Bahrain to name GCC chief as its Foreign Minister

Abdullateff Al Zayani, Bahrain's next foreogn minister

Abdullateef Al Zayani, Bahrain’s next foreogn minister

By Habib Toumi

Manama: Abdul Lateef Rashid Al Zayani, the current secretary general of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will become Bahrain’s foreign ministry when his term ends on March 31.

Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa today told Al Zayani that King Hamad bin Salman Al Khalifa is to appoint him the kingdom’s top diplomat.

Al Zayani will take over from Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa who has been in charge of the foreign affairs since September 26, 2005.

Shaikh Khalid joined the foreign ministry in 1985 and became ambassador to the UK in September 2001, to the Netherlands, Republic of Ireland and Norway in 2002 and to Sweden in 2003.

He was on Thursday appointed Advisor to King Hamad for Diplomatic Affairs.

Later, Shaikh Khalid, an avid social media user, took to Twitter to announce his pledge to continue serving King and country after he quits the foreign ministry within three months.

“I have served His Majesty the King and my country to the best of my efforts and capabilities, and I will continue to serve them as long I live,” he posted to his 530,000 followers.

“I have also had the immense honor to work under the command of His Royal Highness the Prime Minister, may God bring him home in good health, and His Royal Highness, the Crown Prince. Now, I pass on the banner to a dear and capable brother from whom I have learned so much.”

Al Zayani became Secretary General of the GCC on April 1, 2011.  Prior to his appointment, he was advisor at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the rank of Minister, chairman of the Joint Steering Committee between Bahrain and the United Kingdom and chairman of the ministry’s Development and Regulation committee.

Al Zayani graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in UK. He is also a graduate of the Aeronautical Engineering program, Perth Scotland in 1978.

He holds a PhD in Operations Research from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California in 1986, and a Master’s Degree in Logistics Management from the Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, Ohio in 1980.

In 1988, he received the sword of honor along with the title of Master Logistician from the US Army after attending the Command and General Staff course, Fort Leavenworth Kansas.

He also attended the Leaders in Development Program, Harvard University in 2008.

He held several leading positions in the Bahrain Defence Force and in the Ministry of Interior.

He was also a professor in “Mathematics and Statistics” at the University of Maryland, Bahrain, and in ” Quantitative Methods” at the University of Bahrain.

His teaching career also included teaching statistics, quantitative methods and total quality management at the Arabian Gulf University and supervising students as partial fulfillment for Masters of Science in Technology Management.

He was awarded several Bahraini and international medals and decorations.

The GCC, established in 1981, comprises Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.


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