, and the two sides agreed on the need to strengthen joint efforts to combat terrorism, as well as the importance of concerting efforts of the international community in order to reach political solutions to the crises in some countries of the region, in a manner that preserves on the entities and institutions of these states, and to protect their territorial integrity and preserve the capabilities of their people.
President El-Sisi awarded King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa the "Nile Medal", which is considered the most prestigious Egyptian medal, in appreciation of the strong historical ties that bind the two countries, in addition to the noble stances taken by the King towards Egypt.
- On March 27, 2017, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, visited Egypt, and was received by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
The two sides discussed various aspects of the distinguished relations between the two countries, as well as a number of issues raised at the Arab summit scheduled to be held on March 29 in Jordan.
- On May 8, 2017, President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi visited Bahrain, received by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain.
The two sides discussed ways to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries at all levels, and a number of regional and international issues of common concern, as the two sides agreed on the need to strengthen joint efforts to combat terrorism, as well as the importance of concerting efforts of the international community in order to reach political settlements to the crises that arise which some countries in the region are witnessing this in a way that preserves the territorial integrity of those countries and preserves the capabilities of their people. King Hamad bin Isa granted President El-Sisi the Sheikh Isa Al Khalifa Medal, which is the highest Bahraini medal, in gratitude for Egypt's permanent support to Bahrain.
- On July 22, 2017, Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy King of Bahrain, visited Egypt to participate in the inauguration of the "Muhammad Najeeb Military Base" in the city of Hammam, west of Alexandria, which is the largest military base in the Middle East and Africa.
- On 30/8/2018, President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi visited Bahrain, and was received by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain.
The two sides also agreed to continue joint work to unify the Arab ranks and strengthen their solidarity for the benefit of the Arab nation and its peoples, and to confront efforts to destabilize and undermine their capabilities.
The President paid a visit to the Bahrain National Museum, which is the oldest museum in the Arab Gulf region and includes a rare archaeological collection discovered in many archaeological sites in Bahrain, bearing witness to the island’s history. The museum is also the culmination of the efforts made by the Kingdom of Bahrain to preserve the heritage and history of a civilization.
- On 12/5/2019, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of Bahrain, visited Egypt, and was received by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi. The two sides discussed ways to enhance joint Arab action in light of the challenges facing the nation at the present time, and to address attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of Arab countries, in addition to reviewing the latest developments in a number of regional files of interest to the two countries.
- On 7/11/2019, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, King of the Kingdom of Bahrain, visited Egypt, and was received by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
The two sides discussed the latest developments in the regional situation, and the meeting also touched on a number of crises that some Arab countries are going through, in addition to efforts to combat terrorism, extremist ideology and confront foreign interference, where consensus was reached on supporting efforts to reach political solutions to the various crises the region suffers from.
- On 7/6/2020, the Bahraini Foreign Ministry welcomed the new Egyptian initiative, affirming that Manama stands by all efforts made by Egypt in order to "preserve Arab national security and defend Arab interests and issues."
As part of Egypt's efforts to build bridges of cultural cooperation and intellectual communication with its Arab sisters, it has spared no effort to transfer its experience in documenting the cultural heritage through a protocol of cooperation to preserve the Arab, Islamic and cultural heritage between the Center for Documentation of Cultural and Natural Heritage of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and Isa Cultural Center in Bahrain. Egypt also welcomes the envoy of Egyptian experts to contribute to the development process in Bahrain in all fields.
On 25/4/2016, a delegation from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture headed by Dr. Kamelia Sobhy, Head of External Cultural Relations Sector, met with Mr. Hany Ali Gamal of the Bahrain Culture and Antiquities Authority and discussed ways of enhancing cooperation in the cultural field between the two countries.
The two sides agreed to continue the exchange of cultural delegations and expertise in various fields such as restoration, libraries, handicrafts and urban coordination, in addition to coordination with international cultural organizations.
The visit came within the framework of the distinguished relations between the Egyptian Ministry of Culture, chaired by the Minister of Culture and press writer Hilmi Al-Numnem and Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities, headed by Sheikha Mei Bint Mohammed Al-Khalifa.
The Executive Program for Cooperation between the Ministry of Information and the Ministry of Culture and Information of the Kingdom of Bahrain for the period 2009-2011 was signed with the aim of enhancing cooperation between the two countries in the fields of foreign media, radio and television, training and media qualification and exchange of experience and information.
On 9/10/2016, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi issued a decree approving the treatment of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as an Egyptian citizen in accordance with law 14 for 2012 concerning Sinai development. The decree is also related with the possession of lands and villas in Naama Bay in Sharm el Shiekh city for the purpose of residence.
Minister of Trade and Industry Tarek Qabil confirmed that enhancing the trade and economic relations between Egypt and the Arab countries is currently on the top of the ministry’s agenda, praising the deep economic and trade relations with Bahrain, which is considered one of the most important markets receiving Egyptian exports.
The minister pointed out that the volume of trade reached $160.35mn in 2016, noting that food, cosmetics, furniture, cotton, ceramics, iron, machines and materials are the top list of Egypt’s exports to Bahrain. The top Bahraini exports to Egypt are oil, plastic products, Aluminum and its products, cleaning products and iron and steel.
Concerning the Bahraini investment in Egypt, Qabil cited that the Bahraini investments in Egypt are ranked the 14th in the list of countries investing in Egypt.
Egypt and Bahrain seek to encourage the private sector to invest in tourism, so both countries signed an executive program of cooperation in the field of tourism encouraging businessmen and investors to establish joint touristic projects in the new tourism development areas and participate in the infrastructure projects.
King of Bahrain agreed in December 2009 to allocate a plot of land to build a permanent Egyptian trade center in Bahrain. This was announced during his meeting with the FM.
Implementation of joint training activities "Khaled Bin Al Waleed 2016" through elements of the Egyptian and Bahraini special forces on 19/12/2016, which lasted until 30 December, as part of the plan of joint exercises of the armed forces of both countries.
The Egyptian and Bahraini forces carried out for the first time a joint maritime-air maneuver (Hamad-1) on April 15, 2015, in which 4 Egyptian naval vessels and a number of F-16 fighter planes participated. Colonel Mohammed Abu Bakr al-Husseini, the Egyptian Defense Attaché in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, followed up the crossing of the maritime units through the Bab al-Mandab Strait en route to the Bahraini capital «Manama» .. The military experts confirmed that the establishment of a maneuver «Egyptian - Gulf» is a warning message to anyone who tries to violate the Arab security.
The joint air training activities "Basic Linking 2014" was concluded on 8/5/2014, and it was carried out by elements of the Egyptian Air Force and the Bahraini Royal Air Force in cooperation with 9 Arab and foreign countries, within the framework of coordination and cooperation with sisterly and friendly countries to unify visions and joint work in many areas to maintain security and stability in the region.