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US sale of some military items to Bahrain draws congressional opposition
WASHINGTON (AP) ' The United States is selling some military equipment to Bahrain as it walks a fine line between pushing the Sunni monarchy to open talks with the opposition while proceeding cautiously with a strategic ally to counter Iran.
The sale of an undisclosed amount of spare parts and equipment has drawn opposition from some in Congress who argue that it sends the wrong signal about the U.S. commitment to human rights. The State Department said late Friday that the equipment is for Bahrain's external defense and support for the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, which is based in the country.
Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden and Rep. Jim McGovern collected signatures from lawmakers on a letter they plan to send to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton later this week expressing their opposition.