Qatari Emir: Consultations With Iran a Necessity

Qatari Emir: Consultations With Iran a NecessityQatari Emir: Consultations With Iran a Necessity

Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani said Doha is pleased with its harmonious relations with Tehran, stressing that the kingdom’s constant consultations with its northern neighbor is inevitable.

The Qatari leader was speaking in a Tuesday meeting with Iran’s top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, who was on his first visit to the Persian Gulf littoral state since a diplomatic crisis broke out between Doha and a quartet of Arab countries.

“Regular consultations with regional countries, including Iran, are an unavoidable necessity,” ISNA quoted the Qatari emir as saying.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt imposed a blockade on the peninsular nation in June, extending the long list of conflicts in the chaotic region.

They have set several conditions for lifting the boycott, most notably demanding Qatar end support for groups such as Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, which they regard as terrorist, and restrict ties with Tehran.

Qatar has denied the allegations and rejected the demands as an attempt to impose guardianship on the kingdom.

Sheikh Tamim said Qatar embraces Iran’s views on regional issues and its insistence on finding peaceful settlements for ongoing regional conflicts.

In a move that ran counter to Saudi requests, Qatar pivoted back toward Iran in August by returning its ambassador who had left Tehran in January 2016 in a show of solidarity with Saudi Arabia.

Tehran has called for dialogue between the two sides to end the rift and has promptly addressed the energy-rich country’s urgent needs by providing it with food and other supplies, and allowed Qatari passenger planes to use Iranian airspace.

The Saudi-led bloc has ignored calls for talks by the tiny kingdom, calling for Qatar’s total surrender and leaving no options for the end of the crisis.

Mediation efforts led by Kuwait and the US have failed to make headway toward settling the crisis.

  Need for Dialogue    

Zarif said Iran seeks cordial relations with all its neighbors, expressing hope that the two governments could prepare the ground for closer people-to-people relations that allow for expansion of bilateral trade.

The Iranian diplomat said the critical situation of the region has made it necessary for regional states more than ever to engage in dialogue to stop the devastating consequences of endemic violence in West Asia.

“Not a single conflict in the region has a military solution. Iran believes that all sides should prioritize [peaceful] regional initiatives seeking to [boost] stability and collective security,” he said.

During his daylong stay in Doha, Zarif also sat down with his Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, to discuss bilateral ties and regional conflicts. Before visiting Qatar, Zarif was in Oman on Monday for talks with the sultanate’s political brass, which mostly covered economic cooperation between the two states.

Oman has traditionally had warmer ties with Iran than its Arab neighbors and maintained relations with Qatar during the political crisis.


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