UAE sends 500 police to Bahrain protests: foreign minister
Tue, March 15 2011 01:47 | 1451 Views
Paris (ANTARA News/AFP) - The United Arab Emirates has sent around 500 police to neighbouring Bahrain amid escalating anti-regime protests there, Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahyan said on Monday.
(FOTO ANTARA/REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed)
"The Bahrain government asked us yesterday to look at ways to help them to defuse tension in Bahrain," Nahyan told journalists when asked about the UAE decision to send security forces in.
"We have already sent roughly around 500 of our police force who are there," he said at a gathering of Group of Eight foreign ministers in Paris, where the UAE is representing the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Nahyan went in to talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton after talking to journalists.
The Emirati state minister for foreign affairs, Anwar Gargash, said earlier in Abu Dhabi that the UAE was joining a Gulf contingent being sent in to Bahrain to "participate in strengthening security and internal stability."
Gargash said that the UAE urged the Bahraini opposition to engage in dialogue with the government without any preconditions, and to answer "positively" a call by Bahrain`s Crown Prince Salman for open talks.
In addition to Bahrain and the UAE, the GCC includes Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
Saudi Arabia said it also answered Bahrain`s request for support, shortly before Bahrain`s state television aired footage of troops from the GCC`s joint Peninsula Shield Force crossing King Fahd causeway from Saudi Arabia.
The one-month-old anti-regime protests escalated this week in Bahrain.
Demonstrators blocked main roads in Manama and clashed with riot police who had avoided protesters for nearly a month, after seven were killed at the start of the demonstrations. (*)
Editor: B Kunto Wibisono
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