Situation in Bahrain frustrates London

Nov. 16, 2012 at 11:17 AM   |   Comments

LONDON, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- All parties to the conflict in Bahrain are called on to settle their grievances through peaceful and meaningful dialogue, the British government said.

British Foreign Office Minister Alistair Burt praised the opposition al-Wefaq party which, along with five other opposition groups, issued a declaration of non-violence. The minister said he spoke with Bahrain's Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, however, stating ongoing violence in the country was "deeply worrying."

A series of bombings rocked the Bahraini capital this month, leaving at least two foreign nationals dead.

Human rights groups expressed concern after authorities in Bahrain revoked the citizenship of 31 people considered a threat to national security. At least one of the people stripped of citizenship belonged to the opposition al-Wefaq party, which the government blamed for some of the unrest in the country.

In response to anti-government protests that left at least 40 people dead last year, the government in Bahrain agreed to a series of reforms outlined by an independent commission of inquiry. Bahrain was criticized recently, however, for issuing a ban on public demonstrations until security was restored in the country.

"We continue to encourage the government to lift the temporary ban on protests, and urge all sides to pursue their objectives through peaceful action and meaningful dialogue," said Burt in a statement.

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