Qatar plays a quiet and cautious foreign policy hand

Summary: Qatari foreign affairs, once hugely ambitious and assertive, are today much more modest but proving very effective in blunting the blockade put on it by its Gulf neighbours.

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1 thought on “Qatar plays a quiet and cautious foreign policy hand”

  1. Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

    This is a good analysis of how things have changed and where we stand.
    One lesson the Qataris did absorb from the 2011-13 period was the need to coordinate much more closely with regional and international partners when engaging in hotspots that could otherwise leave Qatar vulnerable to accusations of ‘meddling’ or interfering, as was frequently the case in 2011-12 when the Qataris were quite poor at public diplomacy, i.e. explaining what they were doing and why, which invited speculation.
    Instead of the personalized style of policymaking under HBJ (Hamad bin Jassim former prime minister and foreign minister), a hallmark of Qatari engagement in Gaza and with the Taliban since 2017 has been the close coordination with Israeli and US counterparts (respectively) and also the creation of specific envoy positions within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Mohammed al-Emadi for Gaza and Mutlaq al-Qahtani for the Afghan talks) to increase Qatar’s own institutional capacity to take on complex issues and deliver results.

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