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Qatar's Minister of State for Energy Affairs and President and CEO of QatarEnergy Saad Sherida al-Kaabi
Qatar's energy minister Saad Sherida al-Kaabi made clear that Qataris would not changeImage: Ivan Pisarenko/AFP/Getty Images

Qatar minister wants 'more respect' from Germany's Habeck

November 30, 2022

German Economy Minister Robert Habeck sees corruption as the only explanation for Qatar getting the World Cup. Qatar's Energy Minister Saad Sharida al-Kaabi has now fired back in an interview with a German tabloid.


Qatar's energy minister accused German Minister of Economy Robert Habeck of being disrespectful towards the country in an interview given to German newspaper Bild

Earlier this month, Habeck said there must have been corruption involved in the World Cup going to Qatar. 

"The idea to hold a football World Cup in Qatar, in that heat, has been simply daft all along and cannot be explained by anything else than corruption," the Green party politician told reporters.

But in an interview with mass-circulation Bild published on Wednesday, Qatar's Energy Minister Saad Sharida al-Kaabi said accusations of corruption required "evidence."

Habeck should have "more respect for Qatar and the Qatari people," al-Kaabi said.

"You are legally accountable if you say someone is corrupt." 

Germany and Qatar signed a 15-year deal for liquefied natural gas on Tuesday. But even the massive trade deal seem to be insufficient to smooth out recent tensions between the two countries, especially during the World Cup.

Faeser: FIFA's decision on One Love armband 'is a big mistake'

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser was seen wearing a "OneLove" armband at the national team's match against Japan last week, a band which had been forbidden by the Qatari regime. 

West cannot 'dictate' to Qataris 

If members of the LGBTQ wanted to visit Qatar, the country had "no problem with it", al-Kaabi told Bild

But he accused the West of trying to "dictate what it wants" to Qatar, where homosexuality is illegal and punishable with jail or death. 

"If you want to change me so that I will say that I believe in LGBTQ, that my family should be LGBTQ, that I accept LGBTQ in my country, that I change my laws and the Islamic laws in order to satisfy the West – then this is not acceptable," the minister said.

The oil-rich country also faces massive criticism over thousands of migrant workers that allegedly died due to working in perilous conditions as Qatar was preparing for the competition. But Qatar claims only 37 workers have died on World Cup projects.

los/dj (AFP, dpa, Reuters)

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