25/04/12: A RUSI statement in response to the Independent article 'Bahraini MP spoke at London cooperative security seminar last month' published on 25 April 2012.
RUSI is an independent think tank that organises a large number of conferences, seminars and round-tables about a variety of international security issues. Most of these are sensitive, and some are controversial, but the Institute prides itself on its ability to act as a platform for an exchange of ideas and broader 'track-two' contacts between government officials, academics, journalists and other practitioners in the field.
We can confirm that, as part of these regular activities, the Institute held two round-table discussions in partnership with the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (DERASAT). The first took place in Manama, Bahrain, on 21 February; the second was held at the Institute in London on 22 March 2012.
All such activities at the Institute are without attribution, either the topics under discussion or the people taking part in them, precisely in order to facilitate a frank exchange of views. Participation is by invitation only, and those who accept our invitation do so in their private, rather than official capacity. It is our firm policy neither to confirm nor deny the presence of certain people at our events, and we do not confirm any quotes which may be attributed to the participants. Nor are any transcripts of such events kept.
However - and exceptionally, given our usual procedures - RUSI's Bahrain activities received quite a bit of publicity. Precisely in order to engage with the wider public in the debate about the future security and stability of that country, our discussion on 21 February began with an open session which was widely reported in the Bahraini media.
Our Bahraini partner in this endeavour has also published its activities. These can be found at the following sites:
First roundtable: http://www.derasat.org.bh/events-types/seminars-workshops/
RUSI's academic engagement programme implies no endorsement of any government, or any characterisation of a conflict. Nor does it prevent us from carrying a range of other commentaries and opinions; for examples which refer specifically to Bahrain, please see the following articles published on our website rusi.org: