Bahrain to beef up security for National Day
Manama, December 9, 2013
By Mohammed Al A'Ali
Security in Bahrain will be stepped up during next week's National Day celebrations following online calls for mass riots.
Minister of State for Information Affairs and official government spokeswoman Sameera Rajab said security forces were prepared to prevent any acts of vandalism and sabotage during celebrations to mark Bahrain's National Day and His Majesty King Hamad's accession to the throne on December 16 and 17, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
She was speaking during a press conference following yesterday's (December 8) weekly Cabinet session at Gudaibiya Palace.
"Our security forces are ready as always to fend off rioting and it is unfortunate that there are calls for terrorist acts on two important occasions that fall next week," she said.
"Both days are a national occasion that should be respected despite differences and the symbolism of the National Day and Accession to the Throne is of high value to the country's harmony and unity.
"The two occasions have for years brought people from all sects and ages together. To ensure that celebrations are marked properly, security will be stepped up to ensure that they are not being affected by anything."
Meanwhile, Rajab said opposition groups were welcome to re-join the National Dialogue, despite a decision to consider them "withdrawn" from the talks.
"The opposition has until the dialogue session on December 25 to change their mind and show up for talks. The door is always open for them to debate political differences, and that's the case since the days of the unrest in February 2011," she said.
The five opposition groups, led by Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, withdrew in September following the detention of former MP and key opposition figure Khalil Al Marzooq, who is on trial for allegedly being affiliated with outlawed group, Coalition of February 14.
They released a set of conditions to return, which they described as a "roadmap" to dialogue, which kicked off 10 months ago.
The groups demanded United Nations and GCC representatives to oversee the talks being held at the Isa Cultural Centre. - TradeArabia News Service