Qatar asserts its diplomatic clout

Vast energy wealth has brought Gulf state influence, but widening role has also stirred neighbours’ envy and mistrust.

The prime minister of Qatar and the head of the Arab League have urged the UN Security Council to take swift action to halt the escalating violence in Syria and to endorse an Arab plan for Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, to give up power.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim Al Thani told the 15-nation body on Tuesday that Syria’s “killing machine is still at work”.

The tiny Gulf state of Qatar is one of the main forces behind the Arab League peace plan pushing for Assad to step aside.

Qatar’s diplomacy and vast energy wealth has certainly brought it influence. But its widening role brings greater scrutiny and, in parts of the Arab world, growing controversy.

Even among its Gulf neighbours, there are indications now of an element of envy and mistrust, as Al Jazeera’s James Bays reports.

Source: Al Jazeera

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