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Friday, February 18, 2011

Obama speaks to Bahrain's king, condemns violence

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama Friday spoke to Bahrain's King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa and condemned violence by government forces against protesters which has killed four people and wounded 200 more.

Obama also warned in the call that the United States believed the stability of the Western-leaning Gulf kingdom which houses the headquarters of the US Fifth Fleet depended on a process of meaningful political reform.

"President Obama spoke with King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa of Bahrain this evening to discuss the ongoing situation in Bahrain," a White House statement said. 

The US leader "reiterated his condemnation of the violence used against peaceful protesters, and strongly urged the government of Bahrain to show restraint, and to hold those responsible for the violence accountable," the statement said.

"As a long-standing partner of Bahrain, the president said that the United States believes that the stability of Bahrain depends upon respect for the universal rights of the people of Bahrain, and a process of meaningful reform that is responsive to the aspirations of all Bahrainis."

Obama's telephone conversation with the king came after several days of bloodshed in Bahrain after government forces stormed a square in the capital Manama and ejected protestors demanding political reform.


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