WASHINGTON – The Obama administration is resuming some arms shipments to Bahrain after most were suspended last year because of a government crackdown on political dissent.
The State Department said Friday the administration still has human rights concerns about the strategic Persian Gulf island nation and will work with the government to improve the situation. But it said it is releasing the equipment because it is in U.S. national interests and is necessary for the defense of Bahrain, which is host to the U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet.
Among the equipment being released are harbor patrol boats for the Bahrain Coast Guard and upgrades to F-16 fighter engines, officials said. Officials could not give an estimate of cost of the items but the package suspended last year was worth $53 million.