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Foreign Secretary discusses progress on political dialogue with Crown Prince of Bahrain

Foreign Secretary William Hague met with the Crown Prince of Bahrain in London and urged more progress on an inclusive political dialogue.

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Speaking after the meeting, the Foreign Secretary said:

“I was pleased to welcome HRH Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa to the UK today for talks on regional issues including Iran’s nuclear programme, and the bilateral relationship between our two countries. We discussed our shared desire to strengthen the relationship between the people of Bahrain and the United Kingdom, through our Gulf Initiative.

“We also had an open and honest exchange about political reform in Bahrain, which confirmed to me the Crown Prince’s personal commitment to an inclusive political dialogue. I welcomed the recent commitments made by Government of Bahrain last month at the Human Rights Council, in particular to consider ratifying the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture, and encourage them to take this forward as soon as possible.

“Ahead of the anniversary of the report by the Bahraini Independent Commission of Inquiry, I stressed the importance of implementing its remaining recommendations and urged more progress on political dialogue. It also remains crucial for all political societies in Bahrain to enter into a constructive dialogue, without pre-conditions.

“To ensure the right climate for this, all sides need to condemn violence unequivocally and take steps to reduce tensions. I fully endorse the Crown Prince’s call for an end to the violence and for Bahrainis to unite together to ensure long-term peace and security, and I welcome the steps taken by the King of Bahrain to initiate political dialogue.

“The UK is ready, as a friend and ally of Bahrain, to assist the Bahraini authorities in this process, building on the support we are already giving on judicial reform.”

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Published 11 October 2012