WASHINGTON - The United States commended Bahrain on Friday for moving quickly to implement steps toward political reconciliation and said it was sending its chief human rights official to the island nation for further talks.
Washington has said a pending $53 million arms sale to Bahrain will hinge partly on the Gulf monarchy halting abuses inflicted on protesters in February and March and outlined in a report by a government-appointed fact-finding commission of international lawyers.
State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the United States was pleased by Bahrain's deal with the International Committee of the Red Cross to develop more responsible police work and its decision to halt the trial proceedings of more than 100 athletes charged in connection with the protests.
"We call on all parties in Bahrain to create and support a climate conducive to reconciliation," Nuland said, urging Bahrain to act swiftly on other recommendations from the commission.
Nuland said the State Department's chief human rights official, Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner, would travel to Bahrain next week "to continue our human rights dialogue."