Bahrain main opposition rejects dialogue offer: TV

10:19, February 20, 2011      

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A wounded protestor is being sent to a hospital in Manama, capital of Bahrain, Feb. 18, 2011. Dozens of protestors were wounded in a clash between protestors and soldiers and police on Friday at Pearl Square in Manama. (Xinhua Photo)


Bahrain's main Shiite opposition group Al-Wefaq rejected an offer of dialogue floated by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa with all parties to end unrest and protests that swept the tiny Gulf nation and left six people dead, Dubai- based Al-Arabiya TV reported on Saturday.

The King has issued a royal decree in which he tasked Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa to lead the dialogue with all parties.

Al-Wefaq, which holds 18 seats in the 40-member parliament, conditioned military tanks to be withdrawn from the capital Manama 's Pearl Square.

In a knee jerk to the use of force by police to end protests, Al-Wefaq has suspended its participation in Bahrain's parliament.

Bahrain, a home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, is ruled by the Sunni Muslim al-Khalifa family where the majority Shiite population says they are facing discrimination in jobs and other services.

The kingdom denies such claims.

Bahrain is the only Gulf nation along with Kuwait with an elected parliament, but laws must be approved by the king- appointed Shura Council, the upper chamber of Bahrain's parliament.

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Source: Xinhua
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