Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Saudi Arabia announced withdrawal of troops deployed in Bahrain

Saudi authorities decided to withdraw most of its forces deployed in Bahrain since last March 14 to maintain security in this small kingdom, the scene of protests. A Saudi government official, who requested anonymity, said that Saudi troops met the decision entrusted to them, as stability has returned to Bahrain, where protests began calling for political reform on 14 February.

In mid March, Saudi Arabia sent a thousand troops to the territory bareiní under a decision of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In an official statement, the Saudi Council of Ministers announced at that time supported the request of Bahrain to back it up by events and by "the attempts of foreign interference in its internal affairs." Emirates also joined the Saudi decision to send troops to Bahrain in their commitment to the GCC, comprising, in addition to these three countries, Oman, Qatar and Kuwait.

The government source added that the withdrawal will be gradual and denied that there is coordination among GCC countries, referring to a possible withdrawal of forces deployed in Bahrain UAE following the departure of the Saudis. This retreat comes despite bareiní Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al Khalifa, had previously stated that the GCC forces would remain until the foreign threat disappear in the country, referring to Iran.

Bahrain is predominantly Shiite country ruled by a Sunni minority, which the opposition calls for the establishment of a parliamentary monarchy, with a new constitution which the people elect a government and an independent Parliament.

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