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Qatar: Small But Powerful

Qatar — that little country in the Persian Gulf — is a power player with a lot of money and ambition on the world stage.

Men wait to serve tea to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, unseen, and Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, unseen, during their meeting at Wajbah Palace in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, June 23, 2013. (AP)

Men wait to serve tea to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, unseen, and Qatari Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, unseen, during their meeting at Wajbah Palace in Doha, Qatar, on Sunday, June 23, 2013. (AP)

Millions of Egyptians in the streets, calling for the ouster of their Muslim Brotherhood president.  The billions keeping him afloat and in power?  From Qatar.

Washington, deeply worried about heat-seeking anti-aircraft missiles getting into Syria and jihadi hands.  Who’s shipping them in?  Qatar.

Furor last month when the Taliban raised its flag for talks over Afghanistan’s future.  Where did the flag go up?  Qatar.

It’s tiny.  It’s rich.  It’s Islamist-friendly.  It’s taking charge.

This hour, On Point:  big little player, Qatar.  Its billions, and its plan.  Plus, we’ll check in on the deadly wildfire in Arizona.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Shadi Hamid, director of research for the Brookings Doha Center and a fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. (@shadihamid)

David Roberts, director and research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in Qatar. Author of the forthcoming: “Qatar: Securing the Global Ambitions of a City-state.” (@thegulfblog)

Marc Lynch, director of the Institute for Middle East Studies and of the Project on Middle East Political Science and professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University. (@abuaardvark)

Closing Segment on Deadly Arizona Wildfires

Katie Connor, reporter for KNXV-TV Phoenix.

From Tom’s Reading List

The New York Times: New Hope for Democracy in a Dynastic Land — “Now that he is set to become the new emir, the absolute ruler of Qatar, what possibly can Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani promise to the citizens of a tiny, incredibly rich country that seems to have everything?”

Reuters: Qatar’s new PM signals lower key world role — “A stickler for discipline with a security background, Qatar’s new prime minister will have a narrower remit than his influential predecessor, who led the Gulf state’s forays into global finance and Arab Spring politics.”

Bloomberg: Chief Who Built Biggest Arab Bank Takes Over Qatar Finances — “For Ali Shareef Al Emadi, managing the finances of the world’s richest country is a job he’s already been involved in for eight years. During that time, the chief executive officer of Qatar National Bank SAQ, who was appointed finance minister in a new Qatari government late yesterday, helped build the company into the Middle East’s biggest lender. QNB grew its assets to more than $100 billion in the period, the only Arab bank to reach that threshold, data compiled by Bloomberg show.”

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