Prince Salman, the Crown Prince of Bahrain, has taken over negotiation following the failure of his father King Hamad’s repressive military action. The Prince has now ordered the army to leave Manama. Control will now be handed back to the police. The opposition is continuing to say that it will not negotiate with the government until there are guarantees that protesters will not be attacked again. The first protesters have already returned to the Pearl Roundabout, which has become a symbolic place for them.
Prince Salman went on national television and said: “We had a ray of hope today and I am grateful to all the wise and rational men who called for and responded to the call for calm, security and national cohesion. We begin now a new phase, a phase in which we will discuss all our issues sincerely and honestly. I would like to convey the message that calm is required at this time so that all parties can put forward their views and issues in a responsible and productive way. I stress once more that our duty is to preserve security and stability to ensure that there is no sedition and that the situation does not get worse. The more we can assert calm as our way forward, the nearer we can get to our goal. I hope that we can join hands, work together and communicate with all political forces in the country.”