March 23, 2011
A top EU diplomat says the police in Bahrain have had a “difficult task” dealing with opposition protesters and in such situations “accidents happen”. Robert Cooper, special adviser to EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton, was briefing Euro MPs about his fact-finding visit to Bahrain last weekend. Bahrain’s Sunni Muslim king called in Saudi and Emirati forces last week to help quell Shia-led demonstrations. The harsh crackdown has claimed several lives and dozens are reported missing. Mr Cooper, a veteran British diplomat, said that “the exceptional nature of recent events is part of the problem, because… it’s not easy dealing with large demonstrations in which there may be violence. “It’s a difficult task for the policemen, it’s not something we always get right in Western countries, and accidents happen.