No violence was reported at the Shi'ite protest at the U.S. embassy, Middle East Newsline reported.
American diplomats greeted the demonstrators with donuts and candies.
Tens of thousands of Shi'ites have been flooding downtown Manama and
virtually paralyzing the Gulf Cooperation Council kingdom. Opposition
sources said U.S. diplomats have been conducting a dialogue with Shi'ite
leaders to defuse the crisis.
The Shi'ite protests took place after a high-level U.S. effort to
bring the opposition to negotiate with the Manama government. Crown Prince
Salman has urged the opposition to discuss its demands, but the Shi'ites
want immediate measures, including the disbanding of parliament, new
elections and democratic reforms.
"The U.S. government believes that participation in comprehensive
dialogue is the best way forward and the results will require compromise and
consensus," the U.S. embassy statement said.
[On March 8, Yemeni police opened fire on demonstrators who called for
the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. At least one person was
killed and more than 60 were injured in the Yemeni city of Dhmar, about 60
kilometers south of Sanaa. Police were also said to have employed live fire
against protesters in Sanaa.]
"For dialogue to succeed in Bahrain, it is difficult to define a set of
outcomes or specific demands up front," the U.S. embassy said on March 7.
But groups within the Shi'ite opposition have already called for the
dismantling of the GCC kingdom. At least three organizations, ahead of plans
to march to the royal palace, have demanded that Bahrain turn into a
"This tripartite coalition adopts the choice of bringing down the
existing regime in Bahrain and establishing a democratic republican system,"
Hassan Mushaimaa, one of the organizers, said.