Following the Arab Spring, Qatar saw an opportunity to move away from its traditional foreign policy role as a regional moderator to a more confident leadership position. Doing so attracted the ire of some of Qatar’s fellow GCC states and Egypt, resulting in a diplomatic crisis which is yet to be resolved.
In response, Qatar’s relations with Turkey and Iran have deepened, notably in the areas of diplomacy, investment flows and military co-operation.
Has Qatar’s foreign policy since 2011 been to its benefit or detriment?
Do Doha’s deeper ties with Tehran present an obstacle to the planned creation of the Middle East Strategic Alliance - a proposed regional bulwark against outside Iranian influence?
And will Qatar’s new approach to foreign policy support or compromise its efforts in resolving conflicts elsewhere in the region?
HE Lolwah R. M. Al-Khater, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, State of Qatar
Dr Abdullah Baabood, former Director, Gulf Studies Center, Qatar University
Dr Courtney Freer, Research Officer, Middle East Centre, LSE
Helen Lackner, Research Associate, London Middle East Institute, SOAS
Chair: Dr Neil Quilliam, Senior Research Fellow, Middle East and North Africa Programme, Chatham House