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Talks fail to establish Israeli consular office in Qatar

September 1, 2022 at 9:00 am

FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Final Draw at Doha Exhibition Center on 1 April 2022 in Doha, Qatar [Tnani Badreddine/vi/DeFodi Images via Getty Images]

Secret talks between Israel and Qatar have failed to lead to the opening of an Israeli consular office in Doha to facilitate the arrival of thousands of Israeli football fans to the World Cup, Israel’s i24News reported.

The channel said talks collapsed ahead of a planned phone call between Israeli Foreign Minister and interim Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani over Lapid’s insistence on making the call public, which Qatar has strongly rejected.

The planned phone call between Lapid and Al Thani was considered a preliminary conversation ahead of a future phone call between Lapid and the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

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Israel hoped the office would continue operating in Qatar as a permanent presence in the Gulf state.

However, i24News said the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry denied the story.

Last June, Israel announced that its citizens would be able to attend the FIFA World Cup and hoped the move would lead to establishing diplomatic relations between Tel Aviv and Doha.

Qatar will host the FIFA World Cup tournament between 21 November and 18 December, with the participation of 32 teams. In doing so, it will become the first Arab and Middle Eastern country to organise such a global sporting event.