"The state of Qatar, a member of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman), has employed its ample financial resources to try to 'punch above its weight' on regional and international affairs. Qatar has intervened, directly and indirectly, in several regional conflicts, including in Syria and Libya. Qatar also has sought to establish itself as an indispensable interlocutor on some issues, such as those involving the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas, the Taliban insurgent group in Afghanistan, some Syrian rebel groups, Lebanon, and Sudan. Qatar's efforts to promote what its officials assert are new models of Arab governance and relationships between Islam and the state have sometimes caused disputes with Qatar's GCC allies. […] Qatar is wrestling with the downturn in global crude oil prices since 2014, as are the other GCC states, Qatar appeared to be better positioned to weather the downturn than are most of the other GCC states because of its development of a large natural gas export infrastructure and its small population. However, natural gas prices are also down, and Qatar shares with virtually all the other GCC states a lack of economic diversification and reliance on revenues from sales of hydrocarbon products."
CRS Report for Congress, R44533
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html