Obama supports Bahrain King’s reforms move

PTI Washington | Updated on February 28, 2011 Published on February 28, 2011

The US President, Mr Barack Obama, has welcomed the commitment to reforms being made by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain and extended his support for a “national dialogue” in the tiny Gulf kingdom.

“The US supports the national dialogue initiative led by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, and encourages a process that is meaningful, inclusive, non-sectarian, and responsive to the people of Bahrain,” Mr Obama said in a statement as anti-regime protests continued in Bahrain.

“The dialogue offers an opportunity for meaningful reforms and for all Bahrainis to forge a more just future together,” the President said as he welcomed the announcement by King Hamad about making important changes to the Cabinet and restating his commitment to reforms.

Mr Obama’s remarks came a day after King Hamad reshuffled his Cabinet and allowed the return to the country of an exiled Opposition leader after 13 days of protests.

“As a long standing partner of Bahrain, the United States continues to believe that Bahrain’s stability will be enhanced by respecting the universal rights of the people of Bahrain and reforms that meet the aspirations of all Bahrainis,” he said.

Bahrain, a tiny, oil-rich kingdom which has Sunni rulers governing over a restive Shia majority, houses the headquarters of the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

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Published on February 28, 2011
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