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Bahrain Crown Prince calls for new dialogue with opposition

Published on Dec 8, 2012 4:27 PM
Bahraini shiite Muslims take part in an anti-government rally in the village of Muqsha, west of Manama, on Dec 7, 2012. Bahraini Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa called on Saturday for dialogue with the mainly Shi'ite Muslim opposition in the Sunni-dominated country, urging them to condemn violence. The opposition is demanding that the premier come from the parliamentary majority, and not be appointed from among Al-Khalifa ranks. -- PHOTO: AFP

MANAMA (REUTERS) - Bahrain's Crown Prince renewed calls for dialogue with the country's opposition late on Friday, saying only talks could break a deadlock in the Gulf Arab state beset by unrest.

The ruling Al-Khalifa family, who are Sunni Muslims, used martial law and help from Gulf neighbours to put down a revolt against alleged discrimination of Bahrain's majority Shi'ite population in March last year, but violence has resumed.

Protesters and police clash almost daily and the island has seen a number of bombings this year.

Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifah, who was seen as losing influence to hardliners in the ruling family during mass protests last year, said Bahrain must continue political and judicial reforms seen as inadequate by the opposition.

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