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Bahrain Shiite bloc asks: Join or snub talks?

Bahrain`s Sunni rulers hope to open talks with the Shiite opposition they crushed.



Dubai: Just days before Bahrain`s Sunni
rulers hope to open talks with the Shiite opposition they
crushed, the country`s most powerful pro-reform bloc is asking
supporters a pivotal question: Whether to join or snub the
dialogue.

Already, the leaders of the Shiite political group Al
Wefaq have appeared to show their leanings questioning how
reconciliation efforts, pushed by the US, can proceed while
authorities still impose rigid security measures and hold
trials linked to the Shiite-led campaign for greater rights.

Now the question of whether to participate in the
government-arranged dialogue beginning Saturday is being
debated in town hall-style meetings around the strategic Gulf
island nation, home to the US Navy`s 5th Fleet.

Much hangs on the outcome.

The absence of Wefaq would be a severe blow to the
credibility of the talks and reinforce the sense that Bahrain
is still deeply wounded after more than four months of unrest.

Wefaq is the leading political voice for Shiites about
70 per cent of Bahrain`s 525,000 people and held 18 seats in
the 40-member parliament before a mass resignation to protest
the violence against demonstrators.

It also would sting Washington, which has publicly
backed the talks as the only option to calm tensions in one of
its main Gulf military allies. At the same time, the US is
under growing pressures to take a harder line against
Bahrain`s ruling dynasty, which claims that Shiite power Iran
has a role in the protests.

At least 31 people have died since February when
Bahrain`s Shiites inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the
Middle East started a campaign for greater freedoms and an end
to the Sunni hold on power.

Hundreds of Shiite opposition supporters and leaders
have been arrested or dismissed from state jobs and
universities.

PTI
At least 31 people have died since February when
Bahrain`s Shiites inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the
Middle East started a campaign for greater freedoms and an end
to the Sunni hold on power.

Hundreds of Shiite opposition supporters and leaders
have been arrested or dismissed from state jobs and
universities.

PTI
At least 31 people have died since February when
Bahrain`s Shiites inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the
Middle East started a campaign for greater freedoms and an end
to the Sunni hold on power.

Hundreds of Shiite opposition supporters and leaders
have been arrested or dismissed from state jobs and
universities.

PTI
At least 31 people have died since February when
Bahrain`s Shiites inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the
Middle East started a campaign for greater freedoms and an end
to the Sunni hold on power.

Hundreds of Shiite opposition supporters and leaders
have been arrested or dismissed from state jobs and
universities.

PTI
At least 31 people have died since February when
Bahrain`s Shiites inspired by uprisings elsewhere in the
Middle East started a campaign for greater freedoms and an end
to the Sunni hold on power.

Hundreds of Shiite opposition supporters and leaders
have been arrested or dismissed from state jobs and
universities.

PTI

From Zee News

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