Britain to boost military presence in Persian Gulf

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.

Manama: 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 today 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 US Navy's 5th Fleet.

The deal comes amid airstrikes by a US-led coalition targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.