- Special Pages
DUBAI: Bahrain opposition groups demanding a parliamentary democracy in the country gave a cautious welcome yesterday to an invitation from the king to talks aimed at breaking nearly two years of political deadlock.
H M King Hamad bin Issa
Al Khalifa made the reconciliation gesture late on Monday, authorising the Justice Ministry to invite “political societies and independent members of the political community” to try to revive discussions that ended inconclusively in July 2011.
Bahrain, where the US Fifth Fleet is based as a bulwark against Iran, has been in political ferment since protests led by majority Shia Muslims demanding democratic change in the country erupted in early 2011. Khalil Al Marzouq, a senior official from Bahrain’s main opposition group Wefaq, said five opposition associations had met in the island State’s capital, Manama, to discuss the invitation.
“The opposition is inclined to participate and to have representatives in this dialogue, hoping that this dialogue will be a serious one,” Marzouq, a political assistant to Wefaq Secretary-General Ali Salman, said by telephone yesterday.