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Israel and Qatar in talks about temporary consular office during FIFA World Cup

September 8, 2022 at 3:56 pm

Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup countdown clock in Doha, Qatar on 12 August 2022 [MUSTAFA ABUMUNES/AFP/Getty Images]

Israel and Qatar are holding direct talks regarding the possibility of opening a temporary office in Doha so that Israeli fans attending the FIFA World Cup in November will be able to receive consular assistance. According to the Times of Israel, though, Doha apparently rebuffed the proposal.

Moreover, Qatar has requested Israel that Palestinians also be allowed to travel to the football tournament, but the report noted that the talks have not yet reached a conclusion and are ongoing.

This all comes after Israel reached a deal with FIFA in June to allow Israelis to purchase tickets for the tournament and enter Qatar, making it the first time that Israelis will be allowed into the country without using a non-Israeli passport.

Its commitments to FIFA mean that Qatar is obliged to give the same treatment to all countries, without omitting any names or flags. Qatar World Cup officials have repeatedly said that all nationalities are welcome during the tournament. All football fans holding tickets for matches must apply for the Hayya card, a form of fan identification document, which doubles as their entry visa to Qatar.

Unlike its Gulf Arab neighbours, Bahrain and the UAE, which have signed normalisation agreements with Israel, Qatar has made normalised relations conditional upon the establishment of a Palestinian State.

READ: Qatar calls on Israel to allow Palestinians to attend FIFA World Cup