"The State of Qatar has employed its ample financial resources to exert significant regional influence and avoid domination by Saudi Arabia, the de-facto leader of the six Gulf monarchy alliance called the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Oman). Qatar has intervened in several regional conflicts, including in Syria and Libya, and has sought to mediate disputes in or involving Lebanon, Sudan, the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas, and Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan. Qatar has supported efforts to limit Iran's regional influence while maintaining dialogue with that country."
CRS Report for Congress, R44533
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html