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Country Report Libya Product Image

Country Report Libya

  • ID: 2101513
  • February 2015
  • Region: Libya
  • 25 Pages
  • The Economist Intelligence Unit

The Qatari emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, discussed areas of common ground with the US president, Barack Obama, in his first visit to the White House on February 24th.

The visit by the Qatari emir to the White House brought new focus to areas of common ground between the US and Qatar, despite long-standing disagreements between the two countries over Qatar's perceived support of Islamist movements in the Middle East.

Sheikh Tamim prefigured the agenda of his meeting with Mr Obama with an op-ed in the New York Times, a US-based newspaper, in which he highlighted the "hopelessness" that was the root cause of extremism in the region and wider Muslim world, echoing similar remarks by Mr Obama a week earlier in the White House summit on countering violent extremism. Given Qatar's long-standing tensions with its neighbours in the Middle East (which have eased recently but not yet completely resolved), Sheikh Tamim was always unlikely to choose his debut visit to the US to articulate Qatar's independent foreign policy. Instead, the emir chose to hone in on less contentious areas, such as their joint opposition to Syria's president, Bashar al-Assad. Their agreement on the need to oust the Baathist leadership in Syria was uncontroversial, but the two sides are still far apart on the means of executing this outcome. Qatar is routinely accused by Western powers of backing jihadi rebel groups operating in Syria.

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Country Report Libya

Qatari and US leaders meet over regional issues
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