Drivers of foreign policy
Since the peaceful coup that brought the current emir of Qatar, Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, to power in 1995, Qatar has entered into an increasingly expanding foreign policy, which has greatly increased the country’s regional and international standing. The main feature of Qatar’s foreign policy is its role as mediator and negotiator in a number of conflicts in the Middle East and elsewhere, for example in Afghanistan, Ethiopia, Iraq, Israel and the occupied territories, Lebanon, Sudan and Yemen. In each case, Qatar prided itself on engaging with warring factions to push for political settlements or rapprochement, as well as providing humanitarian assistance. The decisions governing Qatar’s participation in such conflicts are very central. The main decision-makers are the Emir, His Highness Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Al-Thani. Restricting much of the decision-making of this small circle has quickly led to foreign (and local) policy decisions, allowing Qatar to respond quickly to emerging conflicts with mediation offers.
While it can be said that drawing a picture of the country as a benefactor is a public diplomatic move by Qatar – since neutrality facilitates the consolidation of credibility among multiple audiences – there are deeper motives behind Qatar’s expansionist approach to mediating the conflict by expanding its foreign policy. The first motive is to maintain its security and stability. Qatar is located in the Arabian Peninsula, an area full of political and military rivalries. By increasing its international standing, Qatar aims to protect itself from the dangers of non-disclosure of small and vulnerable states 5 – risks of the type suffered by Kuwait in 1990. 6 In addition, by engaging in mediation between conflicting factions such as Houthis and the Yemeni government. Or between Hezbollah and its allies on the one hand and the March 14 bloc on the other, Qatar can be seen as trying to contain those conflicts and prevent their spread closer to home. This inevitability becomes more acute when one considers the role Iran plays in those conflicts and in the Gulf in particular. Iran is the main backer of Hezbollah and has established links with the Huthis in Yemen and a number of Shiite movements in the Gulf. Qatar also shares the largest oil field in the world with Iran, and is fully aware of Iran’s expansionist foreign policy objectives in the region. By trying to mediate between non-Iranian actors and their rivals, Qatar is trying to counter Iranian influence in the Middle East in general, and more specifically in the Gulf, while maintaining friendly relations with Iran. Thus, in addition to general security concerns, Iran’s role in the region can be seen as a clear driver behind Qatar’s mediation of the Middle East conflict.
The third motive for Qatari mediation is the desire to expand its influence as a regional player, especially in the face of Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has traditionally played a leading role in conflicts throughout the region, for example during the Lebanese civil war. However, in recent years Saudi mediation has been spoiled for perceived neutrality, making the Kingdom an active player rather than a neutral intermediary. The close relationship between Saudi Arabia and the March 14 political bloc in Lebanon, led by Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, is an example. Qatar therefore viewed a vacuum in the Arab international relations it was trying to bridge. Its involvement in conflicts across the Middle East and beyond is an effort to present itself as a vital alternative to Saudi Arabia and a potential new leader in the Middle East. This role was further enhanced by Qatar’s membership of the United Nations Security Council in 2006-2007, during which the Emirate increased its regional mediation and assistance activities. However, Qatar was keen not to exceed the limits of its relationship with Saudi Arabia. Despite Qatar’s view of Saudi Arabia’s low influence in the Middle East (in addition to the growing Iranian influence, which adds to the urgent need for regional Arab leadership), the country remains cautious not to conflict with the kingdom’s domestic and foreign policies. Thus, when the Bahraini uprising began in 2011, Qatar supported the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – led by Saudi Arabia – mission to quell the insurgency. 7 When the Yemeni uprising, which began in the same year, gained momentum, Qatar also supported the GCC initiative it managed. The path of transition in Yemen, leading to a negotiated transition instead of overthrowing the regime of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Although Qatar’s relationship with Saudi Arabia over the years has been turbulent, it has finally reached a rapprochement in 2008 and has continued to become more entrenched, driven by Qatari realism and the Emirate’s awareness of the limits of its influence in the Gulf. Saudi Arabia is the dominant political power in the Arabian Peninsula, where Qatar has not yet had the opportunity or the ability to play the first major role. Both countries share concerns about the instability and political transition that are reaching their territory, which leads them to cooperate more than confrontation.
Qatar’s fourth motive is the appeal and practice of the international community. The emirate strived to establish itself as a recognized brand, identifying itself as an international ally of the West. 9 For example, the country is home to the front headquarters of the US Central Command, and until the 2008-2009 Israeli offensive on Gaza, Gaza hosted the only Israeli business in the Gulf. Qatar’s own offer as a major international ally has three benefits. First, it provides the country with security in a turbulent region: the United States air base it hosts has the longest runway in the Middle East, while Sailiya is the largest pre-positioned US military base abroad. Second, it increases Qatar’s goal of establishing itself as a modern, business-oriented country capable of competing in the international economy. 12 Qatar’s economic objectives support the need to ensure gas exports and the simultaneous realization that long-term economic viability means bypassing the oil-based economy. Thirdly, international alliances have drawn attention to political shortcomings in Qatar. For example, despite a strong US speech on the need for reform in the Arab world, Qatar (as well as Saudi Arabia) has been able to continue to criticize its lack of democracy because of its position as a strategic, even indispensable, ally.
In addition to mediation, Qatar has also pursued an open door policy towards various political actors in the region. He hosted the Israeli Trade Office at the same time as a base for the Hamas leadership, and gave a home to Islamists such as Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi – a close associate of the Muslim Brotherhood, a movement that voted for Israel – while the prince held direct meetings with Israeli leaders. Qatar can therefore be seen as creating friends and avoiding enmity by appealing to all parties at the same time to remain in the context of the “good neighborly agreements” in the Gulf, specifically Saudi Arabia, as a classic example of political pragmatism. Its wide and diverse network of “guests” and “partners” can be seen as an example of political adaptation: Qatar seeks to identify emerging trends (and actors) and create a place for itself within those trends in order to preserve the political currency.
Libya: a turning point?
Qatar’s image soon changed as a separate intermediary with its participation in the Libyan uprising in 2011. The emirate became the leading Arab country in international action against the Qadhafi regime. Through monetary, military and logistical support, Qatar provided the Libyan rebels with arms and equipment, provided them with infantry training, and helped them continue the country’s exports of refined petroleum products. Qatar has worked as an interlocutor for the League of Arab States and the Arab States that have been pushing for international intervention in Libya, not only through official diplomatic channels but also through public diplomacy through the Al Jazeera network. After the fall of Gaddafi, Qatar continues to participate in Libyan affairs economically, politically and militarily. In addition to facilitating Libya’s oil exports, in April 2012, Qatar National Bank invested in a 49% stake in the Bank of Commerce and Development in Benghazi. 13 Qatar also participated in national reconciliation meetings in Libya, as well as continued support for the Libyan rebels even after Kadhafi’s death. Analysts note that Qatar’s participation in Libya since 2011 goes beyond the “usual” foreign policy tactics that focus on mediation. What explains this participation, and how does it fit Qatar’s broader foreign policy? Closer observation reveals that transformation is not as dramatic as it may seem first. Two major issues led to the switch to intervention.
First, Qatar’s active involvement in Libya was partly motivated by its goal of attracting and exercising influence over the international community. In March 2011, Qatar was the first Arab country to recognize Libyan rebels and the NTC. In April 2011, under the umbrella of the Arab League’s no-fly zone, six Mirage fighter jets were sent to the NATO-led campaign (although they did not participate in the strikes) The Libyan rebels helped set up a satellite television station, Libyans Al Ahrar, and broadcast from Doha, 14 while hosting the Libyan Liaison Group to coordinate insurgent activities – spending a total of $ 2 billion in support of the rebels.15 These bold actions drew praise from the State of Qatar N key allies – the United States, France and Britain – and reinforced its reputation Ahaliv “heavy” for the West.
Secondly, the intervention was part of the adjustment process undertaken by Qatar to maintain its leading regional position. Qatar’s role as a “neutral” mediator was established at a time when authoritarian regimes seemed to dominate the Middle East. As soon as the rules changed with the Arab Spring, Qatar had to adjust its tactics quickly to stay ahead of the political game. The origins of this adjustment were detectable in the country’s responses to the uprisings in Egypt and Syria. In both cases, Qatar was initially hesitant to declare a position against the current regimes, after reaching a rapprochement with the Mubarak regime in late 2010 and establishing relations with the Assad regime 17) Another reason for this initial hesitation lies in the sensitivity of Saudi Arabia’s stance toward the Egyptian and Syrian regimes, as expressed in the kingdom’s initial call for “stability” in those countries rather than the revolution.18 I realized that the uprisings in those countries were likely to bring down leaders Its status, public position (and with it, coverage of the island) have changed , Which allowed Qatar to maintain that decisive but prudent move ahead of Saudi Arabia.
Qatar adapts its foreign policy to the emirate as a way to maintain its independent political status in the region. Their participation in the Syrian conflict in the wake of the 2011 uprising is a clear example of Qatar’s quest to maintain its political significance. Qatar participated actively in arming the Syrian rebels, such as the Free Syrian Army. It also brokered a comprehensive organization to unite the various factions of the Syrian opposition – the National Coalition for Revolutionary Forces and the Syrian Opposition, formed in November 2012 in Doha after 18 months of calls from the international community Of the Syrian opposition for autism. The establishment of this coalition responds to all Qatari foreign policy engines: regional leadership. (Iran’s support for the Assad regime); and the prevention of instability (or at least an attempt to do so). The coalition of the Islamic and secular factions is moving comfortably within Qatar’s open policy with regard to many political actors. However, the Islamic dimension in Qatar’s foreign policy carries a range of motives and complications.
Qatar and Islamism
From the 1990s onwards, Qatar also hosted a number of Libyan Islamists from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Salabi, who had been imprisoned in Libya on charges of attempting to assassinate Gaddafi. He moved to Qatar in 1999, and then reconciled with Qadhafi, led by Qatar, and returned to Libya to start a program to remove Islamic extremism. Ali al-Salabi and his younger brother Isma’il ended up playing prominent roles after the February 17 revolution, the first as a politician and the second as a rebel leader. 25. Another former leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah group, supported by Qatar, is Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who became commander of Tripoli’s military council during the February 17 revolution. In August 2011, Qatar arranged a meeting between Belhadj and NATO officials – a meeting considered controversial because the LIFG was classified as a terrorist organization by the United States in 2004, although Belhadj had abandoned his previous activities. 26 Passive Attitudes Belhadj demonstrates long-term, mutually beneficial and personal relations between Qatar and some Islamists, aimed at strengthening their loyalty to the emirate. 27 As with Qatar’s participation in state-level activities, its relationship with Islamists can be seen as a tool that supports its foreign policy objectives in the face of instability and the maintenance of regional leadership.
However, the Libyan issue is complex, because Qatar has not only supported the Islamists by supplying the rebels with weapons to fight Gaddafi, it has been reported that the emirate has continued to send weapons to Libya since the fall of Gaddafi, raising concern within the Libyan interim government about the impact in November 2011, “There are facts on the ground, they are Qatar offering money to some parties, the Islamic parties,” the United Nations envoy to Libya, Mohamed Abdel Rahman Shalgam, told Reuters. They provide money and weapons and try to intervene in issues that do not concern them and we refuse to do so. 29 In January 2012, Time magazine claimed that Qatar appeared to be interfering in the Libyan internal government’s affairs, specifically with regard to national security. 30. The official Qatari interpretation of the country’s relationship with radical or extremist Islamists was presented in an interview with the Emir of Qatar with Al-Jazeera on September 7, 2011. He said he believed that radical Islamists whose views were formed under authoritarian governments Can adopt a participatory policy if the promise of true democracy and justice for the Arab revolutions of this year is fulfilled.If so, the Qatari governor said: “I think you will see this shift to civil life and civil society.” 31 While this statement is in line with the criteria Qatar to participate with the Islamists p For the past decade, it only offers a partial view of country motives.
Qatar’s support for Islamists, particularly in Libya, can be traced back to a number of factors. First, support is a form of communication and participation that can avoid enmities through cooperation. As described above, Qatar has a long-standing relationship with various Islamic groups and individuals, some of whom are central to participation (eg, the Muslim Brotherhood) and others with whom it is more casual. This may explain the alleged links between Qatar and radical Islamists in contexts such as Mali.32 While there is no evidence so far of Qatari state support for Islamists in Mali, it is reasonable that Qatari individuals may participate in funding such groups in an effort to exert influence and shift potential instability near from home. Second, the support of the Libyan rebels may be strategically useful in terms of the conflict in Syria, where the Libyan rebels were reported to be providing assistance on the ground to their counterparts within the Syrian opposition.34 In November 2012, it was revealed that Libya was the main Syrian opposition source of funding, Provides half the budget of the Syrian National Council, with Qatar being the second largest source of funds.35 With the Muslim Brotherhood playing a prominent role in the Syrian National Council, Qatar’s support force for the SNC is no surprise. However, Qatar’s hosting of the unity of the Syrian opposition in Doha in November 2012 was not warmly welcomed by the Syrian National Council, which it considered a measure that would diminish its influence.36 In this context, To avoid being seen as one-sided in their connections (including with regard to Islamists), while also allowing them to present their position as the principal mediator and mediator of authority in the region.
Finally, as we mentioned earlier, Qatar has always sought to adapt to political trends, and the Arab Spring has seen Islamists become more influential in the region. Qatari military and monetary support for these groups is turning into political influence. Thus, while Qatar may benefit from its warm ties with various Islamic groups, its support for Islamists can also be seen as a reaction to a change in the current political situation in the Middle East. This specific factor highlights the main shortcoming of Qatar’s foreign policy: it remains largely repetitive, rather than based on a long-term political vision.
Qatar’s public diplomacy revisited
It has been widely recognized that Qatar is seeking advanced public diplomacy efforts – targeting both Arab and international audiences – that support its foreign policy. The main pillars of this effort are Qatar’s participation in outstanding cultural and educational efforts. Humanitarian assistance; and al-Jazeera. All three columns have largely succeeded in winning hearts and minds, yet each of them (especially the latter) has specific challenges. Since the 1990s, Qatar has increased the scope and level of foreign aid, reaching the poor in conflict zones in diverse places such as Lebanon, Gaza and Mali. In each of these places, Qatar established charities, working in reconstruction programs, and announced plans for investment. After the 2006 attack on Lebanon, banners were published proclaiming “thank you to Qatar” as well as Qatari flag in several villages in the south where Qatar pledged to rebuild mosques and infrastructure destroyed in the war. The visit of the Emir of Qatar to Gaza in 2012 was the first visit by an Arab head of state to the Hamas-controlled area, carrying with it investment plans as well as renewing hopes for reconciliation between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority. These two cases represent a remarkable move by Qatar to appeal to citizens through sectarian and political divisions. Thus, Qatar has managed to position itself as a friend of the oppressed Arab citizen, especially with regard to the ongoing conflict with Israel. However, the limits of humanitarian interventions and foreign aid to Qatar soon became apparent after continued instability in Lebanon and the renewed Israeli assault on Gaza in late 2012, a few weeks after the Emir’s visit. Given these developments, Qatar’s influence in these areas can be seen as a temporary, rather than a long-term, push.
in mali the qatar red crescent has recently been active in supporting refugees and coordinating humanitarian interventions rejected by islamists in the north who oppose engagement with the international red cross.337 the head of the mali red cross abdul rahman sisi said in august 2012: it was very difficult reach the population in the north but with the intervention of the qatari red crescent we can do more. 38 the acceptance of qatar by islamic groups stems not only from being an islamic state but can also be traced back to qatar by qatar and other gulf states from islamic charities in northern mali and the sahel in the pre-1980s thus gaining credibility on the ground. qatars humanitarian aid to mali has sparked rumors from algeria dissatisfied with qatars support for most of the arab spring revolutions 40. qatar uses humanitarian missions as a pretext to send weapons to armed groups in the north. which prompted the qatar red crescent society to issue a statement denying this allegation in june 2012. 41 this statement indicates a degree of uneasiness within qatar regarding its closest consideration to islamists: while influencing the islamists is desirable where he is seen as in bed working against qatars goals of greater political influence. the establishment of al-jazeera in 1996 was a decisive factor in qatars growing external influence. as well documented al jazeera is the first 24-hour news network in the arab world. gained popularity shortly after her birth because he was considered the only arab alternative to global channels such as cnn america. he later benefited from this success by his intensive coverage of the second palestinian uprising in 2000 and the fact that he was the first to broadcast video messages via osama bin laden after the september 11 2001 attacks. but the islands leading features were its declared independence. in a media scene saturated by the official media and his uncritical criticism of arab leaders across a number of countries. in an arab world accustomed to the dominance of state-owned television channels which were merely propaganda tools for leaders al-jazeera offered a new dynamic to engage with politicians in the region which included actual criticism of their behavior and attitudes. although this decision on the part of the island led to the closure of its offices in a number of arab countries but in the end won the hearts and minds of the arab masses. in this regard al jazeera became an example of successful public diplomacy where it communicated directly with individual citizens and spoke in their own language. 42 in 2006 al jazeera prepared an english version of the channel to connect with a global audience becoming the first global channel. arab channel to compete directly with western broadcasters such as cnn and bbc.
Al Jazeera was also the public platform through which Qatar presented itself as a competitor to Saudi Arabia. After the launch of the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya channel in 2003, its rivalry with Al-Jazeera and its mutual criticism with its supporters became a key feature of analyzing the Arab media landscape.43 Although this competition eventually ended after Qatar and Saudi Arabia came close to the air (although This result leads to questioning the true degree of “independence” of the island), its main advantage was to paint a picture of Qatar, almost as much as Saudi Arabia in terms of influence and importance, a portrait of Qatar’s foreign policy. The story of the island is not just a change in the Arab media scene. It is also a story of the ambition of a small Gulf state to use this global platform to enlarge its size and importance. The early success of Al Jazeera has made Qatar a model of public diplomacy and its guiding principle to bid for world interest. After Al Jazeera, Qatar has entered into increasingly ambitious plans to attract world attention to the temptation of some of the leading universities and research centers in the United States and the United Kingdom to establish branches on its own territory to bid and win the World Cup 2022 Throughout the Arab world. The wife of the country’s emir, Sheikha Mozah, is widely seen as the vision behind these initiatives. Unusually for the Gulf leader’s wife, Sheikha Mozah has a high public profile and is internationally renowned for initiatives such as the Qatar Foundation – which funds educational initiatives in Qatar and abroad – and her style of fashion. Often appear alongside the prince in public posts, for example during their historic visit to Gaza in 2012. Although it is not certain how independent Sheikha Mozah is in the context of her endeavors, her polished image and her activism, the international agenda has turned itself into a pillar Of the State of Qatar’s public diplomacy.
But the story of the island is not without its setbacks. The channel’s broadcast of Scoop by Osama bin Laden after the September 11 attacks and its firm stance against the 2003 invasion of Iraq led to sharp criticism – some speculated that a possible attack – by the United States. However, Al-Jazeera has proven its ability to withstand criticism, not only by bargaining with American diplomats, as revealed by WikiLeaks, 44 but also by following its own line independently from other country initiatives. For example, while the island was publicly critical of the US invasion of Iraq, Qatar hosted the US Central Command. Thus, Qatar was able to appease Arab public opinion through Al-Jazeera while it entered into a pragmatic foreign policy that maintained good relations with its Western allies. Qatar has proven itself to be a shrewd political player, able to gain friends at the diplomatic and public levels by reaching different constituencies using tailor-made tools for each audience.
However, the Arab Spring has posed a difficult challenge to the credibility of the island. After the initial rise in popularity due to coverage of the intensive channel of the Egyptian revolution, the channel faced the mystery of the Bahraini uprising that coincided with the Libyan revolution. While the entire island embraced the Libyan uprising as a legitimate rebellion, its lukewarm stance on the Bahraini issue seemed contradictory to its image as a presumed party to Arab freedom. He also revealed the borders of “independence” sponsored by the channel from the Qatari state. This situation was compounded by the resignation of the General Manager of the island, Wadah Khanfar, in September 2011, and the replacement of Qatari from Qatar. The royal family, Sheikh Ahmed Bin Jassim Bin Mohammed Al Thani 46. The coverage of the Arab Spring and the resignation of Khanfar indicate a contradiction between Qatar’s image and its actions, which is a fundamental challenge to the credibility of public diplomacy. At the same time, the island’s enthusiastic embrace of the Syrian uprising against the Assad regime has occasionally channeled the channel to broadcast inaccurate reports and uncertain or false sectors.47 This has hurt rather than helped the Syrian opposition in its struggle for international recognition. In this sense, the island has begun as a tool for Qatari public diplomacy to lose its luster. The challenges facing Qatar’s public diplomacy stem from its strong association with the foreign policy of the state. While the gap between public diplomacy and foreign policy is narrower, the most credible public diplomacy message, in the case of Qatar, is that there is no gap between the two that has not faced challenges, because the country’s own foreign policy seems to be – with its great reliance on pragmatism and adaptation –
The limits of pragmatism
The examination of Qatar’s foreign policy reveals the delicate balance that Qatar is trying to maintain between internal and regional stability (Gulf) and a broader political impact. Qatar’s long-term foreign policy. However, it does not seem to be based on a coherent political strategy, but rather on an effective response, trying to catch up with political trends rather than on them. Qatar still has a long way to go before it is in a position to form a credible challenge to Saudi Arabia’s influence in the region – despite its declining influence over the past decade.
The best way for foreign policy in Qatar is to mediate. It is an intelligent tactic that avoids taking sides and thus maintains its position of “neutrality” and status as “a friend of every individual”, which can be translated into a wider impact. However, although Qatari mediation is welcome as a success, a closer look shows that its effects are limited in the short term. The mediation between the Yemeni government and the Houthis in 2007 did not lead to a permanent truce between the two sides. In Lebanon, the Doha agreements may have put an end to street violence in 2008, but have done nothing to prevent the country from sliding back into more instability and tensions between rival political coalitions. Mediation between the Taliban and Western officials that began in 2010 has yet to yield results, despite Qatar’s offer to open a Taliban office in Doha. (48) Hamas and Fatah talks in which Qatar helped mediate in February 2012 and the visit of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa. In October 2012, the Gaza Strip may help to form a Palestinian unity government, but it remains to be seen whether this will lead to long-term change. In short, much of the spread in the State of Qatar has taken the place of mediating interim measures that have helped to strengthen the image of the country and its status among other Arab countries and its Western allies, but has not always succeeded in changing the current political situation. One of the reasons for this is the centrality of foreign policy decision-making in the hands of four people at best. While centralization allows for quick reactions, the absence of administrative deliberations, combined with a limited foreign policy infrastructure, highlights a gap between decisions and implementation. And the lack of adequate professional capacity to pursue mediation efforts. In addition, Qatari mediation was conducted before the Arab Spring in a relatively stable environment. It is very difficult for Qatar to play this role in the context of an unpredictable democratic transition.
The Arab Spring also stimulated a change in dynamics, prompting Qatar to abandon mediation for more direct action. However, Qatar remains keen not to act unilaterally, without Arab support, or crossing what is acceptable from Saudi Arabia. Qatar’s bias in the Arab Spring is not a departure from the country’s preferred path. It is an example of its political pragmatism and adapting it to methods that are appropriate to the political context. However, even this adjustment is not without risk. These risks have a local and external dimension. At the local level, political adaptation highlights the informal dimension of political decision-making in Qatar. All domestic policies, like their foreign counterparts, are top-down decisions based primarily on the Amir and the Prime Minister.
While this kind of informal policy may have served Qatar well so far, and with the Arab world beginning to see demands for real political institutions, Qatar is likely to find its credibility challenging if it fails to engage in serious domestic reforms. Shortly after the start of the Arab Spring, between March 14, 2011 and February 6, 2012, 60 Qatari citizens held regular meetings of dialogue during which political and economic reform in the emirate was discussed and proposed. The resulting booklet, “Qataris for Reform”, highlights the main concerns, such as the lack of public consultations on domestic and foreign policy, the lack of access to information on public affairs, the absence of a public-private border, This 511. This growing domestic pressure slowly begins to attract international attention as well.
Qatar’s performance in the field of political rights and civil liberties is rated as “non-free” on the 2011 Index of Freedom in the World 53 and 138 out of 167 in the Democracy Index 2011.54. The international focus on the life sentence handed over to the Qatari poet Mohammed al-Ajmi the previous year for “inciting the overthrow of the ruling regime” and “insulting the prince” for reading a poem criticizing Arab rulers who “import all the West” except “law and freedom”; The regional and international interest in the issue has shown the contradiction between the sentence and the polished image that Qatar is trying to put out.55 Despite Qatar’s participation in democracy in the Arab world, the country remains without an independent legislature or political parties, and has no independent civil society organizations. In October 2011, at the height of Qatar’s participation in the Arab Spring, the Emir promised to hold elections for the first time in the second half of 2013 (a promise that was first set, but without a date for implementation in 2003). 56 But even At that time, the country remained under the administration of a “largely unaccountable regime”. Some observers believe that the promise of elections – and the lack of follow-up so far – is a public diplomatic measure, attributing it to Qatar’s interest in showing “advanced thinking” 58 attempts to avoid criticism of its support for the opposition abroad but not within, rather than a serious commitment to reform. In the meantime, Qatar followed the trend of other Gulf states in an attempt to distract its citizens from the ideas of political change through the distribution of funds: in September 2011, the first year of the Arab Spring, the government announced large increases in salaries for public sector employees. 59. Qatar’s domestic education investment is likely to be indirectly responsible for long-term change, with the emergence of a new generation of educated, globalized Qataris who are unlikely to be satisfied with the informal system. The long-term lack of planning for Qatar’s political future can only increase the chances of internal political turmoil in the future. Local contradictions, combined with doubts about the island’s editorial line, may have a negative impact on the credibility of Qatari public diplomacy.
On the external front, while communicating with many different groups and interests can serve to confirm Qatar’s status as a key regional player, maintain loyalist groups, moderate extremism, and maintain insecurity. This also means that the country risks expanding its network of clients Mixed and supported politicians. Her desire to influence multiple players, especially emerging leaders, has led to more engagement with potential parties such as some Islamist rebels in Libya and Syria. The possible involvement of Qatari individuals in relations with radical Islamists may also work against the state’s long-term state policy. The tendency to “pick winners”, especially among Islamists, may increase international skepticism about Qatar’s motives. Moreover, Qatar’s reliance on trade relations to soften political relations has shown that Qatar has only limited diplomatic influence (as evidenced by what happened in Syria after the 2011 uprising or in the case of tensions with Algeria). All of these factors may eventually harm Qatar’s political objectives rather than serve them. Although Qatar appears to be a country with clear political ambitions, it does not seem to have a coherent and long-term political strategy to achieve these aspirations. Instead, Qatar’s foreign policy strategy can be seen on the basis of opportunism and mixing, and thus carries high risks of volatility.
Need to check
Qatar follows the same Wahhabi branch of Islam as Saudi Arabia, although its interpretation and application of Wahhabism is more moderate than its neighbors. The State of Qatar has also been involved in a degree of emancipation not seen in the Kingdom, for example with regard to women’s rights. But the two countries share concerns about radical Islam, both of which are programs to reform Islamic extremists. Both supported different Islamic groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood in its various branches. Here Qatar and Saudi Arabia differ. Saudi Arabia has traditionally seen the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group with political ambitions, as a potential political rival, and was therefore cautious in its dealings with the group.19 In Egypt Mubarak, Saudi Arabia stood firmly with the Egyptian regime. I participated in a number of measures to limit the political plans of the Muslim Brotherhood. However, it would be misleading to assume that Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood were completely hostile: the kingdom had been one of the main financiers of the Muslim Brotherhood for decades. The rise of the Brotherhood in Egypt after the revolution, in contrast to initial speculation, made it closer to Saudi Arabia, which seems to have good relations so far with the new president, Mohamed Morsi.
On the other hand, Qatar has been one of the main supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood for decades, and this relationship has become more comfortable between the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia. Qatar used Al-Jazeera to express popular support for the Brotherhood, hosted its leaders in Doha and provided financial support. For example, Qatar granted Egyptian scholar Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi an important public platform in the form of his own popularity. A religious show on Al Jazeera and was an outspoken supporter of the Arab revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria defended by Qatar.23From the 1990s onwards, Qatar also hosted a number of Libyan Islamists from the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Salabi, who had been imprisoned in Libya on charges of attempting to assassinate Gaddafi. He moved to Qatar in 1999, and then reconciled with Qadhafi, led by Qatar, and returned to Libya to start a program to remove Islamic extremism. Ali al-Salabi and his younger brother Isma’il ended up playing prominent roles after the February 17 revolution, the first as a politician and the second as a rebel leader. 25. Another former leader of the Jemaah Islamiyah group, supported by Qatar, is Abdel Hakim Belhadj, who became commander of Tripoli’s military council during the February 17 revolution. In August 2011, Qatar arranged a meeting between Belhadj and NATO officials – a meeting considered controversial because the LIFG was classified as a terrorist organization by the United States in 2004, although Belhadj had abandoned his previous activities. 26 Passive Attitudes Belhadj demonstrates long-term, mutually beneficial and personal relations between Qatar and some Islamists, aimed at strengthening their loyalty to the emirate. 27 As with Qatar’s participation in state-level activities, its relationship with Islamists can be seen as a tool that supports its foreign policy objectives in the face of instability and the maintenance of regional leadership.
In Mali, the Qatar Red Crescent has recently been active in supporting refugees and coordinating humanitarian interventions rejected by Islamists in the north who oppose engagement with the International Red Cross.337 The head of the Mali Red Cross, Abdul Rahman Sisi, said in August 2012: “It was very difficult Reach the population in the north, but with the intervention of the Qatari Red Crescent, we can do more. ” 38 The acceptance of Qatar by Islamic groups stems not only from being an Islamic state but can also be traced back to Qatar by Qatar and other Gulf states from Islamic charities in northern Mali and the Sahel in the pre-1980s, thus gaining credibility on the ground. Qatar’s humanitarian aid to Mali has sparked rumors from Algeria – dissatisfied with Qatar’s support for most of the Arab Spring revolutions 40. Qatar uses humanitarian missions as a pretext to send weapons to armed groups in the north. Which prompted the Qatar Red Crescent Society to issue a statement denying this allegation in June 2012. 41 This statement indicates a degree of uneasiness within Qatar regarding its closest consideration to Islamists: while influencing the Islamists is desirable, Where he is seen as “in bed” working against Qatar’s goals of greater political influence. The establishment of Al-Jazeera in 1996 was a decisive factor in Qatar’s growing external influence. As well documented, Al Jazeera is the first 24-hour news network in the Arab world. Gained popularity shortly after her birth because he was considered the only Arab alternative to global channels such as CNN America. He later benefited from this success by his intensive coverage of the second Palestinian uprising in 2000 and the fact that he was the first to broadcast video messages via Osama bin Laden after the September 11, 2001 attacks. But the island’s leading features were its declared “independence.” In a media scene saturated by the official media, and his uncritical criticism of Arab leaders across a number of countries. In an Arab world accustomed to the dominance of state-owned television channels, which were merely propaganda tools for leaders, Al-Jazeera offered a new dynamic to engage with politicians in the region, which included actual criticism of their behavior and attitudes. Although this decision on the part of the island led to the closure of its offices in a number of Arab countries, but in the end won the hearts and minds of the Arab masses. In this regard, Al Jazeera became an example of successful public diplomacy, where it communicated directly with individual citizens and spoke in their own language. 42 In 2006, Al Jazeera prepared an English version of the channel to connect with a global audience, becoming the first global channel. Arab channel to compete directly with Western broadcasters such as CNN and BBC.