Bahrain Receives U.S. Congressional Delegation
Bahrain’s Information Affairs Authority (IAA) President Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa welcomed a congressional delegation that included Jim Himes (D-CT), Eni Faleomavaega (D-AS), Marcia Fudge (D-OH), and Dan Burton (R-IN), who, according to the IAA, “reviewed bilateral relations bonding Bahrain and the U.S. as well as the existing partnership between both two friendly countries and means of bolstering ties in all fields.”
Justin Elliott wrote an extensive piece in ProPublica about Faleomavaega and his association with Bahrain. When asked about his keen interest in supporting Bahrain, Faleomavaega said, “Bahrain has been a key ally and supporter of U.S. security interests in this region of the world.” However, Elliott says, “there’s another connection: A lobbying firm run by a longtime friend and campaign contributor to Faleomavaega is working for the regime’s allies.” Elliott also details the creation of the Bahrain American Council under the umbrella organization of D.C.-based lobbying firm Policy Impact Communications, which has featured several of Faleomavaega’s supportive statements about Bahrain’s government on its website. Lastly, Elliott references Faleomavaega’s defense of Kazakhstan before a U.S. government commission that had been critical of dictator Nursultan Nazarbayev‘s human-rights record, and notes that the Kazakhstan government was also a client of Policy Impact at the time, just like the Bahrain government is today.