• US continues military aid to Manama
  • Decision based on human rights progress

The US has said it will continue military assistance to Bahrain despite concerns over human rights abuses.

Military aid has been on hold since 2011, following mass protests across Bahrain.

The US State Department has said the resumption of the aid is due to progress following what a spokesperson described as progress on human rights, including the release of several political prisoners.

“We believe it is important to recognise the government of Bahrain has made some meaningful progress on human rights reforms and reconciliation,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

The US has a long military relationship with Bahrain, where the US Navy’s Fifth fleet is stationed.

Bahrain’s population, which is majority Shia, is governed by a Sunni royal family that enjoys a strong relationship with Saudi Arabia and has been accused by local opposition groups of social oppression and economic exclusion.

Tensions in Bahrain remain despite a slowdown in street protests and civil dissent.

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