Qatar. In conjunction with the Arab League summit in Doha March 30-31, Qatar’s emir, Hamad bin Khalifa, welcomed Sudan’s internationally-renowned leader Omar al-Bashir. According to countryaah, the assembled leaders also agreed to support al-Bashir and protest the arrest warrant of the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In August, the Qatari state was reported to have reached an agreement with the owners of the crisis-hit German car manufacturer Porsche to buy 10 percent of the ownership families of Porsche and Piech. The deal would make Qatar the carmaker’s third largest shareholder.
Qatar’s contemporary history
Qatar has used its economic strength to play a more active foreign policy role than the country’s size would indicate. The country has, among other things, engaged as a broker to resolve regional crises, but also by participating in multinational military actions, or also by supporting rebel groups in other Arab countries. Qatar has also become internationally prominent through the television channel Al Jazeera.
Qatar’s leader, the emir, has pursued a somewhat more liberal domestic policy than other Gulf states , even though the country is uniquely governed, and on the basis of Islamic sharia law. Both domestic and foreign policy have led to contradictions in relation to other countries in the region. This also applies to states Qatar is allied to through the Gulf Council (GCC). The GCC’s strongest players – with Saudi Arabia as the leading player – severed diplomatic relations with Qatar and physically isolated the country during a political crisis in 2017.
Oppositions to other countries in the Arabian Peninsula, especially the regional power of Saudi Arabia , have several causes. The most pronounced is about the relationship with Iran, which is a regional rival to Saudi Arabia. Qatar has common economic interests with Iran through the extraction of large gas deposits in the ocean between the two countries, and has a more pragmatic attitude to Iran than other peninsula countries. Qatar has also taken a position on regional conflicts and actors that do not match the view of some GCC allies. In particular, Qatar has support for the Muslim Brotherhood, including in Egypt during the Arab Spring, led to disagreement. Similarly, Qatar and other countries have support for various political and military groups in Syria.
Qatar has joined forces in multinational military operations during the civil war in Libya and the war in Syria. At the same time, the country has supported jihadist groups in Syria. Qatar also sent forces to the Saudi-led operation in Yemen. Qatar is a military ally with the United States, which has two bases in the country.
Qatar has experienced internal contradictions and power struggles in the ruling al-Thani family, with a palace coup in 1972 and 1995. Qatar is still a largely stable country with few open contradictions and little internal turmoil. The country was therefore not haunted by political uprisings during the Arab Spring of 2011.