Bahraini opposition groups welcome call for national dialogue

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Bahraini opposition groups have welcomed a recent call by Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa for a national dialogue.

The opposition groups, led by al-Wefaq, said in a statement on Saturday that it “looks favorably upon the appeal by the crown prince.” They also called for a “serious dialogue with agreement on the participants, agenda and duration.”

“The opposition is ready to take part in a dialogue whose result must be put to the people, the source of all powers. From the very beginning, the opposition has opted for peaceful means to gain democracy,” the statement added.
On Friday, the Bahraini prince called for dialogue with the opposition, saying only talks could solve the political unrest in Bahrain.

“I soon hope to see a meeting between all sides – and I call for a meeting between all sides – as I believe that only through face-to-face dialogue will any real progress be made,” he said in an address to a conference organized by the International Institute for Security Studies.

However, no opposition figures were invited to the conference.

The uprising in Bahrain began in mid-February 2011.

The Manama regime promptly launched a brutal crackdown on peaceful protests and called in Saudi-led Arab forces from neighboring states.

Dozens of people have been killed in the crackdown, and the security forces have arrested hundreds, including rights activists, doctors and nurses.

Bahraini demonstrators say they will continue holding anti-regime protests until their demand for the establishment of a democratically elected government is met.

 

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