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Bahrain renews call for talks with oppn

14 December 2012

MANAMA — Bahrain’s Crown Prince Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa has made a renewed appeal for dialogue to end the political impasse in the country, a call welcomed by the opposition.

He took the opportunity when hosting a global security conference last week to invite the opposition to sit down and talk.

“We had our own experience of the so-called Arab Spring last year. It divided the nation, and many wounds are still to be healed,” he told the conference.

“I am convinced... that dialogue is the only way forward”.

But Prince Salman also said “opposition leaders must condemn violence on the streets. Silence is not an option.”

State Minister for Information Samira Rajab said that “dialogue is the only solution; a consensual dialogue between all forces to reach a comprehensive solution.”— AFP

Al Wefaq, the largest opposition formation, seized on the crown prince’s proposal and responded positively, but demanded a “serious dialogue” and said the results must be subject to a referendum.

Khalil al-Marzooq, a former Al-Wefaq MP, said the group was ready to talk.

“We are ready for dialogue without any conditions,” he said, reiterating his movement’s position, which does not challenge the monarchy but demands that “the prime minister be named by the elected parliament.” AFP

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