Just before the World Cup in Qatar: Emir thanks Putin for his cooperation

Just before the World Cup in Qatar
Emir thanks Putin for cooperation

The World Cup kicks off in Qatar on Sunday. The tournament in the desert is internationally controversial because of numerous human rights violations and scandals. A phone call between Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani and Vladimir Putin is likely to further fuel criticism.

Shortly before the start of the controversial World Cup in Qatar, the hosts would maintain very close contact with Russia. On Friday, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani called Russian President Vladimir Putin and thanked him for “cooperation in organizing this event”. This was announced by the Emir’s office. Putin also congratulated Qatar for hosting the World Cup. In mid-October, the Heads of State had already met at the Conference on Cooperation and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Astana. Putin and Al-Thani had retreated to Kazakhstan’s capital for a one-on-one talk.

Qatar’s state news agency, QNA, then announced that Russia was providing “great support” to the desert state in connection with the World Cup. The “coordination” would therefore “continue, and we thank Russia for it”. The news agency also announced that, according to Putin, “relations between Russia and Qatar” would continue to develop. Accordingly, Russia is also “doing everything possible to share our experiences in preparing for the World Cup”. During the tournament there will be a fan zone for Russians.

Due to the war against Ukraine, Russia has been banned from the international football community until further notice. The host of the 2018 World Cup already participated in a safety exercise last year. According to AFP news agency, preparations have been made without Russian help since the invasion of the neighboring country. Officially, Qatar is critical of Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territories, high-ranking Russian politicians are not expected at the World Cup.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Qatar early next week to hold diplomatic talks and discuss human rights issues. In addition, Blinken will watch the United States’ first World Cup group match against Wales at the stadium on Monday, the State Department said on Friday.

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