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Middle East

Bahrain opposition, future king hold rare meeting

  • FILE - In this file photo taken Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, Saudi Crown Prince Salman bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, from left, Kuwait's Emir Sheik Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah and Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa walk to attend the final day of Gulf Cooperation Council GCC summit in Sekhir, Bahrain. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali, File)

MANAMA: Bahrain's state television has broadcast images of the crown prince meeting with top opposition leaders one week after reconciliation talks were suspended.

Shiite opposition bloc al-Wefaq released a statement Monday after the face-to-face with Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa saying that it hoped the meeting would result in concrete steps.

A participant in the talks, who spoke anonymously because of the sensitivity of the situation, said a U.S. diplomat attended the meeting. Bahrain is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.

It was the first time in nearly three years that a member of the ruling family met leaders of the opposition.

Shiites in Bahrain began protesting in early 2011 to seek greater political rights from the Gulf Arab nation's Sunni rulers.

 
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