US opposes military solution to Bahrain unrest

Noting that military force was not an answer to unrest in Bahrain, the US has urged the ruling regime to engage in the political dialogue to respond to the grievances and the desires of the Bahrainians.

Last Updated: Mar 16, 2011, 09:57 AM IST

Washington: Noting that military force
was not an answer to unrest in Bahrain, the US has urged the ruling regime to engage in the political dialogue to respond to the grievances and the desires of the Bahrainians.

The comments came a day after Saudi Arabia sent troops
to Bahrain to help quell Shiite-led unrest in the Sunni-ruled
kingdom that is also home to the US Navy`s Fifth Fleet.

"We have made clear that we believe that there is
no military solution to the unrest in Bahrain or in other
countries in the region.

"We urge the parties involved here and the governments
involved to engage in the political dialogue that is necessary
to respond to the grievances and the desires of the people of
Bahrain," White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

"That`s a call that we make to other governments in
the region as well. We have maintained that position
consistently as we have seen unrest affect different countries
throughout the region," he said.

The US believes the situation in Bahrain needs to be
resolved by the Bahraini people and the Bahraini government.

"We continue to urge all sides to refrain from
violence and the use of force in any way; to respect the
universal rights of the people in that country -- the right to
free speech, the right to freedom of assembly, access to
information; and to address the grievance that they have,
their demands for greater participation," he said.
This is the broader point that US President Barack
Obama has made since his speech in Cairo in 2009 that it is
precisely to prevent ongoing unrest in the region; or it will
be one of the positive effects of having a dialogue,
broadening political participation of the people in these
countries, addressing the grievances, responding in a
non-violent way, he observed.
"One of the effects of taking that approach will be to
reduce the amount of unrest in the future, because suppression
is not an answer in the long run to the problems in the region
that have led to the unrest that has affected so many
countries so far," Carney said.

"We obviously believe that this has to be dealt with
by the Bahrainis in Bahrain. We believe that it began with
protests by the Bahrainis, and we have encouraged actually
both sides to engage in a dialogue, moderates on both sides
who want to pursue that. We continue to do so," he said.

Yesterday, Bahrain`s monarch declared a three-month
state of emergency, amid growing pro-democracy protests in the
country.

PTI