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Qatari Businessmen Association       Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies       Qatar University

750 participants to take part in democracy forum

750 participants to take part in democracy forumPublished: Friday, 7 April, 2006, 10:55 AM Doha Time THE Doha Forum on Democracy, Development and Free Trade will be held on Tuesday with 560 international participants from 72 countries attending, Assistant to the Foreign Minister for Follow-up Affairs Mohamed al-Rumaihi said. HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani will inaugurate the three-day forum and deliver a keynote address, Rumaihi said. The delegates, including politicians, intellectuals, businessmen, NGO representatives and journalists, will hold 12 sessions and four-roundtable discussions. First Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabor al-Thani will deliver a speech on ‘Democracy and free trade’, Rumaihi told a news conference. “The West could benefit from our experience and vision, unlike the situation in the past, as it is not a one-sided process anymore,” he said. Each session will have six speakers from different continents, Rumaihi said, adding the participants would not represent their countries but themselves. He didn’t confirm if Hamas would take part in the discussions, but said participants could express their personal opinion but not that of organisations. Hasan al-Ansari of the Gulf Centre for Strategic Studies said democracy, reform, development and free trade are inseparable, all of which would come up for discussion at the event. He denied they were looking West. “There is a lot to learn from ancient Indian civilisation,” he said. The centre is a co-organiser of the forum, along with Businessmen’s Association, the conference organising committee, and the Supreme Planning Council.
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