Thursday, January 19, 2012

Bahrain: Assembly President welcomes announcement of reconciliation reforms

UN - The President of the General Assembly, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, said he is encouraged by Bahrain’s announcement that it will implement reforms aimed at reconciliation and strengthening unity and stability.

Mr. Al-Nasser, who held talks with King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa in the capital, Manama, called the announcement “a step in the right direction,” his spokesperson, Nihal Saad, told reporters. He also stressed that the differences remaining between the Government and the opposition should be settled peacefully through mediation and dialogue.

In November, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had called on the Government to implement the recommendations of the Independent Commission of Inquiry, which concluded that Government forces had used excessive force during civil demonstrations in February and March of last year.

A month later, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called on the Bahraini authorities to take immediate action to address the lack of trust between the Government and civil society, and recommended releasing inmates who participated in peaceful protests.

During his meeting with King Hamad, Mr. Al-Nasser emphasized the need for full implementation of the recommendations of the Independent Commission of Inquiry in close cooperation with all political parties to strengthen and enhance stability in the country.

Mr. Al-Nasser also met with the Prime Minister, Sheik Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, and the Crown Prince, Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, as well as with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa.