Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she has prodded Saudi Arabia to support a peaceful reform process in Bahrain amid increasing U.S. concerns about sectarian violence in the country.

Clinton said she spoke with Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal on Tuesday and stressed that "they along with everyone else need to be promoting the dialogue" between Bahrain's Sunni monarchy and a Shiite-led protest movement.

More than 1,000 Saudi-led troops entered Bahrain Monday. The U.S. has expressed concern about the deployment but Clinton said Bahrain's government had a right to ask for help to keep order.

But speaking in Cairo, Clinton said reports of provocations and sectarian violence risked worsening the situation in Bahrain. She said the sides "must take steps now to negotiate toward a political solution."