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Israel Holds Direct Talks with Qatar Over Consular Services for Israeli Soccer Fans

People gather around the official countdown clock showing remaining time until the kick-off of the World Cup 2022, in Doha, Qatar, November 25, 2021. (AP/Darko Bandic)
People gather around the official countdown clock showing remaining time until the kick-off of the World Cup 2022, in Doha, Qatar, November 25, 2021. (AP/Darko Bandic)

Direct contacts are underway between Israel and Qatar so that Israeli fans attending the World Cup in November will be able to receive consular assistance, it was reported Wednesday.

Earlier this year, Israel announced it had reached a deal with world soccer body FIFA whereby Israeli soccer fans will be able to travel to Qatar for the World Cup.

Senior Israeli officials recently visited Qatar for talks to coordinate ahead of the soccer tournament, according to the Kan public broadcaster.

Israel was said to hope to open an interests office in the country, but Doha reportedly rebuffed the proposal. Qatar hosted an Israeli trade office from 1995 to 2000, but is seen as unlikely to join other Gulf states in establishing full ties with Israel due to its own relationship to Iran.

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