BEIRUT

Middle East

Bahrain opposition holds talks with government

Thousands of Bahraini anti-government protesters chant slogans as they wave national flags during a march in Diraz, Bahrain, on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Hasan Jamali)

MANAMA, Bahrain: Members of Bahrain's political opposition say they have held additional talks with the government in a further step toward reconciliation in the strategic Gulf island nation.

A representative from the main Shiite opposition bloc al-Wefaq, Jameel Kadhem, says the groups met Tuesday with the royal court minister, Sheik Khalid bin Ahmed Al Khalifa. Kadhem expressed hope for a "new start" to stalled national dialogue talks that would achieve a political solution to ongoing unrest.

Government officials had no immediate comment.

Bahrain, home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, is ruled by a Sunni monarchy. The country's majority Shiites began protesting in early 2011 seeking greater political rights. More than 65 people have died in the unrest.

Tuesday's meeting follows talks last week between Bahrain's crown prince and opposition leaders.

 

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