Qatar. The upheavals in the Arab world meant that Qatar could continue to build up its role as a regional power factor. The country was included, for example in the NATO-led coalition that supported the rebels in Libya, and Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim was driving when the Arab League ruled Syria in November. The Royal House also strengthened its grip on the TV channel al-Jazira, which played an important role by providing a platform for rebels in several countries and broadcasting images taken by activists on the streets.
According to Countryaah official site, the Emir promised in November that general elections for 30 seats in the country’s advisory parliament would be held in 2013. Previously, only local elections had taken place.
The Emir feared that the “Arab Spring” would overthrow the dictators in the conservative states – including in the Gulf. He was therefore instrumental in supporting the ailing dictatorships in Bahrain and Yemen financially to curb the insurgency. At the same time, he went from the start into the struggle to overthrow the non-conservative regimes. Already in March 2011, he recognized the Libyan rebels as the country’s rightful leaders, and at the same time initiated weapons supplies for them. Already from mid-2011, he began sending weapons to the rebels in Syria to overthrow the country’s fresh non-conservative rule. Qatar has since been the banner of the disparity in the Arab world between fresh states and deeply religious Islamic states. The small main-rich state is projecting its own state image into the rest of the Arab world.
In January 2012, the Afghan Taliban opened an office in Doha. Qatar was working on a peace settlement in Afghanistan and the opening of the office gave the United States an opportunity to enter into direct talks with the Taliban.
That same year, Qatar provided $ 7.5 billion US $ in support of Egypt after the Muslim Brotherhood came to power with President Mohammed Morsi. Qatar wanted to gain political influence over the most populous country in the Arab world. Saudi Arabia’s strategy was another. It wanted a weakened Egypt so that Saudi Arabia could take over the post of leading country in the Arab world. It created certain tensions between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and in November 2013 an agreement was signed on “non-interference with other countries’ internal affairs”. In March 2014, however, Saudi Arabia called its ambassador home and accused Qatar of violating the deal. Relations were improving again at the end of the year.
In March 2013, the first Syrian rebel embassy in the world opened. It happened in Doha, Qatar’s capital. Since 2011, Qatar has financed Syrian rebels with 1-3 billion. US $. Qatar had from the outset sought to play a key role in the process, as had played a role in the overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya. The country had been instrumental in forming the Syrian National Council (SNC) opposition platform, but in frustration over the slow progress of the uprising, the 2012 oil state was increasingly channeled to Islamist groups, with al-Nusra front as the most important. al-Nusra was linked to al-Qaeda, which did not seem to worry Qatar.
In June 2013, emir Hamad Al Thani decided to abdicate. In a televised speech, he announced that he was handing over the throne to his son Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. It was the first time in the history of the Al Thani family that the change of power did not happen in a coup. Tamim was more conservative than his father, closer to the Muslim Brotherhood, and he had played a key role in Qatar’s massive arms supplies to the rebels in Syria. Tamim’s first tenure was to transform the government. He made former Interior Minister Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani prime minister. However, Al Thani retained the portfolio as Interior Minister. Al Thani was in the emir’s family and the transformation was seen as an expression of a desire to tighten the grip on the country’s opposition.
Qatar Sea massively supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the period 2011-14. After Egypt’s dictator al Sisi in the summer of 2013 banned the fraternity, it led to a diplomatic crisis between Egypt and Qatar, accused by al Sisi of terrorism. The crisis spread to the Arabian Peninsula, where Saudi Arabia and its sound states Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates had supported the Egyptian Salafists. In March 2014, therefore, the 3 countries closed their embassies in Qatar. Diplomatic relations were only resumed in November. The countries continue to share massive financial and military support for the jihadists in Syria. Qatar gave $ 3 billion in the period 2011-15 US $ in financial and military assistance to the jihadists.
In September 2014, the emir signed a new law against «cybercrime». Its main function was to ensure censorship of the social media and news sites.
At the Cairo International Conference in October 2014 on the reconstruction of Gaza following Israel’s war on the area, Qatar declared it would contribute $ 1 billion. US $ for the reconstruction. Israel had leveled up to 20,000 buildings with the ground during its terrorist bombings and damaged the double.
Qatar and Saudi Arabia are vying for military and economic cooperation with Turkey. During a state visit to Turkey in December 2014, the emir and the Turkish president signed a military cooperation agreement that opened up for the Turkish Air Force to use bases in Qatar and Qatar to reverse use bases in Turkey. In December 2015, more far-reaching intelligence cooperation agreements and the establishment of a Turkish military base in Qatar were signed.