London, 15 December 2016: His Excellency Ambassador Sheikh Fawaz bin Mohamed Al Khalifa celebrated the 45th anniversary of the National Day of the Kingdom of Bahrain and the 17th anniversary of the accession of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa today at Lancaster House in St James.
His Royal Highness Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, was guest of honour at the reception which was one of the highlights of this year celebrating of the 200th anniversary of friendship between the Kingdom of Bahrain and the United Kingdom. As part of this National Day event, HRH Prince Andrew and HE Sheikh Fawaz viewed the inaugural exhibition of ‘Be Bahrain Art Week’, an exhibition of paintings and sculpture representing the diversity and vibrancy of Bahrain’s art scene, which previewed exclusively at Lancaster House.
Among the honoured guests at the reception, HE the Ambassador received the Ambassadors of the GCC; Lieutenant-General Tom Beckett, Defence Senior Adviser for the Middle East at the Ministry of Defence; Brigadier Peter Sincock, Chairman of the Bahrain Society; as well as other Ambassadors, members of the two houses of Parliament, members of the diplomatic corps, international media and business figures.
In his speech HE thanked Prince Andrew for his attendance at Bahrain’s National Day and praised the long-standing, two-century friendship between the two Kingdoms. He said this friendship was never more in evidence than this year, during which His Majesty King Hamad visited the UK in late October; HRH Prince Charles opened Bahrain’s new naval facility about a month ago; Prime Minister Theresa May participated in a joint GCC-UK summit ten days ago; and Foreign Secretary gave the keynote address at the Manama Dialogue, just last week.
HE the Ambassador said this relationship had developed across a whole range of fields and that during this time of regional challenges the two countries were truly fortunate to have found such reliable allies in each other.