Football and diplomacy
On Monday, Al Gharafa of Qatar opened its Asian Championships League campaign in Abu Dhabi against Al Jazira of United Arab Emirates.
UAE requested to play those games in a third country, but the idea was rejected by the Asian Football Confederation, which organises the tournament featuring 32 teams split into eight groups of four.
- “Clubs from Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates should be played on a home and away basis in 2018 as per the AFC regulations,” the AFC said in a recent statement.
- The soccer federations of the UAE and Saudi Arabia accepted the decision though expressed reservations about how it had been made.
- On Sunday, a report on Buzzfeed revealed that Daniel Kawczynski, a British parliamentarian, was paid 15,000 British pounds ($20,700) to help organise an anti-Qatar conference in London.
- At the time, analysts described the conference as an attempt to gather support for a coup in Qatar and accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of funding it.
Russian president’s invitation
- On Wednesday, the Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met the President of the Russian Republic of Ingushetia Yunus-bek Yevkurov in Doha.
- During the meeting, they reviewed the relations between Qatar and Ingushetia and discussed aspects of cooperation in economic, trade and investment, as well as means of developing them.
- President Yunus-bek Yevkurov handed a written message from Russian President Vladimir Putin, including an invitation to visit Russia.
Calls to end the blockade
- On Tuesday, local media reported that Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), called on the European Union countries and some other nations to join international human rights organisations demanding an immediate end to the blockade imposed on Qatar.
- On Monday, Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee reported that the Louvre museum apologised and opened an official inquiry into the incident where Abu Dhabi’s Louvre Museum map omitted the Qatari Peninsula.
Why did this exhibit at the Louvre Abu Dhabi wipe some countries off the map? pic.twitter.com/K9zw5uFNXS
— AJ (@ajplus) January 22, 2018
- Anti-terrorism: On Monday, both countries held a session of official talks and signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the “fight against terrorism” and organised crime.”
- Sierra Leone: On Monday, both countries signed an agreement encouraging and protecting mutual investments and an agreement on air services between the two governments.
- Sierra Leone was not among the eight countries that downgraded ties with Qatar at the start of the crisis.
SOURCE: AL JAZEERA AND NEWS AGENCIES