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Wed 31 Oct 2012 12:30 PM

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Ex-Blair aide to advise Bahrain on conflict resolution

Former UK PM’s chief of staff Jonathan Powell has already organised meetings between both sides

Ex-Blair aide to advise Bahrain on conflict resolution
Former UK PM Tony Blair.

Tony Blair’s former chief of staff Jonathan Powell will travel to Bahrain to train government and opposition figures in using conflict resolution techniques, The Guardian reported.

Powell, a key figure in the Good Friday agreement in Northern Ireland in 1998, was asked to undertake the work after Bahrain approached the UK Foreign Office for help implementing the recommendations of a report following unrest in the Gulf state during the Arab Spring, said the newspaper.

Inter Mediate, an NGO set up by Powell in 2007, has arranged a number of meetings in London and Northern Ireland for Bahraini officials, the newspaper said, citing unnamed sources. 

Bahrain has employed a number of Western PR and security experts as it moves to tackle a flurry of negative foreign press in the wake of widespread political unrest.

The government hired Washington-based Qorvis Communications last August at a cost of US$40,000 a month and also employed John Yates, the former Metropolitan police commissioner, as an advisor to the interior ministry.