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Bahrain denies inviting expelled US diplomat

Posted on Aug 29 2014 | IANS

Manama, Aug 28 : Bahrain Thursday denied a US official's claim that the island nation has invited a senior US diplomat to return to the kingdom after expelling him for "interfering in domestic affairs".

On Tuesday, the US State Department spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, said in Washington that the top official "has received an invitation to return to Bahrain", Xinhua reported.

"There is a trip that is currently being planned, but I do not have details on that yet at this point in time."

The Bahrain foreign affairs undersecretary Abdulla Abdullatif Thursday said the government has not invited the senior diplomat to return, calling Psaki's statements "inaccurate".

US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tomasz Malinowski was declared persona non-grata by the Bahrain foreign affairs ministry July 7 and asked to leave the country, sparking brief diplomatic tensions between the two allies.

The ministry accused the diplomat of flagrantly intervening in Bahrain's internal affair, contravening diplomatic norms and flouting normal inter-state relations, reflecting government sensitivity on issues dealing with the political opposition and international exposure.

Bahrain, a close US ally, is host to the US's Fifth Fleet.

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