On-the-Record from Jen Psaki, Spokesperson: Department of State Formal Protest of the Decision by the Government of Bahrain to Expel Assistant Secretary Malinowski from Bahrain
The following update can be attributed on-the-record to Jen Psaki, Spokesperson:
On July 8, 2014, the Department of State summoned the Chargé d’affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of Bahrain in Washington, D.C. to formally protest the decision of the Government of Bahrain to expel Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor Tom Malinowski from Bahrain during his recent trip to the Kingdom.
We reiterated that Assistant Secretary Malinowski’s visit had been coordinated in advance with the Government of Bahrain. The purpose of his trip was to reaffirm and strengthen our bilateral ties, and to support the political reconciliation efforts at an important time. To that end, we registered our deep concern about reports that the Bahraini government called in opposition figures for questioning following their meetings with the U.S. delegation.
We also reiterated our view that the Government of Bahrain’s demand to have a Foreign Ministry representative present at Assistant Secretary Malinowski’s private meetings runs contrary to the longstanding partnership between the United States and Bahrain, and is inconsistent with international diplomatic protocol.
We look to the Government of Bahrain to take actions consistent with our strong bilateral relationship. We also look to all sides to recommit themselves to the reconciliation process, which remains the focus of our diplomatic engagement.