Bahrain dialogue set to start again
Manama, February 17, 2014
Participants of the new-look National Dialogue will soon attend a second round of bilateral talks with the Royal Court, it was revealed yesterday.
It comes after the National Assembly (Shura Council and parliament), opposition groups, headed by Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, and the Coalition of National Political Associations, headed by the National Unity Assembly (NUA), submitted their visions and political demands to kick start the dialogue, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
However, it is still unclear whether the government presented its visions, which will cover key issues including the authority of Bahrain's legislative, judicial and executive branches of government, electoral constituencies and national security.
The Royal Court will discuss the issues with individual participants before a schedule of the talks is drawn up.
"The agenda will be drawn up in line with common grounds, when the Royal Court discusses visions presented by participating groups," said Minister of State for Information Affairs Sameera Rajab, who is also the official government spokeswoman.
"There is no time frame for when talks will begin, whether bilateral or with all groups sitting on the table, but we hope it will be soon."
She was speaking at a press conference following yesterday's Cabinet session at Gudaibiya Palace.
She also denied online rumours connected to plans for a Cabinet reshuffle.
The National Dialogue was suspended on January 8 after the Sunni contingent pulled out of the talks over unresolved critical issues.
The five opposition groups walked out of the talks in September last year over the detention of former MP and key opposition figure Khalil Al Marzooq.
However, the talks were revived on January 15 after His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Premier, met representatives from both groups to discuss ways to overcome the obstacles to dialogue. - TradeArabia News Service