Qatar and France sign World Cup 2022 security deal

The agreement “aims to build a strategic partnership for the preparation of the World Cup in 2022 and the management of the security of the event.”

French gendarmerie general Christian Rodriguez (L) and Qatari brigade general Khalil Al-Mohannadi sign a joint roadmap for cooperation relating to the security of the World Cup 2022 in Doha on Thursday. Photo: AFP

Qatar and France signed on Thursday a World Cup security agreement signed in Doha following a meeting between the country's respective prime ministers. The agreement “aims to build a strategic partnership for the preparation of the World Cup in 2022 and the management of the security of the event,” according to a statement released after the signing.

No further details were given.

It was announced after a meeting between Sheikh Abdallah bin Khalifa al-Thani and his French counterpart Edouard Philippe in the Emiri Diwan. The deal emphasises the close ties between Qatar and France.

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Twenty-four hours earlier, the French-designed Qatar national museum was opened to great fanfare in Doha, in a ceremony attended, among others, by former French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

France’s sporting ties to Qatar also include owning the French football champions, Paris Saint-Germain, as well as the French being seen as instrumental in helping the World Cup to be hosted in the Middle East for the first time.

Qatar, at the centre of a bitter Gulf diplomatic split which has seen it blockaded by neighbouring former allies, had previously signed an air security agreement for 2022 with the United Kingdom. Under that deal, signed in April, 2018, U.K. Typhoon fighter jets and a Qatar/British “Joint Operation Squadron” will patrol the skies during the 2022 tournament.

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