The U.S. State Department's top human rights envoy is urging Bahrain's Sunni monarchy and Shiite-led opposition to resume talks aimed at ending yearlong unrest in the strategic Gulf nation.
Assistant Secretary of State Michael Posner also raised deep concerns Thursday about possible escalating violence before the uprising's one-year anniversary next Tuesday.
Protesters are calling for major demonstrations. Bahraini authorities plan a massive deployment of security forces.
Posner made the remarks to reporters after meetings with Bahraini officials, opposition activists and others.
Bahrain's majority Shiites are seeking to break the strong grip on power by the Western-allied rulers. Bahrain is host to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.