Last month, Ms Kaili spoke smugly about labor reforms in Qatar ahead of the start of the World Cup; she also visited Doha in November and hailed the nation’s preparations for the sporting event.
“The World Cup in Qatar is proof, in fact, of how sports diplomacy can achieve a historic transformation of a country with reforms that have inspired the Arab world,” Ms Kaili said during a panel discussion. in Parliament. “Yet some here call for discrimination [against] their. They harass them and they accuse anyone who talks to them or engages in corruption”.
The European Parliament is the least powerful of the EU’s three key institutions, but as the case of Qatar shows, its members can be active and visible.
On Monday, a more powerful European institution, the European Commission, found itself in an awkward position. The commission has taken an enthusiastic public stance toward Qatar as it scours the land to secure energy sources to replace Russian oil and gas lost since Russia invaded Ukraine.
Margaritis Schinas, the commission’s deputy chair, for example, recently visited Qatar and praised the country’s reforms on social media. “Qatar, the first Arab country and the smallest country to host the Cup, has implemented reforms and deserves global success,” he said. wrote on Twitter last month.
Qatar has been identified as a key source of liquefied natural gas, which the EU needs to get through this winter and the future. Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, deflected questions about the investigation, but noted that “we are working with Qatar on regional issues such as peace and stability in Afghanistan and the Middle East, and on bilateral issues, such as diversification away from Russian fossil fuels.
When asked if the Belgian police had contacted the commission, Ms von der Leyen deferred to her staff; a spokesperson for the institution later said it was at the Belgian authorities to say whether they were investigating.