Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al- Khalifa has called on national dialogue three weeks ahead of the second anniversary of pro-democracy protests called as Pearl Uprising in Bahrain in February 2011.
Reports say King Khalifa issued a decree to invite representatives of political groups and independent figures of the country to resume political dialogue and to discuss political reform.
In her remarks in Washington DC, Department Spokesperson Victoria Nuland says the United States welcomes His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa’s call to launch an inclusive, comprehensive political dialogue in Bahrain.
“We are encouraged by the positive responses thus far from some of Bahrain’s political groups.” – Ms. Nuland
The US calls on all sides to participate fully and to engage constructively in an effort to produce a way ahead that responds to the legitimate aspirations of all Bahrainis.
In November 2012, six Bahraini opposition political parties issued the “Declaration of Principles of Nonviolence.”
Reports say the opposition societies in Bahrain which have declared commitment to nn-violence include the(AlWefaq National Islamic Society, National Democratic Action Society, Unity Democratic Gathering Society, National Brotherhood Society and Democratic Progressive Tribune
The US State Department welcomed the “Declaration of Principles of Nonviolence” issued by the prominent opposition political societies in Bahrain.
The US said publicly committing to nonviolence is an important confidence-building measure.
The US government applauded the societies for committing to a non-violent path in order to pursue their goals.
The US renewed call on the Government of Bahrain and all elements of Bahraini society to take concrete steps to create a climate conducive for meaningful national dialogue that is responsive to the aspirations of all Bahrainis.
In addition, the US urged all parties to contribute to fostering a climate of reconciliation.
In September 2012, as a Bahrain court upheld jail sentences against 20 opposition activists, the United States of America had expressed deep concern over the decision.
Reports say opposition activists were convicted of plotting to oust the government. Eight of the prominent activists are facing life in prison.
The United States continues to call on all parties, including the government, to contribute constructively to reconciliation, meaningful dialogue and reform that brings about change that is responsive to the aspirations of all Bahrainis.
The US has underlined that Bahrain needs dialogue and negotiation to build a strong national consensus about its political future, strengthen its economic standing, and make it a more prosperous country and a more stable ally of the United States.
In February 2011, United States has expressed Bahrain’s move to greater reform.
One year after the Pearl Uprising in Bahrain in February last year, unrest continues amid the ongoing government crackdown against protests. A report said there has been systemic and widespread use of violence in the crackdowns as well as torture of political prisoners.
Despite pledges to reform, the government of Bahrain has made little progress, and continues to deny access to the country to the international media and human rights organizations, including Freedom House.
Bahrain is ranked Not Free in Freedom House’s Freedom in the World 2012 and Freedom of the Press 2012 surveys