Al Menbar asks for apology from British ambassador to Bahrain

March 8, 2010

Al Menbar Islamic Society on Monday denied a claim that it held meetings with the British ambassador currently at the centre of a controversy in Bahrain and challenged him to publish their dates.

“We deny categorically the claim made in the statement issued by the British embassy about members from Al Menbar meeting the British ambassador,” Abdul Lateef Al Shaikh, the head of the society, said. “We have never met the ambassador and the statement claim lacks credibility.”

On Saturday, the British embassy responded to allegations that it held a secret meeting with Al Wefaq shortly after the society waded into controversy for calling for changes in the executive branch.

“There have been a number if allegations that the ambassador’s recent meeting with MPs from Al Wefaq society was secret. This is incorrect. The meeting was a routine one held in the British embassy with full knowledge of numerous staff,” the British embassy said.

“As is usual, it was notified in advance to the Ministry of Interior police who guard the embassy compound. We regularly meet MPs from Al Asala, Al Menbar, Al Wefaq and independents. This does not imply, of course, that we agree with them on every issue,” the embassy said.

However, Al Menbar, an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, objected to the mentioning of its name in the statement and now wants either clarifications or an apology.

“We think that there are two options for the ambassador now: Either to publish the dates, places and issues of the meetings he claimed he had with members from Al Menbar or to apologise for making the allegations,” Al Shaikh, the head of the society’s parliamentary bloc, said.

The MP that his society which has seven seats in the lower chamber was open to meeting diplomats, but insisted that the meeting had to be “in line with the law and constitution.”

“We are always keen on communicating with the others, but we always stress that our meetings are committed to international conventions and that the issues discussed do not break local and international laws,” he said in a statement.

According to Al Shaikh, the society informed the foreign ministry whenever its members met foreign diplomats “to make sure there are no misunderstandings or misinterpretations.”





About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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