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Immediate Release

Readout of Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III's Meeting in Bahrain

Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder provided the following readout:
On December 19, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III met with His Majesty the King of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister, His Royal Highness Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and the Commander in Chief of Bahrain’s Defense Force, His Excellency Sheikh Khalifa bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, in Manama, Bahrain.  
The Secretary emphasized the strong and enduring partnership between the United States and Bahrain, as reflected most recently in the Comprehensive Security Integration and Prosperity Agreement (C-SIPA). The Secretary thanked Bahrain’s leaders for working together with the United States to promote regional security and stability.
Secretary Austin thanked the King and Crown Prince for Bahrain’s generosity in hosting U.S. Naval Forces Central Command (USNAVCENT) and its leadership in regional integration and maritime security efforts. The Secretary condemned increased Houthi aggression to freedom of navigation in the Red Sea and emphasized that Houthi aggression toward commercial vessels transiting critical waterways pose risks to the free flow of commerce. Secretary Austin conveyed his desire to work with all nations who share an interest in freedom of navigation.