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2 Mar 2021

Bart Meijer, David Goodman & Angus MacSwan, Reuters

Dutch postpone Qatar trade mission over World Cup worker concerns

The Dutch government has postponed a trade mission to Qatar this month, citing concern over the living conditions of migrant workers helping the Gulf state to prepare for next year's soccer World Cup...

"This report has led to a broad discussion in Dutch society and in parliament," Dutch foreign ministry spokesman Jeroen van Dommelen said.

"We have talked before with Qatar about the poor conditions for these workers, but these numbers give the discussion a new meaning. We want to hear Qatar's response before we can think of a new date for the mission."...

The trade mission, which was to be held as a video conference due to coronavirus related travel restrictions, had been scheduled for March 22 to April 1.

Qatar had not responded yet to the Dutch government's decision, Van Dommelen said.

A majority of parties in the Dutch parliament last week called on the government and King Willem-Alexander to stay away from the World Cup next year in protest against the treatment of migrant workers.