U.S. to partially resume arms supply to Bahrain following suspension over HR violations
Washington, May 12 (ANI): The United States will partially resume the sale of military supplies to Bahrain following its suspension last year after the Arab state cracked down on human rights protesters.
A senior US administration official said that a frigate, harbour security boats and upgraded F-16 engines would be supplied to Bahrain.
However, tear gas and stun grenades will be excluded from the supplies, The Telegraph reports.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said: "the items that we are releasing are not used for crowd control."
Nuland even urged Bahrain to tackle serious unresolved human rights issues amid a crackdown on pro-democracy activists.
The equipment and services were released "for the purpose of helping Bahrain maintain its external defense capabilities," Nuland said.
Washington "will continue to maintain the holds on the TOW missiles and Humvees that were notified to Congress last October," amid concerns they could be used against protesters, she added.
The announcement on military cooperation was made amid a visit by Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa to the United States, who met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Clinton said "much work remains to fully address ongoing human rights issues," according to Nuland, after the pair discussed Bahrain's efforts to implement recommendations from an independent probe into the crackdown on pro-democracy protests.
Bahrain serves as the headquarters for the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, which patrols the Gulf amid perceived threats to Arab allies in the region from neighboring Iran. (ANI)
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