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Thu 31 Oct 2013 10:29 AM

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Bahraini MPs call to excommunicate ‘dangerous’ US ambassador

Gov’t supporters say Thomas Krajeski is ‘despicable’ for interfering in country’s politics by meeting with anti-gov’t protestors

Bahraini MPs call to excommunicate ‘dangerous’ US ambassador
(Photo for illustrative purpose only)

The US ambassador to Bahrain has dismissed calls for him to be excommunicated amid criticism that he is “dangerous” and “despicable”.

Bahraini MPs have demanded the government cut ties with Thomas Krajeski, claiming he is attempting to interfere in the country’s politics by holding meetings with the opposition and anti-government protesters.

They also are angry at what they say is the US’s move to become allies with Iran, a Bahraini enemy, after presidents Barack Obama and newly elected Hassan Rouhani had a telephone conversation last month – the first dialogue between leaders of the US and Iran in more than 30 years.

"The ambassador wears the diplomatic suit to make him look respectable, but in reality he is despicable and should be excommunicated by MPs and government officials," Independent Bloc MP Hassan Al Dossary told parliament, according to .

"There is no hope he will stop [interfering] and his actions continue to affect Bahrain.

"Bahrain is still at war and policemen are being attacked daily with bullets and explosives.

"The US and its newly-acknowledged ally in the region [Iran] will not stop and more dangers are coming.”

MP Shaikh Jawad Buhussain, a member of the Bahrain Bloc, said the ambassador refused to acknowledge the violence by anti-government protesters, including attacks on police and politicians.

"This dangerous ambassador is closing his eyes to reality and MPs have, for the past two years, been harassed and attacked by radicals who targeted our homes and families," Buhussain said.

"I was under siege for three days and I have been forced into exile from my constituency to an undisclosed location due to fears for my safety, while [Krajeski] meets radicals and terrorists.”

Independent Bloc MP Latefa Al Gaoud called on key Bahraini government ministries not to deal with the ambassador.

"What's unacceptable is the US ambassador making demands, issuing directives and dictating to the government," she said.

"I am sending a message to the foreign, interior, human rights and justice ministries not to deal with this ambassador - especially in any of his requests that neglect the will of the majority here."

In response to the comments, Krajeski said the US and Bahrain had a strong relationship but conceded there were cracks at the moment.

"The US and Bahraini people have a rich, durable and deep relationship that spans over six decades and continues to serve the mutual defence, economic and regional interests of both countries," Krajeski said in a statement to GDN.

"As in any relationship, there are different points of view and competing priorities that we manage.

"But the issues on which we agree far outnumber any differences we might have.

"My embassy's top goal is to extend those good relations for generations to come."

MPs had attempted to prevent Krajeski from taking up his position as soon as he was appointed in 2011, based on reports he had held meetings with opposition figures in the US before arriving in Bahrain.

In April, the Bahraini parliament approved a proposal to “stop the US Ambassador's alleged interference”, after MPs presented documents and pictures of meetings between Krajeski and opposition figures.

Sunni Muslim-ruled Bahrain, which is home to the US Fifth Fleet, crushed pro-democracy protests by majority Shia Muslims in 2011 but demonstrations continue to take place, often resulting in clashes between security forces and demonstrators.

The government and opposition groups have sought to discuss their differences in reconciliation talks launched in February, but the dialogue has yet to produce results.