German president cancels Bahrain visit in wake of violent protests
German President Christian Wulff on Friday cancelled plans to visit Bahrain later this month, taking the decision after a violent crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators, DPA reported.
"Freedom of assembly and opinion have to be fully guaranteed in Bahrain," his spokesman, Olaf Glaeseker, said.
Glaeseker said whether the president would retain the rest of his Gulf travel schedule - featuring stops in Kuwait and Qatar - depended on further developments.
The visit to Bahrain had been in planning for months, but had not yet been officially announced in Berlin.
At least three people were killed and hundreds injured in the Persian Gulf island state on Thursday when security forces broke up demonstrations.
The trip by the president, whose role in Germany is mainly ceremonial, was prompted by Kuwait's celebration of the 20th anniversary of its liberation from a short-lived occupation by the Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.