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Bahrain Says Gulf Neighbors will Provide economic Aid

United Arab Emirates — Bahrain said Wednesday its Gulf neighbors Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will offer new aid to strengthen the island nation’s “fiscal stability” amid growing concerns over its economy.

Bahrain, just off the coast of Saudi Arabia, long has relied on the largess of its wealthy neighbors to support it despite being the first Arab nation in the Persian Gulf to strike oil. That aid, however, has waned in recent years with a precipitous drop in global oil prices, and the kingdom instead began seeking more and more loans from the international market.

A statement early Wednesday morning carried by the state-run Bahrain News Agency quoted Finance Minister Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Khalifa as saying the three nations are “set to announce a new program designed to strengthen Bahrain’s fiscal stability.”

The statement offered no details, other than expressing Sheikh Ahmed’s “gratitude.” Bahrain previously received $10 billion in aid pledges during its 2011 Arab Spring protests from members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, a six-nation bloc of Gulf Arab states. Other aid has flowed into Bahrain from Saudi Arabia, which wants to shore up support of the island’s Sunni monarchy as it continues a yearslong crackdown on dissent among its majority Shiite population.

Read the full article by Jon Gambrell on The Washington Post, June 27, 2018

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