Saturday 23 June 2018

New agreement ‘to end stalemate’ in Bahrain

Manama, May 16, 2014

Bahrain's authorities and the opposition have reached a "reconciliation deal" to be announced early next month, an opposition source has been quoted as saying by an Egyptian news website.

The source - a leading member of a democratic society - who spoke on condition of anonymity, also claimed that US Ambassador Thomas Krajeski has played a major role in the "reconciliation" process, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

Former Labour Minister Dr Majeed Al Alawi was also a connecting link between the government and the Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, the source claims.

The agreement will come into effect "early next month - with the resumption of the National Consensus Dialogue and disclosure to the public of accords concluded between the authorities and Al Wefaq".

The society will also have to implement Dr Al Alawi's directives - which includes steering clear of radical Shi'ite groups, refraining from defending any acts committed by outlaws against security forces and proving to the world that they are different from Shi'ite extremists who have recently been arrested and interrogated in London on charges of backing terrorism in Bahrain.

The opposition source claimed that reconciliation terms were discussed a couple of weeks ago during a private meeting between Al Wefaq deputy secretary-general Khalil Al Marzooq, the US Ambassador and Dr Al Alawi.

"During the meeting, Mr Al Marzooq presented his society's vision for the agreement - which includes renunciation of their main demand for an elected government and calming Shias," the source is quoted as saying in the Egyptian Al Bawaba News website.

In return, the government shall undertake measures including revising electoral constituencies, allowing Al Wefaq government seats and releasing prisoners, he added.

Al Wefaq has also proposed some of its leaders to be part of the upcoming Cabinet, including Mattar Mattar, Ali Al Aswad, Abduljaleel Khaleel, Mr Al Marzooq and two others.

"These names are expected to be approved and Royal Decrees could be issued in the next few weeks to reconsider the electoral constituencies and appoint Dr Al Alawi as adviser with the rank of a minister," the source claimed in the website.

The sudden change in Al Wefaq's attitude has raised suspicions among Bahrain's opposition groups who were hoping for a change in the country's political map after all sacrifices, he said.

"We, as Bahrain's opposition, do not object to any reconciliation or agreement between all parties that would lead to resolving political issues, but we do object to Al Wefaq or any other opposition group listening only to their own voice and overlooking other people's demands."

The source blamed some opposition groups for their contradictory stances - like advocating people's causes in the media and ignoring them later to promote self-interests during private meetings with the authorities. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Bahrain | opposition | stalemate |

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