The government will go to Qatar in the first round of the World Cup: “It surprises me a little, but I take note of it”

The government will go to Qatar in the first round of the World Cup: “It surprises me a little, but I take note of it”

This Thursday morning, Zakia Khattabi, Federal Minister for Climate and the Environment, was the guest of Bel RTL’s Matinale. She was able to answer Antonio Solimando’s questions at 7:50 a.m.

The government will not boycott the World Cup in Qatar: indeed, it was announced yesterday that Hadja Lahbib, Minister of Foreign Affairs, would travel to the Gulf country from the start of the competition. A decision that Zakia Khattbi, Minister of the Climate, “takes note” but which seems to bother her a little.

This surprises me, but I take note of it“, she explains at the microphone of Antonio Solimando. “So I see that alongside climate diplomacy, there is football diplomacy, and that surprises me a little“.

Zakia Khattabi, as well as the entire Ecolo political family, were in favor of a complete boycott of the competition, with a small adjustment in the event of progress in the Red Devils tournament. “We were on the line that if the Belgians went to the quarter-finals or semi-finals, for example, the Prime Minister and the Royal family would go there. We thought it was a good compromise. My colleague has made another decision, but I will be very attentive to what will be said“.

“Difficult to follow logic”

Going to Qatar with a ‘message’ about human rights and climate, isn’t that a bit pointless?“, asks Antonio Solimando then. “I can’t tell, we’ll see with practice. But I notice that we compare a World Cup, which is a festive event, with a COP, which is an international meeting which aims to safeguard the living conditions of humanity. There was never any question of footballers not going but regarding this government decision I have a bit of a hard time following the logic“, she admits.

But while Qatar currently provides us with 15% of our gas, should we be angry with them by refusing to go to the country for the World Cup? “No, but the compromise to send the Prime Minister and the Royal family from a certain stage of the competition seemed to me to be the right idea, it was not a bad signal“, reaffirms Zakia Khattabi.