First Published: 2013-01-22

 

King seeks to break chronic political deadlock in Bahrain

 

Bahrain's King Hamad calls for new round of national dialogue, previously shunned by Shiite-led opposition.

 

Middle East Online

Two years of deadlock

DUBAI - Bahrain's King Hamad has called for a new round of national dialogue, previously shunned by the Shiite-led opposition, the government's Information Affairs Authority said.

King Hamad's call follows last month's plea for dialogue made by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa, as protests continue in the Shiite-majority kingdom despite a heavy-handed crackdown on demonstrations in March 2011.

Following directives by King Hamad, Justice Minister sheikh Khalid bin Ali al-Khalifa invited "representatives of the political societies and independent members of the political community in Bahrain to resume political discussions," the Information Affairs Authority said late Monday.

It said the topics for the dialogue "will be those pending issues to be agreed upon, aiming to achieve further consensus around the political agenda."

The opposition has repeatedly said it was ready for a meaningful dialogue, but has stuck to its demands for a real constitutional monarchy with an elected prime minister in Bahrain.

Al-Wefaq, the largest Shiite opposition formation, said in December it was ready for dialogue, but it had pulled out of the earlier July 2011 round of such discussions.

Bahrain has been shaken by unrest since its forces in March 2011 crushed a month of popular Shiite-led protests demanding greater rights and an end to what they said was discrimination by the Sunni royals.

The International Federation for Human Rights says 80 people have died since the start of the Arab Spring-inspired uprising on February 14, 2011.

 

Yemen suspends flights for second day as truce talks collapse

Turkey loses only excuse for appeasement with Islamic State

Marzouki seeks to stay as Tunisia President

US Secretary of State sees role for Iran in war against Islamic State

Boat tragedy fails to deter migrants in Egypt

Mediators denounce ‘senseless fighting’ in South Sudan

Tunisia jihadist group offers backing to Islamic State

Kurds cross from Turkey to fight Islamic State in Syria

Neighbourhood in Iraq’s Dhuluiyah stands against jihadists

British photographer Cantlie twice held hostage by IS

Turkey opens border to desperate Syrian Kurds

Jihadists to change tactics to avoid air strikes

Iran, six powers return to negotiating table

Saudi Arabia to restore Egypt's Al-Azhar mosque

Airlines suspend flights to Sanaa for 24 hours

US accuses Assad of breaking pact on chemical weapons

‘Concerned’ US urges Iran to cooperate in UN nuclear probe

Syrian children given anaesthesia not measles vaccination

France ready to provide ‘aerial support’ in Iraq

Tunisia denies existence of plot to assassinate Beji Caid Essebsi

Majority of Americans believe Obama mishandled terror threats

‘Islamic State’ releases video of captive British journalist

Libya cannot take more than 10 ministers

France approves bill to crack down on jihadists

Assassination of Libya ex-air force chief in Benghazi

14 Bahraini Shiites sentenced to life in prison for bombing

IS jihadists close in on Syria third largest Kurdish town

Yemen rebels clash with Sunni Islamists

New Turkish safety law costs 5,000 coal miners jobs

Bahrain slams Qatar for offering citizenship to Sunni nationals

Libya PM presents new cabinet in Tobruk

US House gives green light to plan to arm Syria rebels

Davutoglu denounces ruling against Turkey’s religion courses

South Sudan to revoke expulsion of foreign workers

Algeria to tighten grip on imam training

Libya Islamists unleash another offensive on Benghazi airport

Iraqi bishop: Operations against IS in Iraq came very late

French parliament approves new anti-terror bill

World Bank calls for sweeping reforms in Tunisia

Obama to meet with generals planning IS assault

UN brokers Israeli-Palestinian deal on Gaza reconstruction

Iraq parliament votes down PM's security nominees

Qaeda branches urge jihadists to unite against US

Despite war, South Sudan replaces foreign workers with locals

IS jihadists shoot down Syria warplane