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Qatar steps up its involvement in Tunisia with investment conference

The Arab Spring’s nascent democracy is the latest theater where Gulf state rivalries are playing out.
Tunisia's President Moncef Marzouki (R) and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani listen to their national anthems during a welcome ceremony in Tunis April 3, 2014. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi (TUNISIA - Tags: POLITICS ROYALS) - RTR3JUGT

This week's multibillion dollar investment conference offers Tunisia's battered economy a rare chance to restore faith in its future amid slipping bond ratings and labor unrest. 

Behind the scenes, the forum’s outcome will also help determine whether cash-flush Qatar bet on the right horse in its bid to expand its influence in post-Arab Spring North Africa. The emirate is a “partner” and “godfather” of the conference, co-organizer Mourad Fradi told radio station Express FM Nov. 22.

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