British Conservative MP David Mundell has praised the close co-operation between Qatar and the United Kingdom in the organisation of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.
In a statement to Qatar News Agency (QNA), the former Scottish secretary and member of the All-Party Parliamentary British-Qatari Group underlined that there is a close co-operation between the UK and Qatar in preparing for the World Cup at the present time, referring to meetings between the organisers of the London 2012 Olympics and the World Cup organisers in Qatar to benefit from the British expertise in the field of insurance.
Mundell noted that the UK is interested in this tournament because England had qualified for it, in addition to the possible participation of Scotland or Wales in the tournament.
He added that co-ordination between the Qatari and British sides will certainly continue throughout the tournament.
Mundell praised the International Labour Organisation (ILO)'s report, saying that it is very clear in its assertion that Qatar’s record in the rights of the World Cup workers have improved significantly.
"There have been many baseless media reports about this file, and I believe that hosting the World Cup in Qatar was a positive factor in improving workers conditions, as it witnessed a great development,” he said.
The British MP emphasised the importance of the relations between Qatar and the UK in the fields of security, energy, culture and sports, especially with the approaching of the World Cup.
Mundell stressed that the relations between the two countries are based on mutual trust and distinguished relations.
He welcomed His Highness the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani's visit to the UK, noting that his meetings with senior British officials will be very important, especially in light of the war in Ukraine, which will be at the top of the discussions agenda because of its global geopolitical repercussions.
Mundell added that energy security issues will also be strongly present in the meetings between His Highness the Amir and British officials, and affirmed that the two sides will work closely for further co-operation in this field.
On the military relations and defence co-operation, the lawmaker said that this issue will be among the most prominent between the Qatari delegation and British officials.
Mundell noted that relations in this field are in continuous prosperity, with the best evidence being the British Typhoon fighter deal which was concluded with Qatar.
He welcomed the strategic dialogue that will be held soon between the two countries, as it will include important discussions on a number of issues of common interest in the fields of politics, economy and security.
Mundell praised Qatari diplomacy and the country’s active role in a large number of international issues and crises, saying: "Britain appreciates what Qatar did in the Afghan crisis last summer, and the great role it played.”
“I visited Doha and saw with my own eyes the places that Qatar provided for the refugees,” he added.
The MP added that he had witnessed the support provided by Qatar to Britain and other countries in the evacuation of diplomats and ensuring the provision of humanitarian aid.
He noted that it is also important to have a channel of communication and dialogue with the Taliban government in Afghanistan, and that is through Qatar.
"We value the great role carried out by Doha in this regard,” Mundell said.
On the energy crisis that Britain and the world in general are going through, he said that Qatar is one of the most important LNG (liquefied natural gas) producers in the world.
"I hope that Qatar will play a major role in solving the energy crisis in Britain and Europe in general, especially with the huge increase in oil and gas prices due to the ongoing war in Ukraine,” Mundell said. “Energy security issues will certainly be high on the agenda of the talks between His Highness the Amir and the British prime minister during the visit."
Regarding Qatari investments in the UK, he stressed the significance of the investments in Britain, and pointed to huge investment opportunities in the field of infrastructure, especially in light of the great openness in Britain's trade co-operation with the rest of the world after Brexit (the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union).