Bahrain's Prince admits to 'issues' before GP

Apr 21, 2013, 02:11 IST | AFP

Bahrain's crown prince admitted on Saturday that there were "issues" affecting the kingdom on the eve of a Formula One Grand Prix that has been dogged by sometimes bloody clashes between police and democracy activists.

But Prince Salman, who has long been regarded as a moderate voice within the Gulf state’s Sunni minority regime, said he was “optimistic” a settlement could be reached with the Shiite-led opposition.

“I’m optimistic that a solution will be found here,” the prince told reporters at the desert Sakhir circuit, south of the capital Manama, as qualification for today’s race passed off without incident.

Hundreds took to the streets in Shiite villages outside Manama overnight, prompting clashes with police, but away from the circuit, witnesses said.

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