Leaders Mix Sports and Diplomacy at the World Cup

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Some trips by congressional officials have been paid for by Qatar, which is allowed under certain rules, a U.S. official said.

The visit by Mr. Menendez had State Department support, as did a separate trip by Mr. Murphy and Mr. Young on which they met with Qatari officials and spoke with Mr. Blinken in the stadium during the U.S.-Wales match.

Mr. Adams, who watched the United States play the Netherlands, told reporters he paid for his own lodging — “It’s on my dime.” Mr. Adams’s schedule did not list with whom he was meeting, but he posted a photo of himself with the American team’s coach, Gregg Berhalter, and said in a phone briefing from Doha that he was visiting in part to look at the transit system and study how New York could help host the 2026 World Cup, set to take place across the United States, Canada and Mexico.

The new U.S. ambassador to Qatar, Timmy T. Davis, has attended many matches and done a steady stream of social media posts on the tournament, including a video of him and the Dutch ambassador cooking breakfast together before their teams faced off.

In the run-up to the World Cup, Mr. Davis spoke to Bella Hadid, an American model, at a cultural event in Doha. Ms. Hadid, whose father is Palestinian, visited an exhibition of Palestinian embroidery, and said on Instagram, “This show brought tears to my eyes.” Qatar is a strong supporter of the Palestinians, and Arab soccer fans and the Moroccan team have displayed the Palestinian flag in the streets and stadiums.

Mr. Davis said in an interview that Qatar had “prepared for the opportunity to tell their story,” meaning the narrative of the kingdom, and “invited people specifically and generally so that they could come and see Qatar. I have no doubt that a great deal of business was done.”

Mr. Davis noted that Americans were the second-largest group of ticket buyers, and that attendees had come from the fields of entertainment, development, humanitarian assistance, technology and energy.



Sumber: www.nytimes.com

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