During Bahrain TV interview... MoFA Undersecretary: more than 1200 Bahrainis abroad evacuated in coordination with competent authorities
Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Shaikha Rana bint Isa bin Daij Al Khalifa, stressed that Bahraini Diplomacy has an effective role in international communication to unify efforts in dealing with different crises, including the exceptional situation of coronavirus outbreak around the world, hailing the efforts of Bahrain Team, who demonstrated efficiency from day one, in light of the wise directives of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, and his efforts in leading the team. She also noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is part of this team and is working hard to achieve all its goals through its various directorates, embassies and consulates abroad to combat coronavirus. This came during an interview today with Bahrain TV.
The Foreign Ministry Undersecretary highlighted the efforts made by the Foreign Ministry to combat coronavirus in general, as the Ministry made sure to contact and keep track of the numbers of Kingdom of Bahrain citizens abroad to develop the necessary plans to evacuate them, explaining that it started with Bahraini citizens in People’s Republic of China, especially students, as they were the first to be evacuated in coordination with the relevant Chinese authorities, regardless of the difficulty of the situation. The Ministry also kept track of Bahrainis around the world who wish to return to the Kingdom of Bahrain by urging them to contact the Kingdom of Bahrain Embassies abroad or the Follow-Up Office at the Ministry’s General Court, which works around the clock to receive all calls and inquiries of citizens who wish to return to the country, noting that the office receives more than 400 calls on a daily basis.
Regarding what the Foreign Ministry has done to evacuate citizens abroad, Dr. Shaikha Rana explained that the Ministry started evacuating citizens in coordination with the Ministry of Health and the National Taskforce to Combat Coronavirus, in accordance with the plan announced by the Government at the meeting held with the Council of Representatives on March 29, 2020, where this plan was developed in proportion to the medical preparations in the Kingdom of Bahrain and in accordance with the standards approved by the World Health Organization, who praised the competence of the Kingdom of Bahrain in managing the crisis and its ability to take appropriate measures to address this virus. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs evacuated a number of citizens from several countries, including Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Jordan and others, and made sure to facilitate the return of citizens present in GCC countries after the suspension of air traffic in them and the closure of their land ports. In addition, it coordinated with Jaffariya Waqaf Directorate to provide a new residence to the 140 Bahrainis who were evicted from the hotel they were staying in in Mashhad. Dr. Shaikha Rana also mentioned that more than 1200 citizens have been evacuated to date, according to the developed evacuation plan, which is going as planned.
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also stressed that the efforts of the Foreign Ministry were not only limited to evacuating Bahraini citizens abroad, but the Ministry also contributed to ensuring the arrival of shipments of medicine and food to the Kingdom of Bahrain, in coordination with the relevant authorities in the Kingdom, through contacting friendly and brotherly countries. The Ministry also held meetings with the foreign ambassadors in the Kingdom of Bahrain to inform them of the measures taken by the Kingdom, with cooperation of the National Taskforce to Combat Coronavirus, in order to combat the virus, not to mention awareness campaigns, instructions and precautionary statements that the ministry has published on social media to raise society’s awareness on how to tackle this epidemic. In addition, the Ministry directed the Kingdom of Bahrain Embassies and Missions abroad to facilitate the return of hundreds of citizens by arranging their flight reservations, and assisting them by providing them with some basic needs of food and medicine.
Dr. Shaikha Rana also praised the efforts of Kingdom of Bahrain’s various institutions and ministries that are working in an integrated manner in facing this crisis, and who are making tremendous efforts aimed at preserving the safety of the society, such as the Ministry of Interior, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, the National Taskforce to Combat Coronavirus (Coved-19), all the frontline workers who are facing this epidemic and many others.
To conclude, the Foreign Ministry Undersecretary emphasized that the Kingdom of Bahrain is surely able to overcome this crisis, in light of the wise directives of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, believing in the efficiency of the measures taken by the Government, headed by His Royal Highness the Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and with the support of Team Bahrain, led by His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.