Core group to assist at Bahrain National Dialogue
Manama, August 29, 2013
A small working group has been formed to iron out key issues being discussed at Bahrain's National Dialogue, a report said.
Participants - from the government, National Assembly, opposition and the Sunni contingent - agreed to appoint two members from each group to attend the closed-door session yesterday, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
The decision was made last night during the dialogue's 24th session at Isa Cultural Centre in Juffair, which resumed after the Ramadan break.
"The participants agreed to a government suggestion to have a small working team comprising two members each," said dialogue spokesman Isa Abdulrahman.
"The outcomes of this small working group are not obligatory, but they will be carried forward for follow-up when the main session takes place."
He said the group's discussions will take place without the presence of the media to help talks move forward.
"It will help create an atmosphere for the participants and in this session, after the Ramadan break, we noticed the seriousness and commitment of all participants to start working on the agenda," he said.
The working team will consist of Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa and Education Minister Dr Majid Al Nuaimi representing the government, MPs Dalal Al Zayed and Sawsan Taqawi from the National Assembly, Khalid Al Qattan and Ahmed Al Binali from the coalition of nine political societies, and Abdulnabi Salman and Sayed Hadi Al Mousawi representing the five opposition groups.
Abdulrahman said despite some disagreements during yesterday's session, participants managed to discuss issues of equal representation and the dialogue's principles.
He said the opposition groups submitted a list of six points, which will be discussed by participants at a later date.
Meanwhile, Democratic Progressive Tribune (Al Taqadumy) secretary-general Abdulnabi Salman said opposition groups were committed to ending the country's political stalemate.
"We submitted the six points during the talks, which we feel will help calm the situation and create the right atmosphere to move with the agenda," he said.
Shura Council's financial and economic affairs committee head Khalid Al Maskati said it was important to create a balance between both sides to go ahead with the talks.
"Honestly, a lot of time was wasted, but this time we have created an atmosphere to know each other," he said. "There cannot be a timeframe set for the dialogue, but that does not mean an open timeframe should be taken for granted."
National Institution for Human Rights chairman Dr Abdulaziz Abul, who has been monitoring and attending the sessions, said "dialogue will now not be tough" after participants agreed to form small working groups. – TradeArabia News Service