Israel wants diplomatic presence in Qatar for World Cup, held talks in Doha - report

Senior Israeli officials were reportedly in the Qatari capital of Doha for talks focused on coordinating travel from Israel to the country for the World Cup.

 Picture shows the entrance to the vivid section at the Education City Stadium built for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer championship during a stadium tour in Doha, Qatar, December 15, 2019 (photo credit: REUTERS/KAI PFAFFENBACH)
Picture shows the entrance to the vivid section at the Education City Stadium built for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup soccer championship during a stadium tour in Doha, Qatar, December 15, 2019
(photo credit: REUTERS/KAI PFAFFENBACH)

Jerusalem is holding direct discussions with Doha with the aim of reaching an agreement that would see Israel be able to provide consular assistance to Israelis planning to travel to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, taking place in Qatar this winter.

As per a KAN News report, Israel is further seeking to set up de facto diplomatic presence in Qatar, with which it has no official relations.

Qatar has not shown positive sign regarding Israel's reported attempts to use the global soccer event as a springboard for diplomatic ties with the oil-rich Gulf state. However, the report noted that the talks have not yet reached a conclusion and are ongoing.

Senior Israeli officials were reportedly in Doha for talks focused on coordinating travel from Israel to the country.

Qatar to Israel: Let Palestinians fly to Doha for World Cup

Israel was also asked to allow Palestinian soccer fans to travel to Doha for the World Cup, the report continued. 

General overall view of the Doha downtown city center skyline and cityscape and the Doha Bay, Doha, Qatar, Sep 26, 2019. (credit: KIRBY LEE-USA TODAY SPORTS)General overall view of the Doha downtown city center skyline and cityscape and the Doha Bay, Doha, Qatar, Sep 26, 2019. (credit: KIRBY LEE-USA TODAY SPORTS)

Qatar reportedly sees hosting the World Cup as an opportunity to increase its presence in the Middle East, with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict considered an urgent matter.

Doha had previously announced that, through an agreement with world soccer's governing body FIFA, it will allow Israeli fans and journalists to travel to the state for the tournament, although the latter would have to be granted a special media foreign media visa.

Sources in Jerusalem reportedly confirmed the talks to KAN News but decline to specify further.