Obama welcomes Bahrain cabinet reshuffle
Washington, February 28, 2011
President Barack Obama has welcomed a move by Bahrain's government to reshuffle its cabinet and urged it to respect human rights.
"I welcome the announcement by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa about making important changes to the cabinet and restating his commitment to reform," Obama said in a statement.
The king reshuffled the cabinet in a further attempt to appease the people who have staged days of protests against the government.
The ministers of housing, health and cabinet affairs were among those sacked.
Thousands of protesters still occupy Pearl Roundabout in central Manama, demanding the resignation of the cabinet and a new constitution under which the government is elected.
Obama called Bahrain a "long-standing partner" but said the United States believes the country's stability "will be enhanced by respecting the universal rights of the people of Bahrain and reforms that meet the aspirations of all Bahrainis."
Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa has offered dialogue to solve issues raised by the protesters. Obama said the dialogue was an "opportunity for meaningful reform." - Reuters