Opposition party Al Wefaq today released a statement calling for an immediate “serious dialogue, without conditions from either side.”
Reiterating their ongoing calls for a political dialogue they said, “We are ready to sit at the dialogue table, as the political future of Bahrain is an important part of our strategic vision. We believe that the only way to resolve the crisis is to start a serious dialogue, discussing how to realise the aspirations of all people in Bahrain.”
They come in the wake of visits to Bahrain from UK Foreign Office Minister for Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt and Michael Posner, US State Department Assistant. Both called for such a dialogue between the government and the opposition during their visits after meetings with both parties.
Al Wefaq were keen to stress their commitment to dialogue at the end of a week that saw their leader Sheikh Ali Salman make one his most controversial speeches to date, with the King responding with a fierce defence of the military, who have been responsible for enacting the crackdown on protesters.
The statement said, “Al Wefaq praises the insistent and continuous international calls for such a dialogue, in line with what was stated by Mr. Burt and Mr. Posner.”
But despite the calls for dialogue Al Wefaq insist on no slowing down of the protest movement that has rocked the country for the past 15 months. Today, they described the decision by the authorities to ban a planned rally as proving “the fragility of the authorities and their inability to run the country on a day-by-day basis. Such behaviour also violates all international convictions that guarantee the freedom of expression as a basic human right.”
The statement added, “Al Wefaq stressed on proceeding with it’s national political aims, in partnership with other national parties, to help Bahrain to become a country of justice, citizenship, partnership, pluralism, freedom, rights and the equal distribution of wealth, which requires a political system based on the people as the source of all authorities.”