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Arab League backs Qatar in World Cup ‘defamation campaign’

Arab states on Wednesday slammed what they called a “defamation campaign” against Qatar over its human rights record ahead of the football World Cup that kicks off later this month.

In the final declaration of the Arab League summit in Algeria, the 22-member bloc confirmed its “support” for the tiny Gulf state “and total confidence in its ability to organise an excellent edition of this global event”. 

Qatar, whose ruler Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani was at the meeting in Algiers, has faced global criticism over its treatment of foreign workers and over LGBTQ and women’s rights.

The Arab League’s member states, who adopted the resolution unanimously, confirmed “our total rejection of the baseless campaign of defamation against” Qatar.

The tiny but gas-rich emirate has spent tens of billions of dollars on preparations for the tournament, which starts on November 20.

Last week Sheikh Tamim said that “since we won the honour of hosting the World Cup, Qatar has been subjected to an unprecedented campaign that no host country has faced.”

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