Date: 24th February, 2021
In line with Kuwait’s imminent national day celebrations and its thirtieth liberation anniversary, the Bahrain Center for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) published a book titled, “An Epic of Sacrifice in a Brothers’ Ordeal: The Role of the Kingdom of Bahrain Toward the Events of Kuwait’s Invasion and Liberation (August 1990 – February 1991)”. The book focuses on all official and civil Bahraini efforts in response to the invasion and liberation of Kuwait, and the Kingdom’s role in Arab Gulf stability; a role unanimously praised, leading to Kuwait’s freedom and sovereignty against the will of invaders, and strengthening the solidity between Bahrain and Kuwait as a model for brotherly solidarity that enhances joint GCC cooperation.
The book contains five chapters that revolve around historical Bahraini-Kuwaiti relations, military contributions, Bahraini diplomacy to liberate Kuwait, official and civil efforts to aid Kuwaitis who sought refuge in their second country during the Iraqi invasion, as well as the future of bilateral relations, and the prospects of further developing them in various areas.
In introducing the book, His Excellency Dr. Shaikh Abdulla bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Derasat, said, “The oppressive Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on August 2nd, 1990 was the epitome of a blatant aggression on the sovereignty and assets of an independent nation, and an unprecedented security challenge; truly testing joint foundations and ties for the whole Gulf architecture, which is based on brotherly solidarity and common destiny.”
His Excellency also added, “From the first moment of that crisis, the Kingdom of Bahrain clearly condemned and rejected that aggression, calling upon the Iraqi regime to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from all Kuwaiti territories. Bahrain strived to demonstrate that fundamental and solid position in all related Gulf, Arab, Islamic, and international decisions, through active and effective diplomacy, led by the late Emir His Highness Shaikh Isa bin Salman Al-Khalifa, the Cabinet, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This was in line with Bahrain’s mobilization to prepare all its capabilities and facilities to welcome and accommodate Kuwaiti refugees, and provide them with housing and means of livelihood, integrating official and civil efforts that drew an epic of sacrifice for brothers during their ordeal.”
The role of the Bahrain Defence Force was evident, under the leadership of His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa – Crown Prince and Commander in Chief at the time – through its three branches (land, air, and naval forces), during the war to free Kuwait, offering martyrs alongside their Kuwaiti brothers, drawing a noble form of sacrifice and redemption, based on historical brotherly relations, and looking towards a bright future and enduring peace.
Dr. Sh. Abdulla also added, “Both countries continue to enhance the foundations of overall advancement, based on a sound approach established by the ancestors, pursuing an advanced democratic process, stable national organizations, and continuous efforts to achieve sustainable development that serves the aspirations of both peoples.”
In its first chapter, the book provides insight of the historical Bahraini-Kuwaiti relations, by analyzing the effect of common history and geographic factors in bringing both countries closer, along with the shared historical tribal and family ties, cemented by common victories that laid the foundations of both nations.
The second chapter focuses on Bahrain’s pivotal role in the liberation of Kuwait, which took the form of logistic support for the coalition forces – as on of their major bases, and the direct tri-service military contributions at the forefront of Gulf forces, where they excelled and won the praise of the coalition forces, in addition to stories of brave Bahraini volunteers.
Chapter 3 shows the role of Bahraini diplomacy in supporting Kuwait’s position during the 1990 invasion, whether by issuing decisions condemning the invasion, or providing prospects on how to deal with it. Moreover, Bahrain lobbied in all international gatherings for a unified regional and international position that supports restoring legitimacy to Kuwait. This included Bahrain’s efforts to counter Iraq’s false claims, and directing Bahrain’s embassies everywhere to participate in all relevant events and meetings. Bahrain continued to support Kuwait after liberation by demanding the implementation of Security Council resolutions regarding the Iraqi occupation, and proposing views to achieve Arab Gulf security.
Chapter 4 demonstrates government and citizen efforts to help Kuwaiti families – estimated at 12000 individuals – that arrived in Bahrain during the crisis, where a multi-party committee was formed with numerous sub-committees to manage all their needs as Bahraini equals in health, education, and sports, as well as civil efforts by societies and clubs. Such efforts continued in the form of medical support and repairing infrastructure after Kuwait’s liberation.
The fifth and final chapter sheds light on the current and future Kuwaiti-Bahraini relations, concluding that the war to free Kuwait is but a chapter in mutual history, given the continued development of mutual political, economic, and security relations under a shared fate.
The Kingdom of Bahrain and the State of Kuwait continue to progress clearly in developing an advanced, invulnerable, and proactive nation. They managed to build a distinguished paradigm for the revival of society and citizens, blending heritage and modernity, and resembling the voice of wisdom and reason in the overall Arab region, and specifically in the Arabian Gulf.