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Qatar summons Germany ambassador over interior minister's provocative statements

Hundreds of people take a photo as the official logo of the 'FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022' is reflected on a wall of the Amphitheatre in Doha, Qatar on September 03, 2019. [Mohammed Dabbous - Anadolu Agency]

Qatar has summoned the German ambassador to Doha on Friday in protest against the: "Unacceptable, reprehensible and provocative statements made by a German minister regarding the World Cup, which the former will host in three weeks."

The government announced in a statement: "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned… the ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to the country, and handed him an official protest note, expressing the State of Qatar's disappointment and its complete rejection and condemnation of the statements," by German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser regarding Qatar's hosting of the World Cup.

It added that the Secretary-General of the Ministry Ahmed Bin Hassan Al-Hammadi handed this protest note to the German ambassador, calling for "clarifications regarding these statements."

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The Qatari reaction came the day after Faeser shared in a television interview broadcast on Thursday that Qatar's hosting of the World Cup was "very difficult" for the German government, stressing: "There are standards that must be adhered to, and it is better not to grant the honour of organising tournaments to such countries."

The German minister also said in another statement: "Regarding international sporting events in the future, we must make sure that awarding the honour of hosting and organising is linked to human rights standards."

This is the first time Doha has summoned an ambassador to protest a statement by an official from their country regarding its hosting of the World Cup.

Since FIFA awarded the right to host the World Cup to Qatar in 2010, the first Arab country to host the global sporting event has been subjected to harsh criticism over its handling of migrant workers and gay and women's rights.

The Qatari protest note stressed: "The State of Qatar's complete rejection of these statements against a country whose hosting of the World Cup represents justice for a region that has been suffering from unjust stereotypes for decades."

The letter also expressed surprise at the German minister's statements before her official visit to Doha next week, considering this matter contradictory to "diplomatic norms and traditions".

The statement quoted Majid Bin Muhammad Al-Ansari, advisor to the deputy prime minister and minister of foreign affairs and the official spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, conveying that the German minister's statements were: "Unacceptable, reprehensible and provocative to the Qatari people."

Al-Ansari stressed: "It is unacceptable for politicians to express positions for domestic consumption at the expense of their countries' relations with other countries."

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