After instability during the late 1990s, Bahrain undertook substantial political reforms, but the Shiite majority continues to simmer over the Sunni-led governments perceived manipulation of laws and regulations to maintain its grip on power. As of December 2008, tensions have again begun to manifest as demonstrations and some arrests of Shia opposition figures. Bahrains stability has long been a key U.S. interest; it has hosted U.S. naval headquarters for the Gulf for nearly 60 years. In September 2004, the United States and Bahrain signed a free trade agreement (FTA); legislation implementing it was signed January 11, 2006 (P.L. 109-169). This report will be updated. "
Bahrain: Reform, Security, and U.S. Policy
February 24, 2009
Open CRS (User submitted)