Bahrain / by Alistair Galloway

Bahraini authorities claimed to uncover an international terrorist cell planning assassination attempts in the Kingdom and accused Iran of backing the terrorists. The Iranian government issued statements in response to the accusations. The League of Arab States expressed support for Bahrain in all of its counter-terrorism efforts. The Kingdom continues to garner scrutiny regarding its human rights record The Bahraini government took steps to ban the main opposition party and transfer many civilian judicial cases to military court. Bangladeshi Embassy in Bahrain issued a temporary ban on its nationals entering the country until workers’ rights were addressed. A number of Indian workers in Bahrain also appealed to their government for assistance regarding workers’ rights. The Trump administration told Congress it plans to move forwarded with a billion-dollar arms deal with Bahrain despite human rights violations warranting backlash from groups like Amnesty international. The British government was also scrutinized for not backing a joint United Nations Statement criticising Bahrain’s human rights record. Bahrain’s parliament extended an invitation to UN Human Rights Chief for an unrestricted visit after he made a statement regarding human rights in the Kingdom. A major military training exercise with Egypt, the UAE, and Bahrain commenced. Strong ties between Jordan, the UAE, and Egypt prevail as leaders made statements in support of Bahrain. Saudi Arabia and Bahrain signed nine agreements to carry out projects relating to water, housing, infrastructure, and electricity estimated to be worth around SR 1 billion. The Sixth Bahrain- Turkish Joint Committee convened in Ankara. A delegation of business men from Gulf nations arrived in Islamabad for the Pakistan-Bahrain Business Opportunities Conference. The Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) seeks to make Bahrain a fintech hub with the help of Singapore. Bahrain Bourse (BHB) celebrated the launch of the Bahrain Investment Market (BIM). Bahrain’s tourist industry is rapidly growing and is expected to reach $1 billion by 2020.