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Bahrain's Foreign Minister Sheikh Kalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa is in Washington to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Top of the agenda is the Bahrain violent crack down on democratic activists back in February.
Bahrain's Foreign Minister, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington on Wednesday.
The meeting comes days after the Obama administration told U.S. lawmakers it is delaying a planned $53 million arms sale to Bahrain.
The administration is waiting for the outcome of a local investigation of its key Gulf ally into alleged human-rights abuses since an uprising in February.
The handling of the issue is sensitive because of U.S. security interests in Bahrain, host of U.S. naval headquarters in the Gulf for more than 60 years and a pivot for U.S. efforts to deter Iran.
[Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State]:
"It's a pleasure, once again, for me to welcome my colleague and counterpart, the foreign minister of Bahrain. He's been here in consultations with many officials of our government, members of congress, others who care deeply about Bahrain and our important relationship."
[Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, Bahrain Foreign Minister]:
"Bahrain has many friends who are interested in what's happening in Bahrain. A lot of them have concerns of what's happening in Bahrain. It comes upon us to explain to our friends what's going on, what we intend to do. And I'm confident that our talks today will also be in that direction."
The arms sale has become unusually controversial in Congress because, critics say, it reflects a double standard compared to the U.S. response to the 2011 unrest in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Syria and Yemen.