Minister stresses need to rise to dialogue objectives

February 19, 2013
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Sameera urging all participants to continue the national dialogue – BNA

A Bahraini minister has urged all components of the society to rise to the challenge of the hour and remain engaged in a national dialogue to overcome divergences.

“All the segments and forces of the Bahraini society have a great opportunity today to sit around the same table and engage in a dialogue,” Sameera Rajab, the state minister for information affairs, said. “They should be however guided by the higher interests of the nation, especially that the will of HM the king and the government is to move forward with the dialogue. Its serious nature and the great interest it is generating should leave no room for accepting or exercising violence in the streets,” she told Bahrain Television on Sunday evening.

Sameera was talking as Bahrain witnessed four days of clashes between demonstrators and anti-riot police that left two people, a 16-year-old protestor and a 23-year-old policeman, dead and scores injured.

Anti-government demonstrators wanted to mark the second anniversary of the events that unfolded in February 2011 and that divided the society mainly alongside sectarian faults.

“There is no excuse for violence and whoever wants to be part of this nation and contributes to the progress of the country should assume their responsibility with a high sense of discipline and advanced rational levels that enable them to ask for their rights and exercise them,” she said. “All those who are taking part in the dialogue have announced that they would continue to attend the sessions,” she said.

The talks launched on February 10 have brought together eight representatives from a coalition of six opposition societies, eight from another coalition of nine groups, eight independent parliamentarians and three government ministers.

The violence that started on Thursday and continued unabated until Sunday has pushed some societies to ponder the option of pulling out of the talks.

However, Sameera, the first Shiite woman to be given the information portfolio, said that the dialogue should remain as the best viable option.

“Let us sit together and talk and see what we can achieve,” she said. “As we respect one another, we can reach the highest level of demands. Life is a responsibility and pushing for rights is also a responsibility. Unfortunately, many such values have been drowned out in this chaos where people want Bahrain to slide. Those who do not feel this responsibility are obviously ready to flout the most scared value, the saving of lives,” she said.

Sameera, a former columnist, was appointed state minister in April 2012.

 

         

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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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