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Cablegate: Welcome Staffdel Raven to Bahrain: January 19-21,

VZCZCXYZ0001
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHMK #0024/01 0180837
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180837Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 9154
INFO RUEHBK/AMEMBASSY BANGKOK 0338
RUEHDO/AMEMBASSY DOHA 0928
RUEHKU/AMEMBASSY KUWAIT 3014
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0255
RUEHDE/AMCONSUL DUBAI 0465
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT
RHMFIUU/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL
RHMFIUU/NAVSUPPACT BAHRAIN

UNCLAS MANAMA 000024

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OVIP PREL BA
SUBJECT: WELCOME STAFFDEL RAVEN TO BAHRAIN: JANUARY 19-21,
2010

REF: STATE 2933

1. Embassy Manama welcomes the visit of STAFFDEL Raven to
Bahrain from January 19, 2010. 2. Control Officer for the visit is Political Officer Rachel Mihm. Her office telephone number is XXXXXXXXXXXX; mobile XXXXXXXXXXXX; home XXXXXXXXXXXX. Email: XXXXXXXXXXXX. The Embassy's after hours number is XXXXXXXXXXXX.

3. Control Officer will be at the airport to help with entry formalities, and has coordinated scheduling with NAVCENT and Naval Support Activity Bahrain. Post has arranged transportation for STAFFDEL Raven during the visit. Post has reserved rooms at the Novotel al Dana for STAFFDEL Raven within per diem. The phone number for the Novotel al Dana is (973) 1729-8008; fax (973) 1729-8338; email rso@novotel-bahrain.com.

4. The use of digital cameras and laptops in non-CAA areas must be cleared by the RSO's office before being brought into the Embassy.

5. Please consider the following in-country administrative notes for Manama, Bahrain: a) VISAS: A visa is required for Bahrain. U.S. diplomatic and official passport holders can obtain a gratis 72-hours or a 7-day visa at the airport immigration authority. If traveler is required to stay longer, the visa can be extended. Significant penalties are charged if the visa is not extended prior to expiry. Visitors staying beyond the time limit of the visa should submit their passport for visa processing by the Embassy at least two days prior to the visa's expiration date. b) LODGING and TRANSPORTATION: Visitors must bring adequate funds to cover hotel tariffs and expenses. Hotels accept major credit cards (Amex, Visa, MasterCard). Embassy will arrange for airport expediting and transportation upon request. c) BAGGAGE: All luggage is subject to x-ray and hand inspection by Bahraini customs officials. Among items that may not be brought into Bahrain are: firearms, large knives, swords, videos of any type, and pornography. d) DRESS: Modest dress is more appropriate in Bahrain. Both men and women should avoid shorts and sleeveless attire in public, although bathing suits and shorts are acceptable at hotel facilities. e) PHOTOGRAPHY: Photographing military, religious, and government installations is forbidden, and one should ask permission before photographing Bahraini Nationals. f) LOCAL TIME: The time difference from Washington D.C. is 8 hours. The official Embassy workweek is Sunday through Thursday, 0800 to 1700.

6. Security Concerns: Manama is a high threat post for terrorism and political violence. Although there have been no terrorist attacks against either Americans or Westerners on the island, Bahrain is joined by a causeway to Saudi Arabia, a critical threat unaccompanied post. Spontaneous demonstrations take place in Bahrain from time to time in response to world events or local developments. Demonstrations are normally anti-government in nature and do not target Americans, but may turn violent and should be strictly avoided. Bahrain is very livable and generally safe, but the threat of terrorism and political violence requires embassy personnel to take active personal security measures, including remaining aware of their surroundings at all times and keeping current with local events and embassy security notices. Personnel should vary their routes and times of travel, maintain a low profile, and avoid confrontations. Any suspicious activity should be immediately reported to the Regional Security Office (RSO) along with identifying information such as license plate number, vehicle or individual descriptions, etc. The crime rate is relatively low in Bahrain. Unlocked doors, open windows, building wallets, or unsecured purses may invite crimes of opportunity. Common sense precautions necessary in any major metropolitan area are appropriate for Bahrain. Contact the RSO directly at DS RSO Manama@state.gov if you have any security-related questions prior to arrival. Americans should note this information when traveling to Bahrain. ERELI

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