Ban urges dialogue on Bahrain's rulers

June 4, 2011 at 12:35 PM

MANAMA, Bahrain, June 4 (UPI) -- U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has met with Bahrain's leaders and praised the lifting of emergency rule, his office says.

Ban held discussions Friday with Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa and Foreign Minister Khalid bin Ahmed bin Mohamed al-Khalifa, the Kuwaiti news agency KUNA reported.

The secretary-general welcomed King Hamad al-Khalifa's promise of a national dialogue with opponents and hoped it would be "genuine, meaningful and inclusive and respond to the legitimate political, economic and social aspirations of all Bahraini people," his office said.

Ban called on the government and its security forces to meet human rights standards and offered U.N. help to promote reconciliation in the Persian Gulf state after months of unrest.

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