New York

10 March 2011

Statement attributable to the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General on Bahrain

The Secretary-General has continued to follow closely the situation in Bahrain. He remains concerned at the apparent impasse in launching a national dialogue a few weeks after King Hamad bin Isa Al-Khalifa asked Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa to initiate such a process. The Secretary-General is of the view that this offer has created an opportunity for all sides to address political and constitutional reform and facilitate national reconciliation.

The Secretary-General calls on all parties in Bahrain to seize the moment and engage in a broad-based, peaceful and meaningful dialogue involving the political opposition and civil society in the interest of all Bahraini people. To this end, the Secretary-General reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to provide support to nationally-led efforts, if requested to do so.

The Secretary-General also calls on all of Bahrain's regional neighbours and the wider international community to support a dialogue process and an environment conducive for credible reforms in Bahrain.