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Iran’s Zarif Cites ‘Economic Gains’ after Qatar Crisis | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Iran’s Foreign Minister Zarif und Qatar’s Emir Al Thani in Doha (Reuters/Qatar News)

London- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif discussed with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani bilateral relations and regional conditions in Muscat on Saturday.

After arriving in Tehran, Zarif said both Muscat and Doha “share Tehran’s views and position on the crisis in Yemen,” pointing out that his visit to Qatar and Oman “does not aim to stoke differences in the region.”

Tuesday’s trip was the Iranian diplomat’s first trip to Doha since the start of a four-month-old blockade against Qatar over its support for extremist organizations threatening to disrupt regional peace.

Regional action and improved relations with neighbors were among Zarif’s promises made before the Iranian parliament in August when he presented his programs for the second term as foreign minister.

Improving relations is seen as vital, chiefly driven by an expected escalation by the US side as US President Donald Trump approaches the Iranian nuclear file amid US accusations that Tehran is violating the spirit of the nuclear deal by destabilizing the region.

In a statement to local news agencies, the Iranian foreign ministry said that during his meeting with the emir of Qatar, he defended his country’s foreign policy and said that “it wants the best relations with its neighbors.”

“None of the regional crises have a military solution,” Zarif said at the meeting, according to Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency. All sides should “give priority to regional initiations for restoring collective stability and security.”

In addition, Zarif held consultations with his Qatari counterpart, Mohammed bin Abdul Rahman Al Thani, in the presence of Qatar’s Economy Minister. Both sides exchanged views on the economic issues, as well as the current situation in Qatar’s relationship with the GCC countries.

Zarif stressed that the Iranian foreign ministry began taking regional steps in order to achieve economic gains.

Good cooperation and many breakthroughs in the interest of both countries highlighted discussions with the Emir of Qatar, the Qatari Foreign Minister and Economy Minister, Zarif pointed when pointing out to Iranian economic gains from the deterioration of Gulf relations with Qatar.

During the meeting, Zarif announced his country’s readiness for “long-term” cooperation and moving to the stage of economic partnership with Qatar. The initiative was welcomed by Qatar according to the Iranian Foreign Ministry report.

The activation of previous trade agreements and the development of economic relations within the framework of cooperation and common interests between the two countries, were among the issues listed in the meeting’s official report published by Iranian news agencies.

A short report on the state-run Qatar News Agency said the two “exchanged views on the current situation in the region,” without elaborating.

More so, the talks with the emir of Qatar aimed at strengthening “co-operation,” nearly four months into the boycott.

The statement added that Zarif applied for the development of relations between the two countries across all fields, including facilitating the exchange of visits between citizens of the two countries, activating the private sector and creating economic and trade opportunities.