HRH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, delivered a keynote address at the 19th edition of the Manama Dialogue, the Middle East’s premier security and defence conference.
During his address, the Crown Prince reiterated Bahrain’s condemnation of Hamas’ 7 October attacks, as well as condemnation of Israel’s retaliation, which has resulted in the death of 11,000 Gazans and left many more living in an intolerable situation without access to basic necessities such as electricity, running water, and medical care.
He also set out the conditions necessary for ‘breaking the cycle of violence,’ a feat that will only be made possible through the release of innocents and non-combatants. The Prince stressed that the release of hostages is a pre-requisite to a pause in hostilities.
Additionally, the Crown Prince called for the rule of international law to be fully implemented to ensure that the Gazan people have access to humanitarian aid.
He also emphasised that lasting peace will only be secured through a two-state solution that enshrines the rights of the Palestinian people and that this process requires international leadership, and that the United States is indispensable in this regard.
The Crown Prince said, “Let me be extremely clear on what matters to the Kingdom of Bahrain. There must be no forced displacement of Palestinians in Gaza, now or ever. There must be no reoccupation of Gaza. There must be no reduction in Gaza’s territory. And on the other side, there must be no terrorism directed from Gaza against the Israeli public. Those are the red lines.”
To ensure lasting peace, he also stressed that in the aftermath of conflict, elections must be delivered to offer the Palestinian people a strong and unified leadership. This process must be led by an interlocutor and partner who can broker an end to violence and deliver the prospect of a viable and independent Palestinian state that will also guarantee security and stability for its neighbour, Israel.
In conclusion, the Crown Prince asserted that military conflict must not be the final arbiter. He stated that diplomacy and the rule of international law must be the principal mechanisms for conflict resolution, noting that if the world does not work across all political lines to make sure that the voice of reason is heard, it risks creating conditions for acts of violence to spread globally.