Why Did Bahrain Delete News on King's Meeting with Libyan PM? Were the Donors Upset?

2019-11-26 - 5:52 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): A surprising meeting yesterday brought together Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa and Fayez Al-Sarraj, the Prime Minister of Libyan Government of National Accord, backed by Qatar and Turkey, noting that Al Khalifa is backed by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.

The piece of news was deleted after it had been shortly published on the state news agency. Adel Marzook, editor-in-Chief at Gulf House for Studies and Publishing noted the paradox of the meeting and its contradiction with Bahrain's stated position on the situation in Libya, which clearly is in line with that of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. 

Libya's Government of National Accord, backed by Qatar and Turkey, posted on its Facebook page a piece of news about the meeting, saying that the King of Bahrain "expressed his country's appreciation and support for efforts exerted by Mr. President to achieve security and stability in Libya."

Al-Sarraj briefed the King of Bahrain on the latest developments in Libya and the repercussions of the aggression on the capital Tripoli. He also talked about the negative foreign interventions that contributed to the worsening of the Libyan crisis. Al-Sarraj discussed the efforts to fight terrorism and importance of coordination to eliminate it.

The meeting held in Al-Safiriyah Palace was attended by the National Security Advisor Taj Eddin Al-Razaki and Libya's Ambassador to Bahrain Fawzi Abdulal, the piece of news posted on Facebook stated.

Journalist Adel Marzook commented on the deletion of the news from the official state news agency (BNA) page noting mockingly: "Dear BNA, the king of the country is not an Electricity Minister to have one of his official meetings deleted from the agency's website. You are supposed to correct the content of the news and justify the presence of Fayez Al-Sarraj in Bahrain to participate in the Manama Dialogue Conference organized by IISS. We are tired of teaching you about press and media [basics]. There is no use."

There were reports of Emirati discontent mainly as well as Saudi discontent with this meeting, especially that if there was a reconciliation process with the Libyan Government of National Accord, Bahrain would not be its gateway.

A large portion of Bahrainis have questioned the autonomy of decision-making of the authorities since Saudi and Emirati forces entered Bahrain in 2011 to help suppress the popular pro-democratic movement, especially that the two countries have been granting Bahrain large financial assistance since then. 

Arabic Version