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Bahrain’s doyen of heads of government passes away

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DIPLOMAT MAGAZINE “For diplomats, by diplomats” Reaching out the world from the European Union First diplomatic publication based in The Netherlands. Founded by members of the diplomatic corps on June 19th, 2013. "Diplomat Magazine is inspiring diplomats, civil servants and academics to contribute to a free flow of ideas through an extremely rich diplomatic life, full of exclusive events and cultural exchanges, as well as by exposing profound ideas and political debates in our printed and online editions." Dr. Mayelinne De Lara, Publisher

Wednesday, 11 November 2020, Rochester, Minnesota, United States of America: Bahrain’s Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa passed away aged 84.  

He had been installed as prime minister in January 1970. Thus, he reached over 50 years in office, and was de jure the doyen of heads of government worldwide. The late prime minister was the first and thus far only prime minister in the country since it officially became independent from Britain in 1971.  

Son of Bahrain’s former ruler (Hakim), Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who ruled from 1942 to 1961, Khalifa bin Salman learned governance at his father’s side as the island remained a British protectorate. The latter’s brother, Hakim Isa bin Salman Al Khalifa, took power in 1961 and served as monarch when Bahrain gained its independence in 1971. Under an informal arrangement, Hakim Isa handled the island’s diplomacy, ceremonial duties as well as the Armed Forces while Khalifa bin Salman ran the government and economy. 

Prince Khalifa bin Salman perished at Mayo Clinic Hospital in Minnesota. His body shall be repatriated, and a funeral service held for a limited number of relatives in a similar fashion as with the late Emir of Kuwait, Sabah IV Al-Ahmed Al-Jabr Al Sabah who died aged 91 likewise in Rochester, Minnesota back in September 2020.  

An official mourning period of one week has been declared in the Kingdom of Bahrain.  

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa as Bahrain’s head of state will appoint the next head of government. Prince Khalifa’s son, Sheikh Ali bin Khalifa Al Khalifa currently serves as Second Deputy Prime Minister. 

Bahrain in located in the Middle East, connected to Saudi Arabia through the King Fahd Causeway. The country includes 35 islands.  

As prime minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman, leaves behind a legacy of modernisation, economic boom, and social vicissitudes that transformed the island state into a successful economy, a financial centre, and a preferred destination for expatriates in the Gulf region.  

Prince Khalifa’s demise marks the end of an era of leaders in power when Britain’s protectorate ended. 

For further information  

Personal website: https://khalifabinsalman.bh/awards/abd/en/ 

Structure of the Prime Minister’s Court: http://www.diplomatmagazine.eu/2020/05/29/bahraini-pmc-injected-with-dynamism/

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On the picture the late Prime Minister, Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa and Diplomatic Magazine’s Diplomatic Adviser Henri Estramant at Qudaibiya Palace in Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. 

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