Bahrain hits back at Obama jibe
Manama, September 27, 2013
Bahrain's Ambassador to the US Huda Nonoo has hit back after US President Barack Obama compared the country to Iraq and Syria.
In his address at the United Nations General Assembly on Tuesday, President Obama said that "the hard work of forging freedom and democracy" included "efforts to resolve sectarian tensions that continue to surface in places like Iraq, Bahrain and Syria".
Nonoo said she was "disappointed to hear him compare the situation in Bahrain to that of the current situation in Iraq and the unfolding tragedies in Syria."
"Notwithstanding the efforts of some groups to reframe what is at the core a political debate, Bahrain's government has repeatedly demonstrated its commitment to resolve differences within its society peacefully through dialogue and without preconditions," she said on her official blog.
"Over its history, Bahrain has provided unparalleled opportunities to its citizens regardless of gender, ethnicity or religion.
"This is not a well-worn public relations cliche, but the reality that thousands of Bahrainis live every day.
"In no other county in the Middle East is my story - that of a Jewish woman who rose on her merits to the highest levels of civil society - even possible."
In a separate statement, Foreign Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa also questioned President Obama's comparison, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
"Throughout its long history Bahrain has fostered a culture of tolerance, moderation and co-existence between the various religious and ethnic communities that constitute its society," he said.
"The climate in the country today bears no equivalence to the sectarian conflicts occurring in Syria and Iraq," the Foreign Minister said.
Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ghanim Al Buainain yesterday met US Ambassador Thomas Krajeski and sought clarification on the US President's speech.
Shura Council chairman Ali Saleh Al Saleh said Bahrain represents a model of tolerance, moderation and community coexistence between all sects and religions in the light of His Majesty's reforms.-TradeArabia News Service