Bahrain king invites opposition to restart talks

Reuters News

1/21/2013 3:30:54 PM - Reuters News

DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain's king invited opposition parties to restart stalled talks, officials said on Monday, in the latest sign of efforts to break a political deadlock since a crackdown on a popular uprising in 2011.

King Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa issued a directive inviting "representatives of the political societies and independent members of the political community" to resume a national dialogue, the kingdom's Information Affairs Authority said.

The ruling Al-Khalifa family, who are Sunni Muslims, used martial law and help from Gulf neighbors to put down the revolt in March 2011. Protesters accused the government of discriminating against Bahrain's majority Shi'ite Muslim population.

(Reporting by Amena Bakr; Editing by Andrew Heavens)