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Bahrain orders US diplomat to leave

Bishkek (AKIpress) - hosted2.ap.org Bahrain ordered a top U.S. diplomat to leave the country on Monday after he met with a leading Shiite opposition group.

The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski is not welcome in Bahrain, the AP reports.

It said he intervened in the country's domestic affairs by holding meetings with some groups at the expense of others.

Bahrain has been roiled by near-daily protests by Shiites seeking greater political rights and inspired by the Arab Spring wave of revolutions since early 2011.

The Bahrain government moved to crush the uprising, which threatened to spill into neighboring Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries with Shiite populations, with the help of regional Gulf Arab forces.

Malinowski was ordered to leave after meeting with Bahrain's Shiite opposition group, Al Wifaq. He arrived in the country Sunday and had been scheduled to stay for three days.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Monday that Malinowski is still in Bahrain.

She said Malinowski was on a visit to reaffirm and strengthen bilateral ties and support King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa's reform and reconciliation efforts, particularly in light of events elsewhere in the region.


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