by Reem Khalifa
Tens of thousands of protesters chanting "Bahrain is not for sale" jammed a
major highway Friday to denounce proposals for closer unity between the
unrest-torn Gulf kingdom and neighboring Saudi Arabia.
The rally's large turnout - demonstrators stretched for more than five
kilometers (three miles) along a main highway - underscored the strong
backlash to efforts by Bahrain's rulers to integrate key policies such as
defense and foreign affairs with their powerful Saudi neighbor.
Riyadh has aided Bahrain's embattled Sunni monarchy with troops and money
during the island nation's 15-month uprising. . . .
"Brutal Repression in Bahrain, U.S.
Objections Muted," The Wisdom Fund, April 16, 2011
Andrew Hammond and Angus McDowall, "Saudi and Bahrain expected to seek union:
minister," Reuters, May 13, 2012
[Oman, Kuwait and the UAE mounted the strongest objections to the union
proposals, fearing being lorded over by the Saudis as well as difficulties
in integrating varying social and political systems.--Andrew Hammond, "Analysis: Saudi Gulf union plan stumbles as wary
leaders seek detail," Reuters, May 17, 2012]