Bahraini FM draws ridicule by hailing bin Salman as Wall of China
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Bahraini FM draws ridicule by hailing bin Salman as Wall of China

On his Twitter account, Khalifah posted a photo of bin Salman on the Great Wall of China, saying, "Like the Chinese who have a wall, we have bin Salman." He also described the heir to the Saudi throne as a tall wall that no aggressor could ever reach it. The praise comes amid mounting criticism of bin Salam over the years-long Saudi war on Yemen and the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. This week, the Saudi crown prince traveled to Pakistan, India and China in his first major, multi-destination tour outside the Middle East since Khashoggi's murder last October. He signed investment agreements worth $20 billion during his trip to cash-strapped Pakistan and cemented a $10 billion deal for a refining and petrochemical complex in China. The prince also vowed a $100 billion Saudi investment in India. Bin Salma's Asian tour is widely believed to be aimed at rehabilitating his image months after the assassination of Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Bahrain, a staunch Saudi ally, has long been following in Riyadh's footsteps in its foreign and domestic policies. The Bahraini people has been holding regular pro-democracy protests since February 2011, demanding that the Al Khalifah family relinquish power and establish a just system representing all Bahrainis. Bahrainis have also complained against widespread discrimination against the Shia majority in the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom. Manama has responded to the demonstrations with an iron fist. In March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were deployed to Bahrain to assist the regime in quashing the dissent. Scores of protesters have lost their lives and hundreds of others sustained injuries or put behind bars as a result of the Al Khalifah regime’s crackdown. The regime has also detained rights campaigners, broken up major opposition political parties and revoked the nationality of pro-democracy activists. In recent months, the Bahraini regime has also stepped up its attempts to normalize relations with Israel. On Friday, people took to the streets of the Baharini villages of Ma'ameer, Abu Saiba, Shakhurah to express their anger at any normalization of ties with Tel Aviv.

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