Vice President Kamala Harris spoke today with Crown Prince and Prime Minister Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa of Bahrain. They discussed the situation in Gaza, including our shared efforts to protect civilians and increase humanitarian assistance. They further underscored the need to stabilize the Middle East region, and discussed mutual efforts to bolster regional deterrence and prevent regional escalation. The Vice President and Crown Prince condemned the Houthi attacks against commercial vessels in the Red Sea, which pose a direct threat to freedom of navigation and global trade in one of the world’s most critical waterways. The Vice President underscored that Iranian-backed Houthi actions are unlawful, reckless, and put innocent lives at risk. The Vice President and Crown Prince emphasized the broad consensus as reflected by the UN Security Council statement of condemnation on December 1, 2023, followed by the statement of condemnation from 44 countries on December 19, 2023, and formation of Operation Prosperity Guardian, an international naval coalition of more than 20 countries, including Bahrain, that are defensively patrolling the Red Sea to protect maritime traffic. They also discussed the important warning statement last week, endorsed by 14 countries, including Bahrain, calling on the Houthis to cease their unlawful attacks against commercial vessels. The Vice President reaffirmed the close and enduring bilateral relationship between the United States and Bahrain and our close cooperation on regional security, defense, intelligence, and economic ties as well as expanding cooperation in the fields of commerce, science, and technology, including through the implementation of the “Comprehensive Security Integration and Prosperity Agreement” (C-SIPA) that was signed last year.