New report: Saudi Arabia says it won’t cut its ties with Bahrain over protests

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has ruled out any political compromise with Bahrain’s Shiite-led government amid escalating unrest in the Persian Gulf nation.

The kingdom said Friday that it would keep all ties with the tiny Gulf Arab state, which it says is supporting a Sunni-led uprising that has left dozens dead.

The kingdom also said it would continue to maintain its diplomatic and economic ties with its neighbor.

The statement was the latest sign that Saudi Arabia is trying to contain unrest in Bahrain that began after the Saudi-led Arab League agreed to an economic and political settlement to end a nearly four-decade-long conflict over a disputed territory.

Bahrain, which has close ties with Washington, has repeatedly accused Saudi Arabia of orchestrating the unrest, which began in 2014.

The dispute has led to a blockade and a $10 billion annual U.S. investment in the Gulf Arab nation.

A Bahraini man is carried by a procession in the southern port city of Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, November 11, 2017.

The statement by the Saudi king, the second issued by a monarch since King Salman ascended to the throne in January, comes days after he summoned the United States for talks on a new security plan for the region.

Saudi Arabia has accused the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain of supporting an uprising by the Bahraini Shiite minority.

The United Arab Emirate has accused Bahraini authorities of blocking its airspace, arresting people, detaining political activists and threatening Bahraini businesses.

The United States has said the UAE and Bahrain should stop their support for the Shiite-dominated government and end their support of the protests.