Key facts about Qatar: Wealthy kingdom in the Gulf diplomatic storm

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Kopitiam Bot

(Source: www.straitstimes.com)

DOHA (AFP) – Several Middle Eastern countries, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates, on Monday (June 5) cut ties with Qatar, a small Gulf state which burst onto the diplomatic scene thanks to its rich energy resources.

Here are some key facts about the kingdom, now facing what is potentially its worst diplomatic crisis.

TINY ARAB STATE

Qatar is one of the smallest Arab states with a population of 2.4 million, 90 per cent of whom are foreigners, and a total area of 11,437 sq km.

The country was a British protectorate for 55 years until 1971, when it refused to join the United Arab Emirates and emerged as an independent kingdom.

Qatar has been ruled by a monarchy, the Al-Thani family, since the mid-19th century.

The current emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, rose to power in 2013 after his father Sheikh Hamad bin…

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