Transcript

Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III Meets With Bahrain Foreign Minister at Bahrain International Airport, Near Manama, Bahrain

Sept. 8, 2021
Pentagon Press Secretary John F. Kirby; Bahrain Foreign Minister Dr. Abdullatif bin Rashid Alzayani

BAHRAIN FOREIGN MINISTER: During the meetings, the two sides discussed developments in Afghanistan, noting potential impacts on wider regional security and that the country should not become a source of instability.

Secretary Austin expressed the United States' appreciation for Bahrain's role in humanitarian efforts to evacuate personnel from Afghanistan for transit to the United States, an operation which demonstrates the practical work of our bilateral cooperation in times of need.

More broadly, both sides have aligned the enduring and strategic importance of their bilateral cooperation, particularly, the defense, security, and humanitarian piece. They recognize the key role of Bahrain - U.S. cooperation in maintaining peace and security in the Gulf and Middle East. We had the determination to work together to overcome many challenges.

Secretary Austin, congratulations from His Majesty the King, on signing of the Abraham Accords last year and highlighting the importance in achieving peace and stability in the region. The two sides also discussed how we can build on and promote dialogue for coexistence and connectivity in the region, recognizing the importance of Middle East peace and stability in wider international security.

Both Bahrain and the United States reaffirm this commitment. Secretary Austin's visit underlines the value that both sides face on partnership and clearly demonstrates our shared commitment to maintaining regional and international peace and security.

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE LLOYD J. AUSTIN III: Thank you. Your Excellency, thanks for being a great host. I share sincere thanks for what His Majesty the King, His Royal Highness the Crown Prince and the entire staff have done to help us as we evacuated a number of Afghans and American citizens and third country nationals from Kabul. Your assistance was invaluable in helping us conduct the largest air evacuation in history.

And so again, we treasure your partnership. You have always been a strong partner. We look to continue to strengthen that relationship. And again, I thoroughly enjoyed my visit with you and I cannot say thank you enough for all that you've done for the United States of America but also for the people who will transition from Afghanistan and embark upon a new life. So thanks again.