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Bahrain approves new expat federation.

A coalition of non-governmental organisations representing expats has been approved by Bahrain's Social Development Ministry, a top official said.

The Bahrain Federation of Expatriates Associations (BFEA) will promote co-operation among societies for expats, added secretary-general Betsy Mathieson.

"It is an honour to be part of the BFEA, which we believe is unique," she said.

The founding organisations include the Bahraini-German Friendship Society, the Kerala Catholic Association and the Egyptian Expat Community.

The BFEA hopes to strengthen ties between all communities through activities and providing members with assistance in healthcare, accommodation, work permits, travel bans and the rights of workers.

It will represent its members in conferences and other events abroad and express opinions on topics referred to it by the ministry.

"Bahrain is a diverse society and expats play an integral part in its development. The BFEA will help them consolidate their interests for the benefit of all," said a government statement.

"It has been formed in response to an audience with His Majesty King Hamad last year, when expats pledged their support and love for Bahrain and requested his permission to form the federation," said Mathieson.

It will look into issues, including residency, labour, sponsorship, human rights and challenges faced by the business community.

"We are working on the constitution and electoral process after which we will invite expat clubs and societies registered with the ministry to apply to join as members and be eligible to contest board election," she added. -- TradeArabia News Service

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Publication:TradeArabia (Manama, Bahrain)
Geographic Code:7BAHR
Date:Sep 9, 2012
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