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Malaysia offers to send troops to Bahrain

Published:

Prime Minister Najib Razzak of Malaysia has offered to send his country’s troops as part of a peacekeeping force to help “de-escalate tension” in Bahrain.

Mr. Razzak also backed Saudi Arabia’s efforts in resolving regional unrest, according to Agence-France Presse.

Bahrain was rocked by protests in March when demonstrators took to the streets demanding greater personal liberties in the Shiite majority kingdom ruled by Sunnis.

In March, at the request of the Bahrain government, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates sent their troops to quell the protests and restore calm.

“Malaysia stands ready to contribute peacekeepers to Bahrain, if invited to do so by the leadership,” Mr. Razzak said in a statement late Friday following a meeting in Riyadh with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

“Malaysia will consider it a great honor to offer assistance in this noble effort,” the prime minister said.

He said his country, where Malay Muslims dominate a population consisting also of Chinese and Tamils, “supported the national dialogue process launched by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa in a bid to de-escalate tension in the country,” reported the AFP.

International rights organizations have asked Bahrain to release what it says are hundreds of protestors that have been detained since the unrest began.

Bahrain authorities said 24 people, including four policemen, have been killed in the unrest.

(Muna Khan, Editor of Al Arabiya English, can be reached at: [email protected])