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FM on Regional Tour to Boost Neighborly Ties

Jun 20, 2023, 10:06 PM
News ID: 37387
FM on Regional Tour to Boost Neighborly Ties

EghtesadOnline: Continued development of all-out relations with neighbors is among the basic principles of the Iranian administration’s foreign policy doctrine, the foreign minister said.

Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian has embarked on a regional tour of Persian Gulf Arab countries to pursue the government’s policy of enhancing neighborly relations, paying visits to Qatar and Oman as his first destinations.  

In a post on his Twitter account, he said his trips to Doha and Muscat are aimed at further promoting relations with the two Arab countries and following up on the agreements reached by the three countries’ high-ranking officials.

“Continued development of all-out relations with neighbors is among the basic principles of the Iranian administration’s foreign policy doctrine,” he said.

He arrived in Qatar on Tuesday, where he met the Arab country’s Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, as well as top diplomat Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani.

With the Qatari Emir, he discussed a range of bilateral, regional and international issues, according Foreign Ministry Spokesman Nasser Kanaani, who accompanies Amir-Abdollahian on his tour, IRNA reported.

The Iranian minister expressed appreciation for Doha’s initiatives aimed at addressing regional issues in recent years, he said.

Highlighting close and friendly political relations between Iran and Qatar, he also stressed the need for expanding trade ties at the same level.

The forthcoming meeting of the joint economic commission is a great opportunity to expedite the process of increasing trade exchanges, according to Amir-Abdollahian.

Sheikh Tamim pointed to agreements he had earlier reached with President Ebrahim Raisi, saying they included measures to develop bilateral trade.

“Trade ties between Iran and Qatar are improving but have not reached the favorable point yet and we need to try to achieve that appropriate level,” he was quoted as saying by Kanaani.

Transit and transportation cooperation, especially in the marine sector and through the two countries’ ports, was another topic raised by the Iranian top diplomat, which was welcomed by the Qatari side, Kanaani said.

The Emir of Qatar said he would give the necessary instructions to relevant officials in Doha regarding marine and port cooperation with Iran, he added.

“Amir-Abdollahian underlined the need for upgrading Tehran-Doha ties not only to advance common interests, but also to promote peace, stability and security in the region and to further the interests of all regional states,” he said.

Sheikh Tamim said Iran has a special place for Qatar, adding that such relations are the result of decades of endeavor.

“We see no restriction to cooperation with Iran,” the Emir was cited as saying.

Regional Peace

Amir-Abdollahian later met his Qatari counterpart and discussed a range of subjects, including bilateral political issues and certain regional and international topics.

The two diplomats also conferred on arrangements for holding the meeting of the joint economic commission, increasing the volume of trade exchanges, facilitating private sector business activities, cooperation on transit and transportation, especially activation of ports for the transport of goods and passengers, special consular issues and the status of Iranian convicts in Qatar.

Speaking to IRNA, Ebrahim Rezaei, a lawmaker on the Iranian delegation, pointed out Qatar’s role as a facilitator in Iran’s negotiations with certain other countries.

“Given the Qatari’s good history in promoting regional peace, this trip can help reduce tensions in the region … besides improving bilateral relations,” he said.

The foreign minister left Doha for his next destination, Oman, on Tuesday afternoon.

Bilateral talks and exchange of views on important regional and international issues will be the main agenda of his visit.

Some three weeks earlier, Sultan of Oman Haitham bin Tariq had made a trip to Tehran to meet top-ranking officials, during which four memorandums of understanding were singed on economic, investment, free zones and energy sectors.

Tehran and Muscat had also signed 13 MoUs during Raisi’s visit last year. The volume of trade between the two countries has reportedly doubled over the past year as a result of the recent expansion of relations.