Main Page | See live article | Alphabetical index

Foreign relations of Bahrain

Bahrain plays a modest, moderating role in regional politics and adheres to the views of the Arab League on Middle East peace and Palestinian rights. Since achieving independence in 1971, Bahrain has maintained friendly relations with most of its neighbors and with the world community. It generally pursues a policy of close consultation with neighboring states and works to narrow areas of disagreement.

Bahrain is a member of the GCC, established on May 26, 1981 with five other Gulf states. The country has fully complied with steps taken by the GCC to coordinate economic development and defense and security planning. In December 1994, it concurred with the GCC decision to drop secondary and tertiary boycotts against Israel. In many instances, it has established special bilateral trade agreements. During the Gulf war, Bahraini pilots flew strikes in Iraq, and the island was used as a base for military operations in the Gulf.

Bahrain-Iran relations have been strained since the Iranian revolution and the 1981 discovery of a planned Iran-sponsored coup in Bahrain. Bahraini suspicions of the Iranian role in local unrest in the mid-1990s remain. However, with the decline of Iraq as a regional powerbroker, Bahrain has begun taking steps to improve relations with Iran and increase regional harmony. These efforts have included encouraging Bahrain-Iran trade.

Disputes - international: the territorial dispute with Qatar over the Hawar Islands and the maritime boundary dispute with Qatar were solved by the International Court of Justice (ICJ)


Much of the material in this article comes from the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the 2003 U.S. Department of State website.

See also : Bahrain