WASHINGTON, D.C.: U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday spoke by telephone with Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa as anti-government protests have thrown parts of the nation into chaos, the White House said.
Earlier on Friday, Obama had said through a statement that he condemned the use of violence against anti-government protesters in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen. "I am deeply concerned by reports of violence in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen," he said, adding: "The United States condemns the use of violence by governments against peaceful protesters in those countries and wherever else it may occur."
The U.S. President said the United States expresses its condolences to the family and friends of those who have been killed during the protests. "Wherever they are, people have certain universal rights including the right to peaceful assembly," he said. "The United States urges the governments of Bahrain, Libya and Yemen to show restraint in responding to peaceful protests, and to respect the rights of their people."
Obama later spoke by telephone with Bahraini King Al-Khalifa to discuss the ongoing situation. "The President reiterated his condemnation of the violence used against peaceful protesters, and strongly urged the government of Bahrain to show restraint, and to hold those responsible for the violence accountable," the White House said in a readout of the call.
The statement added: "As a long-standing partner of Bahrain, the President said that the United States believes that the stability of Bahrain depends upon respect for the universal rights of the people of Bahrain, and a process of meaningful reform that is responsive to the aspirations of all Bahrainis."
Also on Friday, the U.S. State Department issued a travel alert for Bahrain as a result of the ongoing clashes. "We urge U.S. citizens to defer non-essential travel to Bahrain at this time," the alert said, adding that 'spontaneous demonstrations and violence' is expected to continue.
The U.S. government further urged U.S. citizens already in Bahrain to remain alert to local security developments and to be vigilant regarding their personal security. "The U.S. Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid all demonstrations, as even peaceful ones can quickly become unruly and a foreigner could become a target of harassment or worse," it added.
Parts of the Arab world in North Africa have been thrown into chaos amid massive widespread protests against their governments, resulting in revolutions in Tunisia and most recently Egypt.
The protests in Bahrain, Libya and Yemen have in recent days claimed a combined total of more than 60 lives and injured hundreds more, while more than 600 others have been killed in protests in other countries.
(BNO NEWS )