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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to visit Qatar for FIFA World Cup

The State Department announced on Friday that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to Qatar the following week for diplomatic talks on a variety of topics, including human rights. He will also watch the US team’s opening World Cup game.

According to a State Department announcement, Blinken will visit the Gulf nation on Monday and Tuesday for the fifth annual US-Qatar Strategic Dialogue. He will meet with top Qatari officials there, including Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani.

According to the announcement, they will talk about regional security cooperation, human rights, climate change, and economic and health issues.

Wealthy Qatar, the country that is hosting the biggest football event in the world, has come in for a lot of flak for the way it treats foreign labourers and the way it restricts the rights of women and LGBTQ people.

The tournament starts on Sunday, and Blinken will be the top-ranking US representative there.

He “will be supporting the US men’s national team in its opening World Cup match, as the United States plays Wales,” according to the State Department.

The Group B game will take place at the Ahmad Bin Ali stadium on Monday.

(With inputs from AFP)

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