Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission released a statement welcoming the opening of national dialogue in Bahrain.
As HRVP Ashton stated: “I firmly believe that the dialogue between the parties is the best way to rebuild trust and to achieve genuine national reconciliation by tackling outstanding issues and socioeconomic grievances, thereby preparing the ground for sustainable reforms.”
She also stressed that the success of this process depends on constructive cooperation between the government, the opposition and all Bahraini citizens. As a result, she urged again all sides to engage in a meaningful dialogue and called on all parties to refrain from all forms of violence.
Finally, HP/VP Ashton said that the EU is ready to provide its support to the process, if Bahrain needs it.
The national dialogue was launched on Sunday afternoon, following a call by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa in January. Various representatives from societies across the political spectrum and independent parliamentarians participated in the discussions that aim to solve the political crisis in Bahrain.
During the first session of the dialogue, participants affirmed their sincere intentions to achieve positive results in the best interests of the nation to create a better future for all citizens.They also set the agenda and the points that need to be discussed.
Bahrain has been going through political unrest since its forces crushed Shiite-led protests in March 2011. The unrest has so far left 80 people dead, according to the International Federation for Human Rights.