US Secretary of State Calls for Reconciliation between Bahraini Opposition & Regime
2015-11-21 - 12:29 am
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The US Secretary of State John Kerry called for reconciliation in Bahrain between the opposition and regime stressing that he is looking forward to visiting the ally kingdom that has been witnessing unrests since 2011.
Kerry met with his Bahraini counterpart Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa and they discussed "the internal challenges of reconciliation and ways to reduce sectarian division" between Bahraini Shiites and Sunnis.
Kerry said in a press conference that the US "encourages this process", i.e. dialogue inside the small Gulf island resided by 1.3 million people, 52% of whom are foreigners and that is ruled by the Sunni Al Khalifa family that suppressed the popular movement in 2011 led by a Shiite majority.
Washington that takes Bahrain as a home for its Fifth Fleet criticized its ally in the past years, especially through condemning the successive trials against Shiite dissents and human rights defenders.
However, Washington resumed its security aids to Bahrain in the end of June, indicating that Bahrain has made "important progress" in the human rights field.
"At some point in the not too distant future, I look forward to visiting Bahrain," Kerry said. As a US Secretary of State, Kerry has never visited Bahrain.
Bahrain's Foreign Minister responded by saying that the kingdom and US will continue "their partnership against extremism, terrorism and against Daesh."
Bahrain is a member of the international coalition against the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Al Khalifa considered that "sectarianism failed to have a foothold in our country. We will continue to make sure that the people come together. "
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