Clinton 'regrets' closure of US-backed group in Dubai

April 1, 2012 03:29

RIYADH - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Saturday raised concerns over a move by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a key US ally in the Gulf, to shut down a US-funded pro-democracy group.

"We very much regret it," Clinton said after a meeting in Riyadh with foreign ministers from Gulf States, referring to the closure of the Dubai office of the National Democratic Institute (NDI), which was also the subject of a crackdown in Egypt.

Clinton said she discussed the issue with the UAE's Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al-Nahayan.

"We are as you know, as anyone who has visited the United States, strong believers in a vibrant civil society ... I expect our discussions on this issue to continue," Clinton told reporters.

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