Putin discusses links with Qatar and congratulates its ruler on hosting the World Cup – which Russia is banned from due to his invasion of Ukraine – in phone call with Emir
Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated Qatar on hosting the Fifa World Cup and reaffirmed Russia’s close ties with the Arab country. Putin specifically said Russia would work closely with the Qatar to ensure the stability of the global gas market, the Kremlin said on Friday. Pictured: Vladimir Putin and Qatar’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani in October.
Putin discussed the countries’ close ties in a phone call with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, as the Arab state prepares to host the Fifa World Cup, which starts on Sunday. Fifa banned Russia, which hosted the previous tournament in 2018, from participating in its competitions earlier this year in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Qatar’s emir has previously spoken of the close relationship between Russia and Qatar when the two men met at a summit in Astana, Kazakhstan last month.
The emir said: ‘After Russia made a great success in organizing the 2018 World Cup, Russian friends have provided great support to Qatar, especially in terms of organization, with the Organizing Committee of the 2022 World Cup.’ The emir added: ‘We thank you for this and we are proud of this relationship. This will continue until the end of the World Cup. I am very happy to see you, Mr President. Thank you.’ The cooperation between the two countries, and friendship of the two leaders, is a sign of growing ties between the two regimes. Both regimes have come under severe criticism for their actions and human rights record. Russia is banned from attending the 2022 World Cup after it mounted the war in Ukraine in late February.
Today marks the 268th day since Russia invaded Ukraine. As Russian troops have retreated from Kherson, Ukrainian investigators said they documented more than 400 war crimes committed during the occupation Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said last Sunday that investigators found the bodies of both servicemen and civilians in the Kherson area. Pictured: People wait to receive humanitarian aid in central Kherson, Ukraine November 18, 2022.
He said the occupiers had ‘destroyed all critical infrastructure – communication, water supply, heat, electricity’. With the region now liberated from Russian forces, Ukrainian troops and humanitarian aid have entered the region to deliver food, water, hygiene kits and shelter materials to the people of Kherson. Throughout the war, Putin’s regime has delt out savage and inhumane attacks on the Ukrainian people, constantly coming under shellfire from the barbaric forces, and innocent citizens falling as casualties.
With the World Cup kicking off on Sunday, focus has turned to Qatar and its horrific human rights record. Since winning the bid to host the tournament in 2010, Qatar has faced serious allegations about its use of migrant labor to prepare for the tournament. Workers have been paid just pence per day to toil in sweltering temperatures that put their lives at risk. Officially, authorities in Doha say just three workers died building the stadiums – but human rights groups think the true figure is at least in the hundreds, if not the thousands.
An investigation by the Mail revealed that the deaths of 2,823 working-aged foreigners have been recorded as unexplained since the £6.5billion ($7.7 billion) building blitz began in 2011, and it is feared that the true death toll for workers may exceed 6,000. A staunchly conservative country, being gay in Qatar is also illegal. More than that, members of the LGBT community have had their lives threatened by Qatari authorities. Human Rights Watch revealed last month that Qatari police had arbitrarily detained and abused members of the LGBTQ community. Pictured: One of the stadiums set up in Qatar for the World Cup.
HRW said it had ‘documented six cases of severe and repeated beatings and five cases of sexual harassment in police custody between 2019 and 2022’. The most recent case was in September, the US-based rights group said. Four transgender women, one bisexual woman and one gay man all told how members of the interior ministry’s Preventive Security Department detained and beat them in an underground prison in Doha. Pictured: People sit by the dhow pier in Doha on November 18, 2022, ahead of the Qatar 2022 World Cup.
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