In Doha, Augusto Santos Silva guaranteed that there would be no problems between Portugal and Qatar. “The two countries have tense diplomatic relations. Qatar is one of the Gulf states where we have a permanent ambassador and it is a strategic region for us,” said the second representative of the Portuguese state. And he also mentioned that there are several points that “should not be forgotten” in order to maintain good bilateral relations. Referring to his experience as Minister of Foreign Affairs, he recalled two facts: “First, it is that, unfortunately, the former Portuguese Ambassador to Qatar, Ricardo Prachana, died in office and the support provided by the Qatari authorities was unsurpassed. (…) Second fact [foi] when we had to remove dozens of people from Afghanistan, namely Afghans who collaborated with the Portuguese armed forces, in a very difficult operation. We did this because we had Pakistan’s support on the ground route and Qatar’s support on the air route.” Santos Silva’s agreement with the Qatari authorities goes even further when he praises “the very clear position that Qatar has taken in the United Nations General Assembly condemning the war against Ukraine and the importance of the geopolitical and geo-economic perspective that this region has in the world today.”
moderate speech pleases
Santos Silva’s statements clearly show more cordiality compared to the speeches of Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa and António Costa (the so-called “hostile”), as well as the subsequent human rights narrative that has rattled the Qatari government to, as reported by Nascer do SOL in its latest issue, admitting that he blacklisted the country as soon as the World Cup is over, the same is happening with Germany, Denmark and France, which have followed the same type of discourse.
Diplomatic efforts by Santos Silva appear to have helped mitigate the damage caused by the statements of Marcelo Rebelo de Souza, who at the Doha conference refocused on human rights violations, knowing that previous statements were considered “hostile”. ‘ by the Government of Qatar. The diplomatic corps immediately took action at the Palacio das Necessidades and in Doha to prevent the situation from escalating. A Portuguese delegation was sent to Qatar to ensure that Santos Silva’s trip would not bring more problems to Portugal and that the diplomatic calculation would have no repercussions.
In addition to his presence at the stadium to watch Portugal play, the President of the Assembly of the Republic met with the Qatari authorities, where “all matters of interest to both Portugal and Qatar” were considered. Homework was done well and Santos Silva was awarded state awards. He was met at the airport by Deputy Prime Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and stayed at a hotel reserved exclusively for heads of state (instead of the Banyan Tree Hotel reserved for vice presidents and chairmen of parliaments). an attitude very different from that given to the President of the Republic during his visit to Qatar, as he was received by the daughter of the Sheikh of the Emirate, who was at the stadium in her private box without receiving the Portuguese head. The Qataris seem to know how to forgive but not forget.
On the subject of human rights in Qatar, Angelo Correia, a former interior minister (de Cavaco Silva), believes this is “hypocrisy and a Western superiority complex.” Speaking to Nascer do SOL, the analyst and political commentator added that the West is “punishing itself for its past mistakes regarding the barbaric colonization of some countries in this region, while at the same time assuming the supremacy of the present as if nothing had happened in the past. In Europe there is a contradiction between sinning excess in this matter and showing superiority over those who are not yet on their way. This is an ambiguous, pompous and contradictory attitude.” But the political class is also responsible: “Portugal’s position towards Qatar left much to be desired in some circumstances, and some people and some parties showed a certain opportunism. There are currently two problems that elude the Portuguese democratic reality: the lack of memory and then the strong agitation for political correctness.”
Relations between Portugal and Qatar have entered a less tense phase and the presence of Ana Catarina Méndez, Deputy Minister for Parliamentary Affairs who replaced the Prime Minister, who canceled her trip for health reasons, in yesterday’s game in which Portugal lost to South Korea (1-2) an example of this. “This is the day we should all unite with the colors of Portugal, the colors of an open, modern and inclusive society that I am proud to represent,” he told Lusa.
António Costa is expected to go to the Round of 16 game on Tuesday and if the national team continues to compete, with Santos Silva reaching the quarter-finals and Marcelo Rebelo de Souza reaching the semi-finals, then… But one thing is for sure: an agreement is needed. official discourse so that the country is not blacklisted by the emirate.