UK's LSE cancels Arab Spring forum in UAE

By REUTERS
February 23, 2013 18:52

DUBAI - A top British university has cancelled a conference on the Arab Spring in the United Arab Emirates, citing curbs imposed by the Gulf state, which has placed limits on foreign research groups in the past two years.

The UAE, a major oil exporter and regional business hub, has not seen the unrest that has ousted autocratic Arab rulers elsewhere, but analysts and diplomats say the US ally is anxious to prevent instability spreading to its turf.

In a statement emailed to Reuters, the London School of Economics (LSE) said it cancelled its gathering scheduled for February 24 "in response to restrictions imposed on the intellectual content of the event that threatened academic freedom."

The UAE also barred entry to a visiting university lecturer, Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, on his arrival to participate in the event, called 'The Middle East: Transition in the Arab World', Ulrichsen said.


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