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Wed 7 Dec 2016 01:56 PM

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British think tank 'received $31m from Bahraini royals'

London-based IISS claims both parties agreed to take 'all necessary steps' to keep transaction secret

British think tank 'received $31m from Bahraini royals'
The claims come as British Prime Minister Theresa May begins a two-day visit to the Gulf country to discuss post-Brexit trade ties. (Getty Images)

Confidential documents have revealed that a British military research organisation received £25 million ($31.6 million) from the Bahraini royal family over the last five years.

The London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) received the donation sum on the agreement both parties would take “all necessary steps” to keep the transaction secret, according to documents obtained by Bahrain Watch, the Guardian newspaper reported.

The news comes as British Prime Minister Theresa May begins a two-day visit to the Gulf country to discuss post-Brexit trade ties.

UK foreign secretary Boris Johnson is also set to speak in Manama at a conference organised by IISS and paid for by Bahrain’s ruling family.

Bahrain Watch said the secret donations undermine the independence of IISS, which claims to provides objective information about the world’s security issues.

IISS rejected the accusations and said it aims to encourage “sound policies to further global peace and security and maintain civilised international relations”.

The donations have allegedly funded an IISS office in Bahrain and annual “Manama Dialogue” conferences on Middle East politics attended by heads of state, the newspaper said.