Press Statement
Mark C. Toner
Deputy Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
July 2, 2011

The United States welcomes the decision of Al Wifaq, Bahrain’s largest opposition political society, to join the National Dialogue recently announced by King Hamad.

Al Wifaq’s participation adds an important voice of Bahrain’s political opposition to a process that has the potential to serve as a vehicle for reform and reconciliation. We welcome the Bahraini government’s commitment to pursue this initiative and call on all participants in the National Dialogue to engage constructively in this process to produce reforms that will respond to the legitimate aspirations of the Bahraini people.

With the start of the National Dialogue on July 2, and the King’s announcement on June 29 of an independent, international commission of inquiry to examine events surrounding recent protests in Bahrain, the Government of Bahrain is taking concrete steps which could contribute to national unity and stability.

PRN: 2011/1109