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Harjit Sajjan tweets about raising Qatar human rights at World Cup after criticism

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Belgium Foreign Minister Hadja Lahbib, wears a "One Love" armband on the tribune during the World Cup group F soccer match between Belgium and Canada, at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium in Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. At right is Canada's Minister of International Development Harjit Singh Sajjan. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Natacha Pisarenko

OTTAWA — International Development Minister Harjit Sajjan has tweeted about raising human rights concerns during his visit to Qatar for the World Cup after opposition criticism.

The NDP and the Bloc took Sajjan to task on Thursday because he had not made any public statement about Qatar's documented mistreatment of migrant workers and the emirate's anti-LGBTQ policies.

Both parties had called on the Liberals to diplomatically boycott the games instead of sending Sajjan.

When asked Thursday whether he raised these issues during the trip, Sajjan's office responded that he was flying home and could not comment.

Hours after The Canadian Press reported on the criticism of Sajjan's visit, he tweeted that he met with local labour organizations and that he had "constructive dialogue" with Qatari officials on migrant and LGBTQ rights.

The tweets did not directly criticize the emirate's policies.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2022.

Dylan Robertson, The Canadian Press