Bahrain envoy: Bid for talks after emergency rule

AP News
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Posted: May 14, 2011 1:59 PM
Bahrain envoy: Bid for talks after emergency rule

An envoy for Bahrain's rulers says they hope to pursue dialogue with opposition groups after emergency laws are removed next month.

Abdulaziz bin Mubarak Al Khalifa says the planned June 1 lifting of the measures _ which give wide powers to the military _ offer a chance for talks with Shiite-led protesters in the Gulf kingdom, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

Al Khalifa, a media adviser and former diplomat, described the next three months as critical toward reconciliation in Bahrain, where majority Shiites claim widespread discrimination by Sunni rulers. Al Khalifa met with reporters Saturday.

Bahraini authorities in March crushed the uprising with sweeping crackdowns aided by a Saudi-led military force.