US to resume arms sales to Bahrain

2012-05-12 18:28

Washington - The United States intends to resume some arms sales to Bahrain despite its concerns about the government's human rights abuses, US officials said on Friday.

"We have made the decision to release additional items to Bahrain mindful of the fact that there are a number of serious unresolved human rights issues that the government of Bahrain needs to address," US state department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

She cited "excessive use of force and tear gas by police" and the use of violence by protestors as Washington's main concerns.

Nuland said Washington would continue to hold back on sales of tube-launched missiles and Humvee vehicles, among other items.

"The items that we are releasing are not used for crowd control," Nuland said.

The materiel will include a frigate, harbour security boats for the Coast Guard and an upgrade for Bahrain's existing turbo fan engines used in F-16 fighter jets, a senior administration official said.

Bahrain is an important security ally for Washington in the Gulf, and is a key partner in facing down Iran.

The island country's majority Shi'ites have been taking to the streets since early last year, demanding more rights from the Sunni royal family. The government has repressed the protests and prosecuted medical and hospital workers who have taken care of the injured.

Nuland conceded that Bahrain "is becoming increasingly polarised and much work remains to be done".

  • Gieljam - 2012-05-12 18:47

    What morals , Business is Business as usual....

  • lenzi.marques - 2012-05-13 00:08

    haha and the advert to the right says "support Israel sign the petition receive a free US-Israeli pin" How obvious does it have to be.

  • Pierre - 2012-05-13 05:59

    Russia was severely criticized for selling weapons to Syria. Bahrain oppresses protestors in equal amount to Syria, but US keeps selling into Bahrain, the same as Russia was in Syria. Syria gets even more destabilized as US pays armed resisters in Syria, while Bahrain’s government is helped by the US. F1 race was even held. I think the term is bigotry.

      AnthonyfromAfrica - 2012-05-13 06:34

      Firstly, what Graziela/Fidel/Lenzi.Marques is on about, is beyond me, but whatever........................!! Pierre, Don't make up your own stories, rather stick to reality. During the ,one week, Grand Prix, ONE person was killed in Bahrain. That is, one too many, but in this same week , 350 were murdered in Syria. The Bahrain government does not have tanks firing rockets into apartment blocks, nor has it snipers on rooftops, firing life amunition at whatever moves, including women and children. Russia is sole responsible for the slaughter of 10 000 Syrans !!!! Should there be changes in Bahrain ?? ; For sure, and they will come !! The ironi is, that it is this assad thug, clinging to power, who is delaying the 'Arab Spring' effectevily spreading in the ME !! I think the term is confusing issues !

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