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Israel reject Qatari offer to reopen trade office in Doha 18, May 2010

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Qatar.
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Haaretz reports that the Israeli government has rejected two proposals from Qatar to reopen their trade office in Doha.

The Qataris suggested that in return for the reopening of Israel’s office Qatar would undertake several reconstruction projects in the Gaza strip, necessitating the importing of construction materials. The two states began talks some six months ago via the US, France and with direct talks. Also in the proposed agreement was a statement to be given by Israel “expressing appreciation for the emirate’s role and acknowledging its standing in the Middle East.” Something that were it to have transpired, would, I am sure, have caused not insignificant friction between Qatar’s Arab allies, not to mention Iran.

A second similar offer was made some two months ago. President Netanyahu was, it is reported, near to acquiescing to the agreement but balked at the amount of concrete that Qatar wanted to import to Gaza, fearing that some would be diverted to Hamas’ use to build bunkers and reinforced missile launch positions.

Qatar would admit Israel to 2022 World Cup 11, November 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Qatar, Saudi Arabia.
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Qatar and Israel, as I have discussed recently, have relatively good relations. It is not surprising, therefore, that the executive director of the Qatar 2022 World Cup bid has stated that Qatar would admit the Israeli football team if they were to qualify and Qatar were to host the event.

Such actions will be hailed in some quarters and booed in others. America in particular will be pleased to see that Qatar is still on something of a conciliatory path vis-a-vis Israel. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, may well add this to the long, pointed and growing list of actions taken by Qatar of which they disapprove.



Israel and the Gulf 27, July 2009

Posted by thegulfblog.com in The Gulf.
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I’ve spotted an excellent article at the National in Abu Dhabi on the Gulf’s relations with Israel. It’s well worth a read.