JERUSALEM, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Israel announced on Thursday that its football fans will be able to enter Qatar, where the FIFA World Cup will be held late this year.
According to a joint statement released by Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Defense Minister Benny Gantz, and Culture and Sport Minister Chili Tropper, Israeli citizens holding a World Cup ticket will be able to apply for a Fan ID, which would serve as an entry visa to Qatar during the football gala, despite the fact that two countries have not established diplomatic ties.
"We are bringing today another political achievement that fills the hearts of fans," said Lapid, also the alternate prime minister of Israel, adding that the attendance of Israeli fans "opens for us a gate to new warm relations."
"Qatar is a country of international importance, that also contributes to the stability of our region," Gantz said. "I hope that the visit of Israeli to the state will strengthen the familiarity between the citizens of the two states."
Israel had approached Qatar for direct flights connecting Tel Aviv and Doha, the Hebrew-language Israel Hayom news website reported last month. ■