the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Statement by the Press Secretary on Bahrain

President Obama welcomes the launch of the National Dialogue in Bahrain, which represents an important moment of promise for the people of Bahrain.  The United States commends King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa for his leadership in initiating the dialogue. We also commend the decision by Al Wifaq, Bahrain's largest opposition group, to join the dialogue.  We urge all Bahrainis to seize this opportunity to forge a more just future together. It is important that government and political leaders create a positive atmosphere to help promote a successful dialogue process.  The United States also welcomes the formation of a commission of inquiry to investigate and report on events connected with the unrest of recent months.  By providing an independent assessment of what happened and identifying those responsible, the Royal Commission will play an essential role in advancing reconciliation, justice, and peace in Bahrain. As a long-standing partner of Bahrain, the United States continues to believe that Bahrain's stability will be enhanced by respecting the universal rights of the people of Bahrain and reforms that meet the aspirations of all Bahrainis.