Bahraini king holds talks with Cameron at Downing Street

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King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa held talks with British Prime Minister David Cameron at Downing Street on Tuesday, Bahrain News Agency reported.

The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and “issues of common concern,” the state news agency reported.

During the meeting, “the King expressed thanks and respect for the UK’s supportive stances to Bahrain which asserts historic relations between the two friendly countries,” the agency reported.

The king of Bahrain also expressed to Cameron his “keenness to purchase the British Typhoon warplanes to make them part of the GCC defense system,” according to the agency.

Prior to the meeting, Amnesty International urged Cameron to press King Hamad over alleged crackdown on critics in the Gulf country.

“There’s a façade of supposed reform in Bahrain, but the reality is that critics and dissenting voices are just locked up and silenced,” Amnesty said.

“We want Mr. Cameron to make it crystal clear that the UK is not prepared to hold its tongue over the appalling way critics and protestors are treated,” the rights group added.

In 2011, Bahrain witnessed a wave unrest characterized by mass protests against the ruling family. The government accused Iran of encouraging the Shiitte population in the kingdom to rise against their Sunni rulers.