GULF DIGITAL NEWS
7th APRIL 2015 - Vol.XXXVIII No.018
Local News

1,000 sign petition against envoy

ALMOST 1,000 people have so far signed an online petition against the appointment of incoming US Ambassador to Bahrain Thomas Krajeski.

It was launched in response to claims that the diplomat held meetings with members of opposition group Al Wefaq National Islamic Society in the US, before even arriving here.

American officials in Bahrain refused to confirm or deny claims about the meetings yesterday.

The GDN contacted the embassy in the morning seeking information on exactly who Mr Krajeski met, when and why.

However, there was still no response by the time the newspaper went to press late last night.

A total of 900 people have signed the petition, while Bahrain's MPs issued a vote of no confidence in Mr Krajeski's appointment on Tuesday due to suspicions about his alleged meetings with members of Bahrain's opposition.

They also sought to veto his appointment, but senior parliament officials said only His Majesty King Hamad could accept or reject a new ambassador.

The US Embassy also declined to respond to the MPs' vote of no confidence yesterday.

Al Menbar bloc president MP Dr Ali Ahmed during the session accused the diplomat of having a "volatile agenda against Bahrain".

Meanwhile, parliament's public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman and Independent Bloc co-ordinator Hassan Al Dossary questioned his record during his time as a diplomat in Iraq.

Mr Krajeski served at the US Embassy in Baghdad from 2008 to 2009 as a senior adviser to the ambassador on Northern Iraq affairs.

News of the envoy's alleged meetings and comments by US President Barack Obama at the UN last month, when he urged the government to open dialogue with Al Wefaq, have angered Bahrainis who do not support the February 14 protest movement.

The Al Menbar parliamentary bloc staged a rally in Muharraq last month against US interference in Bahrain's internal affairs, while political activist Layla Rajab delivered a letter to the US Embassy this week seeking an apology from President Obama.

Her National Liberal Thought Society, as well as the National Unity Assembly - which has organised rallies attracting hundreds of thousands of people - have both complained that the US was sidelining people who did not agree with groups like Al Wefaq.

The online petition is available at www.twitition.com/5ie4q.

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