Today, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton delivered remarks at the seventh annual Manama Dialogue in Bahrain. The Dialogue brings together the the Gulf states and their partners to address urgent challenges, bring new issues to light, and find opportunities for common action toward common goals. Secretary Clinton said:
"I want to thank His Majesty King Hamad and His Royal Highness Salman for hosting us so graciously, and I also thank the foreign minister for meeting with me earlier today. As I have told our gracious host, this is my first trip to Bahrain. It's one I've been looking forward to for a long time, and I can attest that the hospitality is just as warm as promised.
"The United States is proud of our partnership with Bahrain, which has flourished for many years. Since we are meeting for a security conference, let me mention just one facet of this partnership. Bahrain is home to our Central Command's Naval Forces, which in turn includes a number of combined task forces that bring together nations from around the world to address critical security issues facing this region, including terrorism and piracy. These task forces are an example of the kind of transnational military cooperation that makes us all safer, and I thank His Majesty the King for making this work possible.
"As I look around this room, I can see that we do hail from countries across most continents. And we have come here because we share a common interest, and that is to work toward achieving lasting and comprehensive security and peace in the Gulf region.
"This goal does not belong only to governments. It is an aspiration that lives in the hearts of citizens across the region -- from Dubai to Baghdad to Riyadh. Across differences of religion, class, language, and nationality, people of this region, like people everywhere, express the same basic wish: to live free from violence, free from intimidation, free to develop their talents and pursue their dreams in an atmosphere of stability and peace.
"It is in our interests to help the people of the Gulf fulfill that vision. And I believe we have the capacity to do so.
"The starting point for the United States is our profound commitment to the security, stability, and development of the region. We have enduring stakes here. We have historical friendships here. We have invested blood and treasure to protect those stakes, those friendships, and those vital national security interests. We have acted to reverse aggression -- and no one should mistake our resolve in standing by our friends.
"When our engagement with this region began decades ago, our relationships were largely rooted in security and trade. Now, they extend much further. We and our Gulf partners are working together on issues including economic development, energy, education, water, and health -- the building blocks of stable, thriving societies.
"And increasingly, what we are seeing is the opportunity to work with our Gulf partners beyond the region, in fact, on the world stage.
"United Arab Emirates is doing cutting-edge work in clean and renewable energy, and is home to the International Renewable Energy Agency, located in Masdar, one of the world's most sustainable cities. That is a security commitment.
"Last year, Saudi Arabia opened the King Abdullah University for Science and Technology, a world-class research and teaching institute for both men and women. That is a security commitment.
"Bahrain has become a dynamic banking center, whose sound practices helped it largely to avoid the recent global financial crisis. That is a security commitment.
"Oman and the United States are together supporting vital desalination research to help solve the global water crisis. That is a security commitment.
"Kuwait is home to lively media and parliamentary debate, which foster one of the region's most dynamic political cultures. That is a security commitment.
"And Qatar is working to improve agricultural productivity in arid regions, to help fight hunger and protect natural resources. That is also a security commitment.
"And let me congratulate Qatar on its being named for the World Cup in 2022 -- more proof that this region is at the leading edge of important world affairs.
"The innovative, forward-leaning work that is happening in these countries, on some of the defining issues of the 21st century, signals a new era in our partnership. You are no longer Gulf partners. You are global partners."
You can read the Secretary's full remarks at the Manama Dialogue here. Secretary Clinton is traveling to Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Uzbekistan, and Bahrain November 30 - December 3. Learn more about her trip here.