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Democratic U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, an outspoken human rights advocate in Congress, traveled to Qatar last year on the Middle Eastern country's dime, according to her annual financial disclosure filed in May.

Qatar has been widely criticized for abusing migrant workers and criminalizing same-sex relationships, among other alleged human rights issues. Omar attended the FIFA World Cup and met with Qatari government officials while she was in the Gulf nation last November and had her food and lodging paid for by the country. The cost of her trip wasn't disclosed.

A spokesman for Omar said the congresswoman "remains committed to upholding human rights and the rule of law around the world, and also to direct engagement with the regimes responsible for human rights abuses."

"That includes accountability for the vile labor practices and mistreatment of migrant workers in Qatar," spokesman Jeremy Slevin said in a statement Monday. "To that end, she sent a letter demanding accountability for these abuses ahead of the World Cup and specifically raised her deep concerns in her meetings with Qatari officials. She also visited our troops stationed in Qatar and got the opportunity to meet with the folks helping us with Afghan resettlement in Qatar."

The Minneapolis Democrat attended the World Cup along with a group of other members of Congress — including Democrats and Republicans — and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Omar was the only member of Minnesota's congressional delegation to go on the trip.

Under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act, members of Congress and their staff are allowed to travel overseas on a foreign government's expense as long as they report it on their annual financial disclosures.

"Congresswoman Omar accepted an invitation from the Embassy of Qatar to attend events in Doha in November 2022 as part of a program authorized under the Mutual Educational and Cultural Exchange Act of 1961," a spokesman from the Qatari Embassy in Washington D.C. said in a statement Tuesday. "This longstanding exchange program organized by Qatar was approved by the U.S. State Department in 2008, and permits participants to accept transportation, lodging and related expenses during their attendance."

Omar also took a trip to Pakistan last year that was funded by its government, according to her disclosure, which did not list the cost of that trip either.

Some other members of Minnesota's congressional delegation have taken international trips in recent years, but they weren't paid for by foreign governments.

Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber traveled to Spain last November for a conference, according to LegiStorm, a website that tracks congressional travel. His roughly $20,000 trip was funded by the Franklin Center for Global Policy Exchange, a nonpartisan nonprofit focused on international issues.

In 2019, Democratic U.S. Sen. Tina Smith and Rep. Angie Craig took trips to Tel Aviv, Israel, that were funded by the American Israel Education Foundation, a charitable organization that's affiliated with the pro-Israel lobbying group AIPAC. Each of their trips cost about $31,000.

While trips funded by foreign governments are allowed, they can be politically risky, especially when involving countries that have blemished human rights records.

Omar has been an outspoken critic of countries such as Israel and India in response to their human rights records. In July, she tweeted that there was "no way in hell" she'd attend the Israeli president's speech to Congress.

A month before that, she also made a point of not attending India Prime Minister Narendra Modi's joint congressional speech. Omar tweeted that her opposition was over "his government's human rights record."

In an interview with Business Insider about her Qatar trip last December, Omar said "there are no perfect countries that have a perfect record." She suggested that the next World Cup in 2026, which will be hosted by the United States, Canada and Mexico, could spark similar discussions.

"I wonder what kinds of conversations will be had, and how many people will object to that happening with the history of Indigenous people, of enslavement, of police brutality," Omar told Business Insider.

Staff writer Hunter Woodall contributed to this story.