Saudi, UAE, Kuwait to Support Bahrain Economy after Downturn

Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates will soon announce an “integrated program” to support Bahrain’s economic reforms and its fiscal stability, Reuters reports, citing a joint statement from the three Gulf states on Tuesday.

Like other oil producing nations whose state finances are closely tied to oil prices, Bahrain’s economy was hit hard by a severe fall in oil prices in 2014. On Tuesday, Bahrain’s currency, the dinar, plunged to a 17-year low against the U.S. dollar as hedge funds dumped Bahraini bonds because of concern about rising public debt, according to Reuters.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait said they were in talks “to confirm their commitment to consider all options to support the kingdom of Bahrain and to finalize an integrated program that will soon be announced to enable the kingdom of Bahrain to support its economic reforms and fiscal stability.”

Ties between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are close. Bahrain serves as a holiday destination for many Saudis. Prince Sultan bin Salman, head of tourism for Saudi Arabia, said on the sidelines of a conference yesterday that the two countries “have a long and common history of civilization and one is an extension to the other.”

“Saudi had always supported Bahrain and worked to have it as the Arab tourism capital, because Bahrain is an extension for Saudi Arabia. There are common cultures and interests between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia,” Prince Sultan said, according to Arab News.