Volume. 11905

Bahrain attempts to revive reconciliation talks
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c_330_235_16777215_0___images_stories_edim_01_Bahrain99(15).jpgBahrain's crown prince has pulled reconciliation talks back from the brink by organizing a meeting with the opposition, Reuters reported.  
The planned meeting, along with the appointment of a royal delegate and agreed topics for new talks, has raised some hope of progress.
However, mistrust between the opposition and the ruling al-Khalifa family is still high three years after the government crushed pro-democracy protests and many Bahrainis regard these reconciliatory gestures with skepticism.
Since 2011 the tiny Persian Gulf Arab monarchy, where the U.S. Fifth Fleet is based, has seen continuous unrest that political efforts have failed to quell.
Earlier this month, the government said it was suspending talks with opposition groups, who have boycotted the process since September after the arrest of a senior member.
But last week, in a surprise move, Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa met with, amongst others,
Ali Salman, the leader of the main opposition al-Wefaq group.
Just a few weeks ago, Ali Salman was charged with insulting the interior ministry and "spreading lies," part of what the opposition has described as a harsh crackdown on its members.
Khalil Marzouq, a senior member of al-Wefaq, whose arrest in September prompted the opposition to boycott the talks and who is out on bail, said the meeting had made him "cautiously optimistic."

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