U.S. awaits inquiry ahead of Bahrain arms deal

Al Jazeera reports: The US has said that it will consider a special investigation of alleged human rights abuses in Bahrain before moving ahead with a $53m arms deal to the Gulf kingdom.

In a letter to Ron Wyden, a US Democratic senator, and in public statement, the state department said on Tuesday that it shared congressional misgivings about Bahrain’s treatment of protesters and would await the results of a special inquiry established by the king.

The commission’s report to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is due on October 30.

“That’s something we would look at closely,” Mark Toner, the State Department spokesman, said, speaking about the commission’s report.

“We’re going to continue to take human rights considerations into account as we move toward the finalization of this deal.”

He added that several procedural steps remain before the US could deliver the weapons to Bahrain and noted the sale pertained to equipment for Bahrain’s “external defence purposes”.

Wyden and Jim McGovern, a US Democratic representative, have introduced a resolution to block the arms sale to Bahrain, which includes Humvee combat vehicles and missiles.

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