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Bahrain ready to join US-led efforts ‘to protect Gulf navigation’

Bahrain ready to join US-led efforts ‘to protect Gulf navigation’

Bahrain said on Monday it would join US-led efforts to protect shipping in the Gulf amid tensions between Washington and Tehran.

Bahrain’s King Hamad voiced his country’s appreciation of the “US role in supporting regional security and stability” during a meeting with US Central Command (CENTCOM) chief General Kenneth McKenzie, AFP reported, citing state media.

The king confirmed Bahrain’s participation in the joint effort “to preserve the safety of international maritime navigation and secure international corridors for trade and energy,” according to the official Bahrain News Agency. The US has been seeking to form a coalition to guarantee freedom of navigation in the Gulf, but European countries have declined to join.

Bahrain, which hosts the US Fifth Fleet, said last month that it would also co-host a conference with the US on “maritime and air navigation security,” set for October.