Bahrain king invites opposition for talks

  • Share via facebook
  • Tweet this
  • Bookmark and Share
King Hamad of Bahrain.

King Hamad of Bahrain.

Bahrain's king invited opposition parties to restart stalled talks on Monday in the latest effort to break a political deadlock in the Gulf Arab state beset by unrest.

Western-allied Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based as a bulwark against Iran, has been in political ferment since protests led by majority Shi'ite Muslims demanding democratic change in the Sunni-led monarchy erupted in early 2011.

Opposition groups had given a guarded welcome to a similar call for talks from Bahrain's Crown Prince made in December - though it did not lead to any negotiations. The formal invitation from King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa will carry extra clout.

King Hamad issued a directive authorising the justice ministry to invite "representatives of the political societies and independent members of the political community" to resume a national dialogue, the kingdom's Information Affairs Authority said.

Topics on the agenda would be agreed later but the aim was to "achieve further consensus around the political agenda," it added, without going into further detail.

The ruling Al-Khalifa family used martial law and help from Gulf neighbours to put down the 2011 revolt but violence has resumed.

Protesters and police still clash regularly and rights groups have accused the government of continuing to crush dissent and target opposition protest leaders.

"We are waiting to see which side refuses the invitation to sit at the table of dialogue... We are keen on reaching a final and comprehensive national consensus," Information Minister Samira Rajab was quoted as saying by the state BNA news agency.

Talks on finding a way out of the crisis were held in July 2011, but ended inconclusively after the country's largest opposition group, Wefaq, pulled out complaining it had not been allowed a big enough representation at the negotiations.

Related:
Join the Discussion

Disclaimer:The view expressed here by our readers are not necessarily shared by Arabian Business, its employees, sponsors or its advertisers.

Please post responsibly. Commenter Rules

  • No comments yet, be the first!

Enter the words above: Enter the numbers you hear:

All comments are subject to approval before appearing

Further reading

Features & Analysis
Saudi Arabia adds to oil power with new refineries

Saudi Arabia adds to oil power with new refineries

Two state-of-the-art plants set to redefine Gulf kingdom's role...

Gulf economies edge towards reform as oil price slides

Gulf economies edge towards reform as oil price slides

Countries mull moves to cut spending on lavish cradle-to-grave...

The curious case of David Haigh

The curious case of David Haigh

The story of how the former Leeds United boss went from football...

1
Most Discussed
  • 20
    Why Dubai should consider removing the rent cap

    Not even one comment supporting the author. I wonder if he is trying to create a bubble. more

    Monday, 24 November 2014 2:25 PM - Anil
  • 14
    Life sentence for London hammer attacker

    The death sentence is a free pass. The purpose of punishment has always been to provide a lesson for misbehaving. No one learns a lesson by dying. Life... more

    Friday, 21 November 2014 2:02 PM - LordLands
  • 5
    Is this the end of F1?

    Compare this to WEC and you see a stark difference. The 'formula' for WEC is much more wider and more accomodating. They have been runnning hybrids for... more

    Monday, 24 November 2014 2:30 PM - Vincent