WASHINGTON, July 8 (Xinhua) -- A senior American diplomat expelled by Bahrain would leave the kingdom on Tuesday without having all the meetings with local officials, while the United States is mulling its response, the State Department said.
Tom Malinowski, assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor, was declared on Monday persona non grata and ordered to leave Bahrain immediately over his alleged meddling in the country's internal affairs.
"He's scheduled to leave today," department spokeswoman Jennifer Psaki told reporters at a daily news briefing, adding that the senior diplomat, who arrived on Sunday for a visit, had scheduled a series of meetings with senior officials and planned to stay "about through the end of the week or through later this week."
Malinowski met on Sunday with members of Shiite opposition group Al Wifaq, which has staged frequent anti-government protests in order to gain more political rights.
Bahrain's Foreign Ministry accused him of holding meetings with one party and leaving out others, saying "Such activities are contrary to diplomatic norms and relations between states."
The kingdom has been plagued by waves of protests, sabotage and attacks on police since February 2011, as the majority Shiites are unhappy with the Sunni royal family's slowness in promoting reforms.
Psaki said Washington was considering its response to Bahrain's move. "There's a range of options we can consider," she added.
Bahrain is a U.S. ally in the volatile Middle East and has long provided a base for the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet.