Bahrain's King Hamad became the latest leader in the Middle East to be honoured by US President Donald Trump when he was bestowed the American Legion of Merit, Degree of Chief Commander.
The award is granted by US presidents to foreign leaders in recognition of close ties and outstanding achievements.
Mr Trump bestowed the award on King Hamad "in recognition of his remarkable efforts to strengthen the Bahrain-US friendship relations and solid partnership”, state-run Bahrain News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The award comes days after the US named Bahrain and UAE as major security partners in recognition of the countries' long-standing military co-operation.
Mr Trump expressed pleasure at presenting the Legion of Merit to King Hamad.
Mr Trump said that “under King Hamad’s decades of steady leadership as Crown Prince, Emir and King, Bahrain has proved to be an indefatigable ally of the US”, the agency reported.
He also noted Bahrain’s assistance in hosting the US Fifth Fleet, giving the US a maritime foothold in the Gulf region.
Mr Trump also praised King Hamad's decision to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel and noted his backing of the US-drafted Arab-Israeli road map to peace. Bahrain hosted the launch conference connected to the announcement.
"King Hamad has shown extraordinary courage and leadership through his support of the Vision for Peace and his decision to establish full diplomatic relations with the state of Israel. His decision has ushered in a new era of economic and security co-operation between the US most important partners in the Middle East," Mr Trump said.
“King Hamad has challenged old assumptions about the possibility for peace in the region and, in doing so, positively reshaped the landscape of the Middle East for generations.”
It comes days after Morocco's King Mohammed VI was presented with the same award.
Sheikh Sabah of Kuwait was given the award in September. He died the same month.