Al Wefaq urged to reconsider pullout option; dialogue will not be suspended

July 18, 2011
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Al Wefaq Islamic Society should reconsider its decision to pull out of the national dialogue and rejoin the talks on Bahrain’s future, the dialogue spokesman has said.

The largest opposition society which has complained that it was under-represented in the talks on Sunday said that its delegates to the national dialogue had recommended a pullout after failing to influence its format and outcome.

“We regret the decision, by any participant, to withdraw from Bahrain’s Dialogue,” Eisa Abdul Rahman said. “The process provides an important platform for participants to promote the views and interests of the people they represent. We strongly encourage all participants to remain fully engaged in the dialogue process and call on delegates to set aside their differences and make every effort to move forward,” he said in a statement following Al Wefaq’s withdrawal statement.

Eisa said that Al Wefaq had contributed to the success of the dialogue launched on July 2, and insisted that it should continue to assume the role. “It is sometimes harder to stay and help shape the solution than to walk away. Now is the moment to heal divides and unite behind a shared vision of Bahrain’s future”.

The spokesman however said that while the door remained open for reconsideration of the withdrawal, the dialogue will not be suspended.

“Should any participant choose to exclude themselves from the process, the door will remain open for them to return to the talks. Regardless of any participant’s decision to leave, the dialogue will continue. This is a time to be engaged, open and creative and to demonstrate willingness to take bold decisions,” he said.

The dialogue has not received a formal notification of al Wefaq’s decision to withdraw, Eisa said.

Addressing the points made by Al Wefaq to explain its pullout, Eisa said in response to the criticism of the dialogue procedures that the talks “adhered to internationally recognised standards for achieving consensus” and that “all participants signed up to them at the outset of the talks.”

Reacting to the criticism of the discussion topics, he said that “each of the parties was given ample opportunity to raise any matter it considered relevant.”

“Regarding the number of participants, the inclusive approach adopted seeks to enrich the dialogue and reflect the aspirations of our society. Al Wefaq represents a sizable portion of our population, but we have a duty to ensure that all voices are heard and that the most vociferous speaker does not drown out the quieter voices.”

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/bahrain/al-wefaq-urged-to-reconsider-pullout-option-dialogue-will-not-be-suspended-1.839875

         

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About the author

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

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