Saudi official: Gulf cannot ‘tolerate’ unrest

MANAMA— A senior Saudi official says Gulf Arab states must quash any Arab Spring-inspired unrest or risk threats to their leadership across the oil-rich region.

The comments by Prince Abdulaziz bin Abdullah, the Saudi deputy foreign minister, echo calls by Gulf authorities to widen crackdowns on perceived opposition such as rights activists and Islamist factions.

His remarks also seek to justify the intervention last year in Bahrain by a Saudi-led Gulf military force after an uprising in the kingdom. Bahrain remains the Gulf’s main flashpoint.

Prince Abdulaziz says Gulf states “cannot tolerate instability” that could lead to challenges to the Western-allied leaders from Kuwait to Oman.

He spoke Saturday at an international security summit hosted by Bahrain.

Meanwhile anti-regime protests continued in several cities across Bahrain as the Al Khalifa regime continues its crackdown on peaceful demonstrations in the country.

Thousands of demonstrators held a sit-in in the village of Muqsha, west of the capital Manama to demand the end of US backed monarchy.  

“Get out, Khalifa!” they chanted, referring to the king who has been in power for the past four decades.

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