Sen. Casey to Clinton: Delay Bahrain Arms Sale
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near Eastern and South and Central Asian Affairs, sent a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton asking her to delay the proposed arms sale to Bahrain “until the Bahraini government releases its political prisoners, addresses the independent commission’s recommendations, and enters into meaningful dialogue with Bahraini civil society and opposition groups.” Senators Richard Durbin (D-IL), Benjamin Cardin (D-MD), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), and Ron Wyden (D-OR) also signed the letter.
The letter states, “Completing an arms sale to Bahrain under the current circumstances would weaken U.S. credibility at a critical time of democratic transition in the Middle East. We urge you to send a strong signal that the United States does not condone the repression of peaceful demonstrators by delaying the possible arms sale” until the Bahraini government takes the aforementioned steps. Wyden and James McGovern (D-MA) introduced a joint resolution last week to block the arms sale. Human Rights First has also provided a portal for supporting the resolution, which can be found here.
Addressing the importance of American global leadership at a conference at the Center for American Progress, Secretary Clinton said “there should be no doubt” that supporting democratic transitions in the Middle East and North Africa means fostering “strong and stable democracies that are able to give life to the aspirations of their people and play constructive roles on the world stage.”