News ID: 279644
Published: 0316 GMT January 19, 2021

Qatar calls for Persian Gulf Arab states’ talks with Iran

Qatar calls for Persian Gulf Arab states’ talks with Iran

Qatar’s foreign minister called for Persian Gulf Arab countries to hold talks with Iran, saying that Doha believes that the dialogue between the neighboring countries should happen.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani, who has previously called for dialogue with Iran, told Bloomberg TV he was "hopeful that this would happen and we still believe this should happen".

This is also a desire that's shared by other Persian Gulf Cooperation Council countries, he said, AFP reported.

Qatar and Iran share one of the world's largest gas fields and Doha maintains cordial relations with Tehran.

Doha is a close ally of Washington and has previously mediated between the US and Iran suggesting that Sheikh Mohammed's intervention could be timed as a signal to the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden. Biden is due to take office today.

Biden has promised to revive the 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers. The current occupant of the White House, President Donald Trump, has pursued a policy of "maximum pressure" on Iran and pulled the United States out of the multilateral nuclear deal with it in 2018.


Iran-US negotiations 


“Qatar will facilitate negotiations if asked by stake holders and will support whoever is chosen to do so,” the Qatari foreign minister said. “We want the accomplishment, we want to see the deal happening,” he said of potential talks between the US and Iran. “Wherever it is, whoever it is conducting this negotiation, we will support them.”

Qatar’s former prime minister has also called for dialogue between Persian Gulf Arab nations and Iran.

“We must not hesitate to open this dialogue because it will help settle the many tensions around us,” Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al Thani said in series of tweets on Saturday.

Sheikh Hamad noted that difference of opinion should not prevent Persian Gulf Arab nations from “opening dialogue with Iran”.

“We know that there are different points of view between us and Iran on many issues. But this should not prevent the opening of dialogue with Iran,” he said. “We are cooperating with countries with which we do not agree on many things.”

The former premier said “such dialogue may end tensions” in the region and “enhance confidence” between the two banks of the Persian Gulf.

It comes weeks after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the UAE reestablished ties with Qatar after breaking them off in June 2017 partly over allegations that Qatar was too close to Iran.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt cited Doha’s ties to Iran and Turkey, as well as its support for funding terrorism, as core reasons for their extraordinary decision in 2017 to cut diplomatic and transport links with Qatar.

After securing a deal with Saudi Arabia and its allies to end the dispute on January 5, Qatar said it will not alter its relations with Iran and Turkey.

The Qatari foreign minister told the Financial Times that Doha had agreed to cooperate on counterterrorism and “transnational security” with Saudi Arabia and three other states.

But he said “bilateral relationships are mainly driven by a sovereign decision of the country . . . [and] the national interest”. “So there is no effect on our relationship with any other country,” he said in an interview.







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