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Cablegate: Bahraini Shia Party Denies Links to Yemeni Houthis

VZCZCXRO1216
RR RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHDIR
DE RUEHMK #0543 2520741
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
R 090741Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY MANAMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8908
INFO RUEHZM/GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL COLLECTIVE
RUEHYN/AMEMBASSY SANAA 0738
RHBVAKS/COMUSNAVCENT
RHMFISS/HQ USCENTCOM MACDILL AFB FL

C O N F I D E N T I A L MANAMA 000543

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 09/09/2019
TAGS: PGOV KISL YM BA
SUBJECT: BAHRAINI SHIA PARTY DENIES LINKS TO YEMENI HOUTHIS

REF: A. BRYAN-HENZEL E-MAIL
B. AUGUST 25

Classified By: Ambassador Adam Ereli for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).

1.(C) Summary: Bahrain's mainstream Shia Wifaq party denied claims that it was supporting Yemeni Houthis. End summary.

2.(SBU) A Salafist member of Bahrain's parliament, known for anti-Shia incitement, recently made public claims that Bahrain's mainstream Shia opposition party Wifaq had met with and "supports" Yemen's Houthis. The Salafist, MP Jassim Saeedi, has a history of sensationalist charges against Bahraini Shia.

3.(C) Wifaq MP Jassim Hussain told DCM that Wifaq officials had met in late August with a Yemeni parliamentary delegation that included at least one Yemeni Zaidi MP, but asserted Wifaq would not consider contacts with Houthi rebels. Wifaq's foreign affairs specialist Saeed Al Majid, in a separate conversation with Poloff, denounced Saeedi as a liar who was seeking to incite his Sunni base with tales of Shia conspiracies. Al Majid added that Wifaq maintains contacts with "legitimate political parties" and governments around the world but did not view relations with the Houthis as likely to serve the interests of Wifaq or Bahrain. ERELI

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