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Thu 26 May 2011 08:57 AM

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Bahrain 'committed to reforms' as martial law ends

Lessons being learnt from mistakes made by both sides during recent period, crown prince says

Bahrain 'committed to reforms' as martial law ends
Bahraini Crown Prince Sheikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa (Getty Images)

Bahrain, which suppressed a wave of protests this year,
adopted a more conciliatory tone on Wednesday, promising reforms.

Bahrain's crown prince, widely seen as a moderate, said in a
statement he was committed to the reform path and said the Gulf state would
listen to both domestic and international concerns.

"Undoubtedly, mistakes have been made by all sides
during the recent period, but lessons are being learnt," Sheikh Salman Bin
Hamad Al Khalifa said.

"With the end of the [emergency] days..., substantial
activity is underway to comprehensively address core issues of national and
international concern," Sheikh Salman said.

"Bahrain is fully committed to continuous reform, a
programme led by His Majesty King Hamad over the past decade.

"However... the speed of progress must be guided by the
ability to achieve consensus," said the crown prince.

Bahrain is eager to show that stability has returned after
the upheaval in which at least 29 people have been killed since protests
erupted in February.

It plans to lift a state of emergency next week that was
imposed when the government quashed the protest movement.

It now hopes for a return to normalcy on June 1, following
the end of night curfew in Manama this week.

Arabian Business digital magazine: read the latest edition online