Captions: Sameera with Ambassador Krajeski at the US embassy reception on Monday - BNA

Manama: Bahrain has dismissed reports about strained relations with the US, saying that its ties with its long-standing ally were robust and strong.

“Bahrain is keen on close relations with all countries from the perspective of an international peace and friendship strategy and as such it handles its diplomatic relations with objectivity and professionalism,” Sameera Rajab, the state minister for information affairs and the government spokesperson, said in remarks published by the London-based daily Al Sharq Al Awsat.

On Sunday, media reports quoted the minister as saying that the cabinet in its weekly session “approved a proposal by the parliament to put an end to the interference of US ambassador Thomas Krajeski in Bahrain’s domestic affairs”.

The lower chamber of the bicameral parliament last week engaged in harsh criticism of the ambassador, accusing him of blatant anti-Bahrain bias and of holding meetings with “instigators of sedition”.

The lawmakers charged that the annual human rights report issued by the US State Department was not fair in its description of the situation in Bahrain and accused the ambassador of not conveying the reality on the ground, urging the foreign ministry to take appropriate action against him.

However, Sameera rejected claims that the report caused friction in the relations between the two countries.

“Ties between Manama and Washington did not get affected by the US State Department about the human rights situation in Bahrain,” she said in the remarks published by the daily on Tuesday. “There are contacts between the government and those who issue the report and the cabinet deals with the reports in a professional and objective way. Bahrain’s democracy is moving forward and the country is serious and determined to reinforce this progress. Bahrain is in touch with all parties that monitor and have interest in the situation in Bahrain. It is keen on rectifying all distortions,” she said.

Sameera, who was appointed state minister in April last year and was given the additional position of spokesperson for the government in November, said that she attended the reception hosted by the US embassy in Manama on Monday evening to mark its Independence Day.