King Hamad will leave Manama on September 26 and is scheduled to hold talks with his Saudi counterpart regarding relations between the two kingdoms, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported on Sunday.

In mid-March, Saudi Arabia deployed troops in Bahrain to help the Manama regime crack down on peaceful anti-government demonstrations across the country.

Saudi-backed Bahraini forces arrested over 70 protesters, most of them women, on the sidelines of the controversial by-elections in Bahrain on Saturday.

The by-elections were held to replace 18 Bahraini lawmakers from the main opposition party, al-Wefaq, who walked out of the parliament in February after security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters, killing and wounding scores of them.

Al-Wefaq boycotted the by-elections, saying that the 40-member parliament had lost its legitimacy and that it did not represent the will of the Bahraini people.

Bahrain’s top cleric, Sheikh Isa Qassim, also accused the Al Khalifa regime of practicing “fake democracy” in the country and denounced the by-elections as a meaningless vote.

Bahrainis have been holding anti-government rallies since mid-February, demanding an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty, which has ruled the country for over 40 years.

Scores of people have been killed and hundreds more arrested in a brutal crackdown on peaceful protesters in Bahrain, home to a huge American military installation for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet in the Persian Gulf.

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