US urges Bahrain to honour probe on human rights abuses

Clinton urges Gulf state to address violations committed during crackdown on protesters
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Bahraini Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa (L) met with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Wednesday at the Department of State, Washington, DC. The US pressed Bahrain to make good on its pledges to address the human rights violations committed during the Bahrain protests earlier this year. (Getty Images)
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In March, the Sunni, Bahrain monarchy of King Hamad violently put down pro-democracy demonstrations, mostly by Shi'ite muslims, inspired by the Arab Spring. The Gulf state imposed martial law and called in troops from its Sunni Gulf neighbours in a bid to quell weeks of unrest. More than 30 people died in the clashes. (Getty Images)\n\n\n
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The demonstrations hurt tourism and spurred the Bahrain central bank to cut its forecasts for economic growth during 2011 by two percentage points to 3 percent. Bahrain has since been trying to clamber back its reputation. (Getty images).
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton discussed "the full range of human rights issues" with Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa. (Getty Images)
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During the meeting, Clinton stressed the importance of an independent panel due to report on the unrest, assess whether it involved rights violations and make recommendations to Bahrain's ruling family. (Getty Images. Text: Reuters)
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According to media reports, the foreign minister assured her that the government would take the report very seriously and would in fact establish an implementing committee.(Getty Images)
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Washington is trying to fend off charges that it has backed Arab pro-democracy uprisings elsewhere, while condoning the Saudi-backed crackdown in Bahrain, a long-standing Gulf ally.Earlier this month the State Department told US lawmakers it was delaying a planned $53m arms sale to Bahrain, pending the outcome of the investigation into alleged human-rights abuses since the uprising began in February. (AFP/Getty Images. Text: Reuters)
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In December last year, Clinton spoke during the opening of the Manama Dialogue, organised by the London-based International Institute of Strategic Studies, in the Bahraini capital. (AFP/Getty Images)
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While the State Department described the meeting [this week] in neutral terms, a US official who spoke on condition of anonymity suggested it may have been more contentious. (Getty Images. Text: Reuters)