Moderation, Rationality Govern Foreign Policy

Moderation, Rationality Govern Foreign PolicyModeration, Rationality Govern Foreign Policy

President Hassan Rouhani said his government wants to develop a relationship with other countries, particularly the Persian Gulf Arab states, that is driven by "moderation and rationality".

"We want to see the rule of moderation and rationality in relations between countries and believe that diplomatic solutions should be a priority," the president said in a phone talk with Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani on Sunday.

Rouhani noted that regional countries depend on each other for security and called for closer collaboration to help end conflicts in the strife-torn Middle East, his official website reported.

"Countries in the region need to step up contacts and consultation to contain and resolve regional conflicts and we are ready to cooperate in this regard."

***Endorsing Dialogue

Sheikh Tamim said fence-mending dialogue between the Arab states and Iran is essential to efforts aimed at restoring regional peace and stability.

"Negotiations undoubtedly is the only solution and talks initiated by Kuwait on behalf of the Persian Gulf littoral states should continue," the Qatari leader said.

Long-running disputes between the two Muslim powerhouses, Iran and Saudi Arabia, led to a decision by the Arab kingdom to sever diplomatic ties in January 2016 after a group of vandals stormed its diplomatic missions to protest the execution of top Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who Iran believes was convicted without due process.

Bahrain followed suit, while Kuwait, Qatar and the UAE recalled their envoys, and Oman simply expressed regret over the event.

However, the visit by top Kuwaiti diplomat, Sheikh Sabah Al-Khalid Al-Sabah, to Tehran in January to relay a message of dialogue on behalf of the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council revived the prospect of some solution to the unwanted dispute.

Following Sabah's visit, Rouhani traveled to Oman and Kuwait in February upon the invitation of the two country's leaders.

He held talks with Oman's Sultan Qaboos bin Said and the Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

However, Sheikh Tamim has recently faced fierce criticism from some of its Persian Gulf Arab neighbors after official Qatar media published remarks last week purported to have been made by him which criticized US President Donald Trump's foreign policy and warned against renewed tensions with Tehran.

Qatar dismissed the remarks as fake, claiming that the news agency that ran them had been hacked.

Trump, in a recent visit to Riyadh, branded Iran as the main source of "destabilization" and called on the Persian Gulf Arab countries to join forces to counter, what he claimed was, Iran's growing clout in the region.


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