By Miriam Joyce (auth.)
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Extra resources for Bahrain from the Twentieth Century to the Arab Spring
William Fulbright, had voiced concern about the continuation of Washington’s naval presence in Bahrain after Britain’s departure. The White House told Senator Fulbright that pulling out the small US force, which since 1949 had been present in the Gulf, would send the erroneous signal that Washington was no longer interested in the region. ”23 Senator Fulbright was also disturbed that the arrangement to maintain the American naval force in Bahrain had been reached by Executive Agreement, thus bypassing the Senate.
39 Although Bahrain was still dependent on Britain, the brother of Bahrain’s Ruler, who was also the Director of the Bahrain Finance Department, Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, was also interested in strengthening his country’s American connection. In August 1966, Shaikh Khalifa considered a visit to Washington. London had no objection to such a visit, but asked that State Department ofﬁcials avoid “speculative discussions of the future of the Gulf” during conversations with the Bahraini shaikh.
However, it was extremely difﬁcult to protect Bahrain’s oil installations against sabotage. ”36 Members of the Al-Khalifa family too were concerned about security. In May 1966, Shaikh Isa was distracted by a visit from the Ruler of Kuwait Amir Sabah. Bahrain’s Ruler told Sir William Luce that the Kuwaiti Ruler was too close to Nasser. Kuwait had obtained its independence from Britain, in June 1961, after HMG halted an Iraqi attempt to annex the country. Shaikh Isa hosted a state dinner for his Kuwaiti visitor and included a few British ofﬁcials among the guests.