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Qatar: seeking Arab leadership role?

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Qatar: seeking Arab leadership role?


Another day and a fighter plane returns to its base in Souda, Crete. It’s one of six Qatari aircraft that have helped maintain the UN backed no-fly zone over Libya.

The aircraft does not participate in NATO strikes but it’s a strong sign that the emirate is are committed to the rebels plight in Libya.

After a meeting in London in March energy rich Qatar became the first Arab country to provide planes that would police the no-fly zone and it was also the first Arab state to recognise Libya’s rebels – the Transitional National Council (TNC).

Qatari’s Foreign Minister, Hamad Bin Jabr Al fool-Thani said: “We urge Gadaffi and his people to leave and not cause any more bloodshed. I think this is the only way of resolving this problem as soon as possible. “

Qatar confirmed its determination to be a force in regional policy.

The Emir Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani supports change in the Arab world.

Qatar has transformed itself into a high-profile diplomatic arbiter and peacebroker in recent years, attracting international attention for its mediation efforts in numerous regional conflicts.

The country is also home to the news channel Al Jazeera, which reports news from an Arab perspective across the world.

Created in 1996 and funded by the state, it has given worldwide exposure to the Arab revolutionary movement while strengthening the country’s brand.

In December 2010 Qatar surprised the world by winning the bid to host the World Cup in 2022. It will also host the World Handball Championships in 2015.

The country has a population of 1.7 million people, mainly foreigners.

It has large amounts of nature gas reserves, which has made it one of the world’s richest countries, but it is very much in the shadow of Saudi Arabia.

Qatar’s bigger neighbour is governed by King Abdullah. The ailing 87-year-old has been unable to limit the recent protests in Bahrain.

The Saudis have sent troops to counter a Shiite revolt against the ruling Sunni dynasty in the tiny emirate.

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