BERLIN (AP) — Germany’s human rights envoy said Sunday that she is postponing an official visit to Qatar, after the Gulf nation reacted angrily to German government comments in recent days.
Qatar had summoned the German ambassador Friday over remarks by Germany’s interior minister, Nancy Faeser, who appeared to criticize the decision to award the World Cup to the Gulf nation because of its human rights record. Qatar has faced heavy international scrutiny of its treatment of migrant workers and its criminalization of homosexual relations.
“The developments this weekend have made clear to me how difficult it is in the current situation ahead of the World Cup to have the open and also critical conversation I planned with the government of Qatar,” said Luise Amtsberg, Germany’s human rights envoy.
Amtsberg, who was due to accompany Faeser on a visit to Qatar on Monday, said she would conduct the visit at a later date.
“While recognizing Qatar’s growing role as a regional and global actor, international pressure and our efforts to protect human rights will remain central even after the World Cup,” she said.
Faeser, whose portfolio includes sports, still plans to travel to Qatar with a delegation from the German soccer federation.