How the tiny Arab state of Qatar became indispensable in talks with Hamas

Activity: OtherTypes of Public engagement and outreach - Media article or participation


“(Qatar’s) relationship with Hamas has been a key component of the mediation strategy,” said Andreas Krieg, an associate professor at King’s College London who focuses on Gulf states. “It’s a place where Qatar has a monopoly over that relationship, has a monopoly over that conflict because it can speak to both sides in a way that no other player in the world can.”

Qatar is trying to “carve out a place for diplomacy,” Krieg said, adding that one goal was to delay an Israeli offensive inside Gaza. Israel however launched the start of its full ground operation on Friday, which US officials told CNN has complicated efforts to free the more than 200 hostages believed to be held by Hamas.

Mediating to release the hostages kidnapped by Hamas is a useful avenue for Qatari diplomacy, Krieg added, as some of the hostages have European and American nationalities, giving several countries a vested interest in backing Doha’s efforts.

Krieg said that a lot of Qataris privately have their own reservations about Hamas, and that Qatar’s relationship with Hamas likely “needs a bit of a reality check.”

Krieg said it is unlikely that Qatar will kick Hamas out, but is likely to dissociate from the group, as it did with the Taliban, which also an office in the Qatari capital Doha.

Period1 Nov 2023
Held atCNN, United States


  • Israel
  • Qatar
  • Hamas