RIYADH May 21 U.S. President Donald Trump said
on Sunday Washington's relations with Bahrain were set to
improve, after meeting with the king of the Gulf Arab state
during a visit to Saudi Arabia.
"Our countries have a wonderful relationship together, but
there has been a little strain, but there won't be strain with
this administration," Trump said during a photo session with
Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa in Riyadh.
"We're going to have a very, very long-term relationship. I
look forward to it very much - many of the same things in
Trump's White House decided this year to pursue a $5 billion
sale to Bahrain of 19 Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft and related
equipment, which was held up last year by human rights concerns.
With help from some other Gulf Arab states, Bahrain crushed
a 2011 uprising inspired by the "Arab Spring" led by its Shi'ite
majority, which demanded more rights and representation.
The government accuses elements of the opposition of seeking
to overthrow it by force with help from arch-foe Iran.
Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa told
Reuters last month that Trump better understood the threat to
the United States' Gulf Arab allies from Tehran than his
predecessor Barack Obama.
(Reporting by Steve Holland; Editing by Mark Potter)