Bahrain Crown Prince calls for new dialogue with opposition

By REUTERS
December 8, 2012 10:00




MANAMA - Bahrain's Crown Prince renewed calls for dialogue with the country's opposition late on Friday, saying only talks could break a deadlock in the Gulf Arab state beset by unrest.

The ruling Al-Khalifa family, who are Sunni Muslims, used martial law and help from Gulf neighbors to put down a revolt against alleged discrimination of Bahrain's majority Shi'ite population in March last year, but violence has resumed.

Protesters and police clash almost daily and the island has seen a number of bombings this year.

Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifah, who was seen as losing influence to hardliners in the ruling family during mass protests last year, said Bahrain must continue political and judicial reforms seen as inadequate by the opposition.

"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.

No opposition figures were invited to the conference.

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