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HomeQatar TimesQatar's Foreign Minister in Tehran ahead of Iran's first Presidential visit

Qatar’s Foreign Minister in Tehran ahead of Iran’s first Presidential visit

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani has been in Tehran for talks with Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and the country’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian according to Agence France-Presse.

Qatar’s Foreign Minister’s second visit to Iran was never officially announced but was confirmed to AFP by a diplomat aware of the trip.

Qatar has played an important role in mediating a dialogue between Tehran and Washington. The Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani held talks in Washington earlier in February with US President Joe Biden regarding the nuclear agreement and the country’s efforts in forming a discussion between Iran and the US.

The Qatari Foreign Minister, Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, had previously visited Tehran on January 27 to hold talks with Amir-Abdollahian. In the meetings, the two discussed developments in Vienna and the possible return of the 2015 nuclear deal as well as ways to strengthen GCC and Iran ties.

In a tweet addressing the nuclear deal, the Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman and President of Center for Public Diplomacy, Saeed Khatibzadeh, stated that “misinformation disguised as reporting is dangerous.”

President Raisi’s official visit to Qatar

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi is due to visit Qatar on Monday where he will hold meetings with senior Qatari officials for two days.

Through an extended invitation from Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, President Raisi will be accompanied by a number of different delegation of senior officials including Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Petroleum, and ministers from “cultural heritage, tourism, and handicrafts,” according to Tasnim News Agency.

The Iranian ambassador to Qatar, Hamid Reza Dehghani, addressed a press conference on Saturday, where he revealed that a number of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) will be signed between the two countries.

The envoy noted that both leaders will discuss issues of mutual interests and regional and international issues as well as further possibilities of strengthening bilateral economic, cultural and tourism ties, reports stated.

Qatar and Iran envoys raise concerns over humanitarian situation in Afghanistan

Ambassador Dehghani said that Iran and Qatar, sharing a joint oil field, have long “consulted” and “cooperated” with one another regarding the issue of gas and its exports. In order to further boost oil production and exports, he underlined the importance of their bilateral relation as well as their ongoing dialogue centered around oil production and exports.

The oil discussions between the two states will also find its way to the 6th summit of Gas Exporting Countries Forum taking place on Tuesday, where President Raisi will attend alongside other member countries.

The ambassador addressed Iran’s key role in supporting Qatar through the Saudi-led blockade on Qatar in 2017, and confirmed the country’s stance in helping Qatar through difficult times.

Qatar has “established its position as a mediator on the world level and Iran is interested in benefiting in its role in building better relations with the United States, West and the Arab region for peace, security, stability and development of the people of our region,” the envoy said.

Regarding the Iran nuclear deal, Ambassador Dehghani said that Iran has “complied with its commitments and welcomes any effort to return the United States as pledged in the Iran nuclear agreement between Iran and the five plus one countries.”

Commenting on the matter, Dr Trita Parsi, co-founder and executive vice president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, as well as the founder and former president of the National Iranian American Council, told Doha News that “Qatar has played an important role in seeking to not only defuse US-Iran tensions around the JCPOA, but also when it comes to a prisoner exchange between the two sides.”

“Qatar’s efforts reflect a broader growing view in the GCC that a conflict between the US and Iran would be destabilising for the region as a whole and a direct threat to all GCC states. Ten years ago, many GCC states were of a different view” he added.

Regarding the situation of the GCC states and their relationship to the United States, Dr Parsi notes “many states in the GCC have come to conclude that they no longer have a security guarantee from the United States. The US will support them in case of war, but it will not engage its own military to defend them. Under these new circumstances, it is suitable for all states to engage in more regional diplomacy to reduce tensions and prevent any outbreak of hostilities.”

He also said that “if the region continues on this path and deeply intensifies intra-regional diplomacy, the beginning steps for the establishment of a new security architecture for the region can be taken. It is a long journey of course, but the first initial steps are in sight.”

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