Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani

1 minute read
By Karl Vick

The kingdoms of the Persian Gulf prosper by providing the world oil and gas, and the resulting fortunes fuel desires for prestige. Tiny Qatar, by hosting the 2022 World Cup, showed just how much attention that can bring. A year later, it earned a more sober prominence, emerging as trusted interlocutor between Israel and Hamas. Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, in his dual role as Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, has ridden point on the turbulent negotiations that so far have produced a weeklong cease-fire and the release of more than 100 hostages. In Qatar, host to both a massive U.S. air base and a Taliban office, balancing acts are a court tradition. And even before Oct. 7, the 43-year-old Premier had impressed U.S. officials as go-­between in other trouble spots, including in South America. But in the Mideast, he says, “everyone, unfortunately, is dancing at the edge.”

Vick is a TIME editor-at-large

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