• Work starts on UK naval base in Bahrain
  • The project is understood to cost $15m

Construction has started on a UK naval base in Bahrain that is set to be the first new permanent military base in the Middle East since 1971.

The UK’s Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond attended a ceremony marking the start of construction of the Juffair base at the Mina Salman Port in Bahrain.

“The presence of the Royal Navy in Bahrain is guaranteed into the future, ensuring Britain’s sustained presence east of Suez, said Hammond. “The new facility will enable Britain to work with our allies to reinforce stability in the Gulf and beyond.”

The UK’s BBC has reported the base is to cost $15m with Bahrain paying most of the amount and the UK paying ongoing costs.

Despite Bahrain being criticised by the UK over human rights abuses in the past, Hammond said the small Gulf state was taking steps in the right direction.

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