Arab Spring reveals Qatar's foreign policy ambitions

April 18, 2011

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(Getty Images/Gary Fabiano)
Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani of Qatar met with President Obama on April 14 to discuss the turmoil in the Middle East.

The Persian Gulf nation of Qatar has less than two million people, but it has the highest GDP per capita in the world. Doha-based Al-Jazeera has added a valuable new voice to the global dialogue. Qatar's emir, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, has deftly crafted a foreign policy that's allowed the tiny emirate to play important roles in places like Gaza, Darfur, Lebanon and, most recently, Libya.  

Salman Shaikh, director of the Brookings Doha Center, examines Qatar’s growing international influence and what it means for the rest of the world.