Thursday, October 6, 2022

Qatari Ruler Interrupts Visit To Prague After EU Snub - Reports

The Qatari emir cut short his visit to Prague on Thursday after the European Union rejected his last-minute bid to join its political forum with allies from across the continent, Czech media said.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani's two-day program included meetings with Czech President Milos Zeman and Prime Minister Petr Fiala on Wednesday and participation in the first meeting of the European Political Community on Thursday, a get-together of 27 EU members with 16 other countries.

Czech publication Denik N reported that the Qatari emir left abruptly for London on Wednesday night after Czechs failed to persuade EU officials to include him in the talks as an official guest.

It quoted a Czech diplomat as saying that Al Thani declined to join European leaders unofficially for a coffee.

The snub comes as the European Union looks to diversify energy imports away from Russian oil and gas. The Czech Republic has been courting Qatar, the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas, in the hope of boosting LNG deliveries ahead of winter.

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