Bahrain trip complicated by conflict in area

Q and A

Q&a

August 20, 2006|By SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

I'm interested in traveling to Bahrain to visit a friend. Is it safe, and are there tour operators who can help me?

Although Bahrain is a close ally of the United States, you might want to reconsider a visit there given the current conflict between Israel and Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

The U.S. Embassy in Manama, Bahrain, posted a message advising Americans living there of two scheduled demonstrations recently in support of Lebanon and, in one case, Hezbollah. Americans are advised to leave any areas where large crowds are gathered. Police recently used tear gas to disperse demonstrators who had gathered outside the U.S. Embassy to protest Israel's military effort in Lebanon.

If you choose to go, you should check the U.S. State Department's Web site (travel.state.gov) and click on "International Travel," then "Consular Information Sheets." You'll find important information, including the need for a visa and the importance of limiting your activities to tourist attractions and major commercial districts. You should also register online with the U.S. Embassy in Manama. You can obtain updated information on safety by calling 888-407-4747.

To find a U.S. travel agent who can book a trip, check travelsense. org, a Web site of the American Society of Travel Agents, and click on "find a travel agent." You can also find a list of Bahrain-based travel agents at bahraintourism. com.

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