BBC World Service

Qatar set to gain in Libya after early support for rebels

Simon Atkinson Aug 30, 2011
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
BBC World Service

Qatar set to gain in Libya after early support for rebels

Simon Atkinson Aug 30, 2011
Share Now on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Steve Chiotakis: The tiny gulf state of Qatar has a population of just 1.7 million, but it beat the United States to host the soccer World Cup for 2022 and this week it says it’s going to bid for the 2020 Olympics. But Qatar’s ambitions go well beyond the sports field, and into the battlefield — of Libya.

From Dubai, the BBC’s Simon Atkinson reports.


Simon Atkinson: Qatar sent money, weapons and expensive fighter jets to the Libyan rebels during the uprising. In fact, Qatar’s capital Doha has become a home-away-from-home for Libyan opposition leaders.

Dina’s producer working for a “Free Libya” TV satellite channel that broadcasts out of Doha. She thinks Libyans will always be grateful for Qatar’s support.

Dina: For different reasons, you know the Arab World has not been able to step up, but Qatar is I would say an exception.

So what does Qatar want in return? Clearly it now it’s going to have some political influence. But there are potential economic benefits too. Qatar-based companies are going to be well positioned to win lucrative construction contracts. And that’s because Libya’s going to be spending money to rebuild infrastructure battered by air strikes. The Libyan rebel government’s already said its going to tap their regional allies to help sell their vast oil and gas supplies.

In Dubai, I’m the BBC’s Simon Atkinson, for Marketplace.

If you’re a member of your local public radio station, we thank you — because your support helps those stations keep programs like Marketplace on the air.  But for Marketplace to continue to grow, we need additional investment from those who care most about what we do: superfans like you.

Your donation — as little as $5 — helps us create more content that matters to you and your community, and to reach more people where they are – whether that’s radio, podcasts or online.

When you contribute directly to Marketplace, you become a partner in that mission: someone who understands that when we all get smarter, everybody wins.

We’re here for you.

As COVID-19 reshapes our economy, our newsletter will help you unpack the news from the day.