"Prince Salman bin Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifah told a conference on Middle East security in Manama on Friday that real progress can only come through face-to-face negotiations.
Wefaq, the leading opposition group in Bahrain, said in a statement it was willing to take part in talks but the outcome should "be approved by the people". The group's leader Sheikh Ali Salman told Reuters he would push for a referendum, an idea first aired before a failed attempt at dialogue last year. But he said a referendum was a not a condition of starting talks.
On Friday Wefaq's leader chastised protesters chanting slogans directly attacking the king and ruling family." (thanks Basim)