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Crown Prince Conducts First Press Interview after being Appointed as PM

2021-02-27 - 3:13 am

Bahrain Mirror: Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, stressed in his first interview with the local press since his appointment as a Prime Minister, on the "importance of expanding the alternative punishments".

He said "I would like to thank the Ministry of Interior for its good implementation of this program (alternative punishments), and we look forward to adopting a program for reform centers and open prisons to protect the social fabric."

The crown prince spoke about what he called characteristics of the Bahraini society and indicated that the opportunities should be available for everyone. He said "Our Bahraini society has its own character which distinguishes it. The pluralism and diversity of the social fabric of our society must be a source of strength to us. Maintaining the uniqueness of our society is a priority to us, and in order to achieve it, justice must be strengthened as a fundamental pillar of social stability. Thus, we believe that it is time to inject new competencies into managerial positions, and government appointments must be based on efficiency and loyalty to the nation in a way that reflect the fabric of our diverse society, which is a source of strength to us, so that everyone realizes that opportunities are available to all who want to contribute to the building and prosperity of our nation."

The crown prince also spoke about a "coming Cabinet formation", indicating that the new formation will be based on injecting competencies in the government apparatus through appointments in the executive administrative positions. I personally appreciate, thank and respect all senior state officials such as ministers, advisers and current and former officials (...) Although change is a must in life, I am personally proud to work with such experienced people who are highly regarded and respected, noting that some of whom continue to contribute to the achievements of government work."

He noted that accountability and responsibility are from the foundations of government action that contribute to protecting public finances and promoting the right practices. Responding to a question on the existence of American-Iranian political flirtation in recent times, and that there are people who want to make use of this to evoke previous events like those of 2011, the crown prince said: "With the solidarity of our society we have overcome the events of 2011 and repelled the attempts of those who do not want good for the nation. We affirm that citizenship is above any other affiliation, and empowering all citizens for the good of the country in accordance with efficiency and loyalty to the homeland is the right way."

"We are the first to look forward to good relations with our neighbors, and we do not hesitate to communicate with everyone. We stand with peace and reject wars. At the same time, we are ready to defend the interests of our nation and citizens."

With regard to Qatar and whether there is a horizon for a solution, Sheikh Salman bin Hamad replied, "The Gulf Cooperation Council is a safety valve for the region, and any solution reached must satisfy everyone and preserve the rights of citizens. We look forward to a result that falls in the benefit of all, and we note here that historically the seas and sea borders were open to fishermen of both countries to practice their activities, and that protection and closure began for political reasons and not to protect the fisheries."

"We will be the first to protect those who want good relations with the Kingdom of Bahrain. However, we will not be lenient in the protection of the interests of our nation and citizens. According to the Al-Ula agreement, communication is required from everyone, and the Kingdom has taken the initiative to communicate with Qatar and is waiting for its response, and we welcome direct meeting with them."

With regards to his future aspiration, the crown prince said "We are seeking to have an effective and efficient government apparatus that commensurate with the requirements of development, a free and open economy, the consolidation of the rule of law and firmness in the preservation of the country and all its people. We must work in the spirit of one Bahraini team, and strive to be a home of innovation and entrepreneurship that is capable of serving the economies of the region and growth."

Arabic Version