Qatar’s changing international relations

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This article shed light on the changing international relations of Qatar and is featured in Orient II/2023.

This essay examines how Qatar’s international relations are changing as the decade of regional rivalries which followed the Arab uprisings in 2011 gives way to an era characterised by great power competition, which presents new challenges as well as opportunities for states such as Qatar and its neighbours. An opening section provides an overview of the rifts among the Gulf States that formed a near-constant backdrop to most of the 2010s and only came to an end in 2020. This leads into a second section which examines the pace and depth of Gulf states’ reconciliation in the two years since the signing of the Al-Ula Declaration in Saudi Arabia on
5 January 2021. A third section analyses how Qatar is balancing international relationships and picking a path through the growing polarisation of global geopolitics and ends by looking ahead and assessing how Qatar’s international relations may further evolve.

Kristian Coates Ulrichsen is a fellow for the Middle east at the Baker Institute. His research examines the changing position of the Gulf states in the global order, as well as the emergence of longer-term, non-military challenges to regional security.

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