Panetta, Bahraini Crown Prince Meet at Pentagon
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, May 11, 2012 Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta and Bahraini Crown Prince Salman Bin Hamad Al Khalifa met today at the Pentagon to discuss regional and bilateral issues, a senior DOD official said.
U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, right, escorts Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa to a meeting at the Pentagon, May 11, 2012. The two leaders discussed issues of mutual concern. DOD photo by Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Panetta affirmed the long-standing commitment of the United States to a strong partnership with both the people and the government of Bahrain, said Navy Capt. John Kirby, deputy assistant secretary of defense for media operations.
The two leaders discussed the full range of regional and bilateral issues, including Bahrain's support of United States Naval Forces Central Command, Kirby said.
They also discussed the Bahraini government's ongoing efforts to implement the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry report, Kirby said. The commission was established by the King of Bahrain in late June 2011 to investigate the civil unrest that had occurred in Bahrain in February and March of that year.
The defense secretary noted the steps already taken to implement the report’s recommendations, Kirby said. But Panetta, he added, also expressed his belief that work remains to fully address ongoing human rights issues, including individual cases.
Panetta also acknowledged the release of previously requested items and services that will help Bahrain maintain its external defense capabilities, Kirby said. The United States government, he added, will continue to withhold materials that are predominantly intended for use by police and other internal security forces.