Recibo diariamente la traducción de artículos publicados en diarios árabes, bien locales o bien -más fiables- editados en el extranjero. Siempre se indica su propietario o su tendencia. Éste es de Elaph, que se hace en Inglaterra, con capital saudí. La información sirve como complementaria:
On February 17, the Saudi-owned Elaph website carried the following report:
“The Fifth Fleet is cautiously watching the peaceful protests recently witnessed in Bahrain. The base that hosts the fleet has advised the sailors, the civilians and their families to avoid going to sensitive areas at a time where some analyses have started to surface indicating that Washington is now afraid that the protests will destroy American interests in the region.
“With the continuation of the wave of protests witnessed by the Kingdom of Bahrain, and amidst demands for introducing a series of reforms on several levels, new talk has started to surface relating to the presence of the American Fifth Fleet in the seaport of Salman (to the east of Manama) and to the nature of its tasks and its future at a time when hot events are taking place within the kingdom’s lands.
“As a start – and before going into details that some media outlets have started to brandish suggesting some Bahraini protestors are perhaps planning to channel their animosity towards the staff of the sea base that hosts the fleet – there are some facts that relate to this fleet. Some believe that the presence of the fleet there is only related to a political or security related nature. But in reality, it [i.e. the fleet] also brings financial and economical gains for the kingdom.
“Indeed, the fleet pays money in return for the services that it obtains in the ports and for renting properties. In addition, its presence provides a state of reassurance in the Gulf area and it ensures the passage of petrol smoothly through the Gulf of Hormuz. The American companies operating in Bahrain also benefit from the agreement of free trade that is signed between Manama and Washington and that allows them to be present at a very near distance from the huge Saudi market, according to the previous clarifications of the US ambassador in Bahrain, Adam Ereli.
“Based on some reports, the American ships go to Bahrain for maintenance and supplies. The fleet provides the local economy with 91 million dollars through the costs of renting properties and maintenance. This number rises to more than 180 million dollars if we add to it the money paid by more than 4,000 American troops for annual rent. Ereli spoke about the importance of the Bahraini site by saying: “the facilities and markets that form half the Saudi economy all fall within a one hour distance from Bahrain. Therefore, many American companies consider that Bahrain is the best place for basing themselves in the region and for running projects.”
“…Some analyses have started to circulate within the circles of politicians and experts who are following up on the events lately witnessed by the Middle East… Some went as far as to say that the failure of the regime in Bahrain might bring a new government that is close to Iran, and that will work on getting rid of the American fleet…” – Elaph, United Kingdom