Bahrain Shiites walk out of talks with monarchy

AP News
Posted: Jul 12, 2011 2:28 PM
Bahrain Shiites walk out of talks with monarchy

Two senior members of Bahrain's biggest Shiite party say its delegates have walked out of talks with the island kingdom's Sunni rulers, saying they are not serious about addressing Shiite demands for greater rights and political freedoms.

Hadi al-Mosawi says Al Wefaq members left Tuesday's session after a Sunni delegate referred to Bahrain's Shiite majority with derogatory terms.

Khalil al-Marzooq says he's advised the party's top leaders to withdraw from the U.S.-backed talks entirely and a final decision will be made by Thursday.

Al-Marzooq told The Associated Press the government is not interested in political reform, making the dialogue meaningless.

The U.S. has encouraged dialogue after months of protests by Shiites and a crackdown that has killed at least 32 people.