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Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa (R) welcomes U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) at Gudaibiya Palace, ahead of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Ministerial meeting in Manama, Bahrain April 7, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, in a phone call with Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, expressed "strong concerns regarding recent negative developments in Bahrain," the White House said in a statement on Friday.

Biden spoke to al-Khalifa on Thursday and "emphasized the importance of reducing ongoing tensions through dialogue and reconciliation with the opposition, and a commitment to reform," the statement said.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Eric Walsh)

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