Bahrain orders visiting US diplomat to leave over meeting opposition

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Bahrain
Tuesday, 08 July 2014

Bahrain has told a visiting top US diplomat who has met with a leading Shia opposition group in the country that he is “unwelcome” in the kingdom, ordering him to leave.

In a statement released on Monday, the Bahraini Foreign Ministry accused US Assistant Secretary of State for

Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Tom Malinowski, of intervening in Bahrain’s domestic affairs.

Malinowski met with members of Bahrain’s main opposition bloc Al-Wefaq on Sunday evening and was set to hold a joint meeting with them and members of other opposition groups on Tuesday.

US State Department Spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Washington is “deeply concerned” by the demand for Malinowski to leave Bahrain. “He is on a visit to reaffirm and strengthen our bilateral ties.”

She also noted that his visit “had been coordinated far in advance and warmly welcomed and encouraged by the government of Bahrain, which is well-aware that US government officials routinely meet with all officially-recognized political societies.”

“Contrary to our longstanding bilateral relationship and in violation of international diplomatic protocol, the government insisted — without advance warning and after his visit had already commenced — to have a Foreign Ministry representative present at all of Assistant Secretary Malinowski’s private meetings with individuals and groups representing a broad spectrum of Bahraini society, including those held at the US embassy,” Psaki added.

Since mid-February 2011, thousands of protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling on the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.

Scores of Bahrainis have been killed and hundreds of others injured and arrested in the ongoing crackdown on peaceful demonstrations.

Rating: 5 Read 478 times Last modified on Tuesday, 12 August 2014

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