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A genuine desire to stop the blame game

Proposed national dialogue can prove to be a historic opportunity for reconciliation in Bahrain

Gulf News

Finally there is a breakthrough in Bahrain. The upcoming dialogue, proposed by King Hamad last month, presents a golden opportunity for all parties — government, opposition and independents — to sit at the same table and figure out a way out of the deadlock that has continued for too long.

The proposed talks, which promise to be inclusive and cover all pending issues, reflect the genuine desire of both the government and national opposition to stop the blame game and engage in a process that will hopefully get Bahrain back on its feet two years after the protests that divided the society in the tiny kingdom.

The recent clashes between security forces and opposition supporters have turned unusually violent and claimed the lives of civilians and policemen. The opposition supporters have increasingly been using violence against the security forces, something unprecedented, and this must be condemned by the opposition coalition before the start of the talks.

While the government has a duty to implement the recommendations of the independent commission, established by the king a year ago, which call for speeding up political and police reforms, the opposition must break its silence and condemn the rising violence by protesters and call on its supporters to stop any act of violence.

The proposed national dialogue can prove to be a historic opportunity for reconciliation. All parties should seize the chance and participate with an open mind and heart. The future of Bahrain may well depend on those talks.