MANAMA, Bahrain – Britain's top diplomat says his nation has signed a deal with the Gulf Arab nation of Bahrain to bolster the United Kingdom's military presence in the region.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond announced the deal Saturday at a security conference in the Bahraini capital, Manama, where he assured Gulf allies that "your security concerns are our security concerns."
Hammond says the deal ensures a permanent footing for the Royal Navy in the oil-rich Gulf.
The agreement calls for improved onshore facilities at Bahrain's Mina Salman port that will give the Royal Navy a base to plan, store equipment and house military personnel.
Bahrain already hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.
The deal comes amid airstrikes by a U.S.-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.