Qatar, officially the State of Qatar, is an Arab emirate in Southwest Asia, occupying
the small Qatar Peninsula
on the northeasterly coast of the larger Arabian Peninsula.
It is bordered by Saudi Arabia
to the south; otherwise the Persian Gulf
surrounds the state.
During the nineteenth century, the time of Britainís formative ventures into the region,
the Al Khalifa clan reigned over the Northern Qatari peninsula from the nearby island of Bahrain to the west. Towards the end of
the 19 century, British helped Qatar
separated from Bahrain
and gave it a British protectorate status.
The reach of the British Empire
diminished after the Second World War, especially following Indian independence
in 1947. Pressure for a British withdrawal from the Arab emirates in the Gulf
increased during the 1950s, and the British welcomed Kuwait's declaration of
independence in 1961. When Britain
officially announced in 1968 that it would disengage politically, though not
economically, from the Persian Gulf in three years' time, Qatar joined Bahrain
and seven other Trucial
States in a federation.
Regional disputes however, quickly compelled Qatar
to resign and declare independence from the coalition that would evolve into
the seven-emirate United
Arab Emirates. On September 3, 1971, Qatar
became an independent sovereign state.