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British group says Qatar 'bloodless coup' conference in London funded by Saudi-led bloc boycotting Doha Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

British group says Qatar 'bloodless coup' conference in London funded by Saudi-led bloc boycotting Doha

Little-known Qatari exile Khalid al-Hail is allegedly behind the conference [Getty]

Date of publication: 7 September, 2017

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A Britain-based consultancy firm has warned that an upcoming conference in London to discuss a "bloodless coup" in Qatar is part of a Saudi-led smear campaign against the Gulf state.

A Britain-based consultancy firm has warned that an upcoming conference in London to discuss a "bloodless coup" in Qatar is part of a Saudi-led smear campaign against the Gulf state.

London Centre For Public Affairs [LCPA] released a statement on Tuesday, accusing the meeting, which has allegedly been set up a Qatari exile, of being funded by Arab countries boycotting Doha.

The LCPA said the "The Qatar, Global Security & Stability Conference" - set to take place Sept 14 - was part of an organised campaign by the Saudi-led bloc to isolate Qatar internationally and damage its relations with Britain.

It urged members of the British parliament to avoid taking part in the event, which it said was in reality set up by a US consultancy company with a "contentious history of running similar negative campaigns".

Organisers have told The New Arab that journalists from Qatar-linked publications will not be allowed to attend the conference.

On June 5, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar and imposed a land, air and sea blockade against the emirate.

The Saudi-led bloc has accused Doha of supporting Islamist extremism and being too close to Iran - Qatar has categorically denied the charges.

"We will be cautiously observing the conference," a LCPA spokesperson said.

"We believe that it will not contribute in bringing about reconciliation between the Gulf states and as an organisation interested in UK/Europe public affairs, our centre vows to challenge such activities," they added.

Little-known Qatari exile Khalid al-Hail is allegedly behind the conference, which will include discussions about how to make Qatar a constitutional monarchy, as opposed to one ruled absolutely by its emir.

It will also include talk about a "bloodless coup" to supplant Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

The LCPA accused Hail of being a "political novice" bankrolled by the United Arab Emirates to discredit Doha.

Hail has said the countries now opposing Qatar have not funded his activities.

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