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Bahrain needs to reform quickly, says Clinton

Washington: Bahrain should roll out an immediate process of political reform, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said today, while deploring the use of force against peaceful protesters.

Clinton said violence against peaceful protesters is "absolutely unacceptable" and deplorable.

"We`ve been very clear from the beginning that we do not want to see any violence. We very much want to see the human rights of the people protected, including right to assemble, right to express themselves. We want to see reform," Clinton told ABC news in an interview.

Responding to questions on the current situation in Bahrain, which is witnessing pro-democracy protests against the King, the Secretary of State said the country should launch reforms as soon as possible.

"So Bahrain had started on some reform, and we want to see them get back to that as quickly as possible," she said.

Clinton said the US holds every one to similar principals but would not dictate the outcomes.

"We cannot tell countries what they`re going to do.

We had, you know, no control over what happened in Egypt," she said.

"In general Americans are in favour of human rights, freedom, democracy. We know that, ultimately, the most progress that can be made on behalf of human beings anywhere is when those individuals are empowered, when they have governments that are responsive. That`s what we want to see," she said.

However, she added that such a process of transition faces the risk of being "hijacked" by elements both outside and inside any country.

"I mean, what a tragedy to see what happened in Iran.

There was a great deal of hope and pent-up feeling that the time had come in 1979, and look at what Iran is doing today," Clinton said.

She said a truly functioning democracy would always be a greater force for stability, and that the US wants to work for ushering in such reforms in countries like Bahrain.

"We want to work with those forces within societies that are yearning for change to make sure that they have the support needed and, frankly, the technical assistance, the financial assistance to be able to make it through to what is a good outcome, what they`ve asked for in their online blogs and in their posters and in their interviews," she said.

"Navigating through what are difficult choices for societies that are doing that transition is something that the United States encourages, as we did after the fall of the Berlin Wall, and will continue to encourage," Clinton said.

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