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Meeting with Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani

July 15, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow

After the World Cup host mantle handover ceremony to Qatar in the Kremlin, Vladimir Putin had a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani.

Taking part in the meeting on the Russian side were Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Presidential Aide Yury Ushakov, Energy Minister and Co-Chairman of the Russian-Qatari Commission for Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation Alexander Novak, Russian Special Presidential Representative for Syrian Settlement Alexander Lavrentyev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of Rosoboronexport Alexander Mikheyev, and CEO and Chairman of the Management Board of Rosneft Igor Sechin.

* * *

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Your Highness, I would like to congratulate you once again on today's event – passing on to you the next World Cup mantle.

The only thing that puzzled me during today's ceremony is your statement that your team is going to repeat the success of the Russian team in this tournament. (Laughter.) Because after the performance our team has shown we will now expect even greater results from them next time. What will happen when our two teams play each other?

But I am sure, and I would like to repeat it, I have known you for a long time, Your Highness. I know that you and all your colleagues, your subjects will make every effort to ensure that the 2022 FIFA World Cup is held at the highest level. We will all prepare for it and will do all we can to support you.

I am certainly glad to use this opportunity to discuss our bilateral relations, and to exchange information on the situation in the region.

Emir of Qatar Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani (retranslated): Thank you, Mr President. I would like to thank you for the ceremony we just attended, for your invitation, and for the opportunity to meet with you.

I would like to assure you that our country will make every effort to prepare the 2022 World Cup. As you know, Mr President, around 200 Qatari specialists, members of the 2022 local organising committee are currently in Russia, working with their Russian counterparts. It is really a terrific experience. I would like to thank you for this opportunity, for the fact that our Russian friends have opened the doors to us.

As I said, I have been talking about this since 2010, we will work to make the 2022 World Cup an excellent tournament, because this event is extremely important for the whole region. As you know, Arab countries are now facing difficulties, and we hope that this event will help us overcome them.

As for the success of our teams, of course, the Russian team has achieved a lot. We will try very hard, although it will be difficult to repeat its success. We are a small country, but we are very fond of sports and we love football.

As you know, athletes are very optimistic people, and after the Russian team made it out of the group, we immediately remembered that two years ago we defeated your team in a friendly match, so we say that we would have gone further. But it was a friendly match, so, naturally, the results are different there.

Allow me once again to thank you for this event and for the whole tournament. Thank you.


July 15, 2018, The Kremlin, Moscow