JNN Oct 17th 2011. Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa had a meeting with his American counterpart Hillary Clinton at the US State Department on Wednesday, and will meet with a number of other US officials, the Associated Press reported.
Clinton and Sheikh Khalid reportedly discussed the delayed US-Bahrain arms sale deal.
Washington put the arms sale on hold pending the outcome of Manama’s report into human rights abuses during months of crackdown on anti-regime protesters.
On Thursday, Bahrain delayed the release of the report produced by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, which was due for release on October 23, for one month.
Human rights activists and many US lawmakers strongly opposed the arms sale to the regime of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa that has brutally clamped down on pro-democracy protesters in the tiny island, home to a huge military base of US Navy’s fifth fleet.
Before meeting with Clinton, Sheikh Khalid said it’s our duty to come and explain what’s going on and what we intend to do in Bahrain to those who are “our friends.”
Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations in Bahrain, calling for the US-backed Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested in the crackdown.