Bahrain denies extending invitation to previously expelled US diplomat

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MANAMA, Bahrain — Bahrain has denied that it extended an invitation to a top U.S. diplomat who was earlier expelled after he met with a leading Shiite opposition group.

The Gulf island kingdom's undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Abdulla Abdullatif Abdulla, said in comments posted by the official Bahrain News Agency on Thursday evening that no invitation has been made to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor Tom Malinowski.

Abdulla was responding to comments by U.S. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki earlier this week, who said Malinowski had received an invitation and a trip was being planned.

Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, has seen more than three years of unrest as its majority Shiites push for greater political rights from the Sunni monarchy.

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