Manama: A national dialogue launched in Bahrain almost one year ago has been suspended after a coalition of political societies pulled out of the talks.
The dialogue was launched on February 10, 2013, to discuss political issues and continue the talks held in July 2011 to help heal the deep wounds that afflicted the country during and after the dramatic events that occurred earlier in February.
A coalition of opposition societies, another coalition of other societies calling itself Al Fateh, and representatives from the parliament and the government started the political dialogue.
However, the 27 delegates could not agree on the platform and outcome of the talks, prompting concerns about its future.
The opposition in September pulled out and the other three components attempted to continue the talks, but on Wednesday, Al Fateh said that it was suspending its participation.
Khalid Al Qattan, from Al Fateh, attributed the decision to the inability of the participants to agree on an agenda for the dialogue and the non-participation of the opposition in the talks.
“We have decided to suspend our participation in the general sessions, but this does not mean that we will not take part in the consultations between all the parties,” he said.
“We are ready to engage in bilateral talks with any party to the dialogue, including the coalition of the opposition.”
Following the announcement of Al Fateh’s stance, the remaining two parties in the talks, the parliament and the government, decided to suspend the dialogue.
However, Eisa Abdul Rahman, the spokesperson for the National Dialogue, said that the new positions did not mean the end of the dialogue.
“The dialogue as an entity through which people seek to reach positive agreements will not stop in Bahrain,” he said late on Wednesday. “All parties to the dialogue can consult and meet away from the table, but their decisions will not be compelling. All channels of communication between the various parties will remain open,” he said.