London conference to highlight Qatar’s funding of terror groups, rights abuses
Organizers of the “Qatar, Global Security & Stability Conference” in London have finally announced the location of their meeting on Thursday after weeks of secrecy due to restrictions practiced by the Qatari regime.
The anticipated conference is set to be held at the Intercontinental Hotel in the O2 area, south of London.
The conference’s program and speakers list was kept a secret since it was announced due organizers’ fears of practices and potential repercussion by the Qatari regime, “which seeks by all means to sabotage it and thus pressure members of the British Parliament to boycott the conference,” a statement from the organizers read.
Organizers of the conference have announced that Qatari opposition members will address several issues including:
• Qatar’s sponsorship of banned terror groups to extend its influence in the region;
• Human rights abuses and the denial of democratic rights within Qatar;
• The role of Al Jazeera network along with other soft power tools to promote its aims.
According to a statement released by the organizers, the conference, which is the first of its kind, will bring together hundreds of world-renowned political figures, policy makers, academics, commentators to discuss democracy, human rights, press freedom and counter-terrorism in Qatar.
The conference is being held despite Doha’s attempts to put pressure on western political personalities to boycott the event.
It is being organized by Qatari businessman and reformist, Khalid al-Hail, along with a number of exiled Qataris, who are seeking a resolution to the regional crisis and a more stable future for Qatar.
The statement added that the conference schedule has been worked out in great secrecy, because of concerns related to the response from the Qatari regime.
“The aim of this conference is to highlight the true facts about Qatar that are not being voiced because of the power wielded by the current regime in Qatar,” said Khalid al-Hail, spokesman for the Qatari opposition.
The conference will be divided into five panels:
1. Qatar: Political Islam and terrorist support
Addressing the contradictory positions taken by Qatar while opposing other Gulf states in its support of political Islam and terrorist groups
2. Qatar and Iran’s Foreign Policy: A Source for Regional Instability
Focusing on how Qatar and Iran’s foreign policy has contributed to the general instability and insecurity that now characterizes the regions of the Middle East and North Africa. It will look at the extent to which Qatar and Iran, in pursuit of their own self-interest, have had a detrimental effect on stability in the region.
3. A forbidden debate: Qatar’s aspirations for global prestige, democracy and human rights
This panel will discuss Qatar’s abuses of human rights in the context of the 2022 Football World Cup as well as examine its violation of international human rights laws.
4. Al Jazeera: Free Press vs. Voice of terror?
In the early days of Al Jazeera it was considered a beacon of free press and a challenge to authoritarian Middle East regimes. However, its recent coverage shows a more biased approach in sync with Qatar’s foreign policy. Using a number of exclusive sources, this panel will examine the spectrum of thought about Al Jazeera.
5. A Vicious Circle: Economy, Geopolitics and Global Energy Security
This panel will address some of the chief characteristics of Qatar’s foreign policy, including its diplomatic ambivalence. It will also highlight the country’s quest for security and subsequently regional hegemony and the manner in which Doha has used its economic largesse and natural gas reservoirs to carve itself a larger role in the region, often to the detriment of its neighbors and allies.
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