FM Zarif welcomes regional dialogue to help establish stability in the region

Zarif wraps up visit to Qatar

April 26, 2021 - 21:41

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif finished a visit to neighboring Qatar where he met the country’s high-level officials.

During the visit, which took place on Sunday, the chief Iranian diplomat held talks with Qatari Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani and Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani.

During his meeting with the Qatari foreign minister, the Iranian foreign minister highlighted the importance of Tehran-Doha relations as well as bilateral and regional cooperation, according to a statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

Zarif also underscored the need to further diversify the areas of cooperation, especially in trade, economic and investment domains.

He noted the two countries enjoy great potential and capacity for enhancing bilateral collaboration.
Zarif said Iran’s approach is to boost its relations with the regional countries.

“Absolute necessity”
The Iranian foreign minister also welcomed regional dialogue to help establish stability in the region, describing it as an absolute necessity.

The Qatari foreign minister, in turn, touched upon a meeting of the Iran-Qatar Joint Commission held in the central Iranian city of Isfahan, saying another meeting should be held in Doha to cement mutual trade and economic ties.

The two top diplomats also discussed cooperation on regional and international issues.

The chief Iranian diplomat also met with the Qatari emir. During the meeting with the emir, Zarif elaborated on the latest developments in Tehran-Doha relations on different political and economic fronts, according to a separate statement issued by the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

He also evaluated the areas and potential for the expansion of bilateral ties as positive.

Zarif also expounded on Iran’s regional policies when it comes to expanding relations with countries in the region as well as the latest developments pertaining to Iran’s talks with the P4+1 group in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

The Qatari Emir, for his part, highlighted the importance of bilateral and regional cooperation between Tehran and Doha, saying Qatar is keen to further enhance relations with Iran.

The Qatari Foreign Ministry also issued a statement about the meeting between Zarif and Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman saying the two foreign ministers discussed ways to reduce tensions in the region. 

“During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral cooperation, relations between the two countries and ways to reduce tension in the region and enhance its security and stability through dialogue. They also reviewed the latest developments in a number of regional issues,” the Qatari statement said. 

Zarif also delivered a “verbal message” from Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, according to Qatar’s state news QNA. 

“HH the Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani received Sunday a verbal message from HE President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Dr. Hassan Rouhani, pertaining to bilateral relations between the two countries, the means of supporting and strengthening them, and issues of joint interest. The message was delivered by HE Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif when HH the Amir met him and his accompanying delegation at his office in Al-Bahr Palace this evening,” the Qatari news agency reported on Sunday. 

“Neighbors are our priority”

At the end of his visit, Zarif implied that he discussed the Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE), an Iranian peace initiative that is intended to reduce tensions in the region as has long been proposed by Iran.
“Excellent consultations with my brothers H.H. Emir of Qatar @TamimBinHamad & DPM/FM @MBA_AlThani_ on expansion of constructive bilateral relations & enhanced coordination on regional & global issues. #HOPE initiative is Iran's approach to the region. Neighbors are our priority,” the Iranian foreign minister said on Twitter. 

Iran had proposed the HOPE amid growing tensions in the region and has long called on the Persian Gulf’s Arab states to engage in a serious dialogue within the framework of the initiative.

Iran reiterated its readiness to discuss this initiative after Joe Biden won the U.S. election in November. At that time, some countries in the Persian Gulf, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates asked the negotiating partners of Iran to include them in the Vienna talks, a demand that elicited a response from Zarif in December last year.

“Dear neighbors Why ask US/E3 for inclusion in talks with Iran when: a) There won't be ANY talks about OUR region with them as they're the problem themselves b) We can speak directly about our region without outside meddling. Hormuz Peace Endeavor (HOPE) is still on the table,” Zarif tweeted on December 8 after Saudi Arabia and its allies in the region called on the U.S. to include them in any future talks with Iran.

In addition, the top Iranian diplomat also welcomed a proposal by Qatar on launching dialogue between Iran and the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council.

The Qatari foreign minister has expressed hope that a summit between leaders of the six-member Persian Gulf Cooperation Council and Iran would happen.

“We are hopeful that this [summit] would happen and we still believe that this should happen. And I think this is also a desire that being shared among the other GCC countries. I just mentioned to you that there is a difference between the countries on the way how to approach such a dialogue. Also from the Iranian side. They have expressed their willingness several times to engage with the GCC countries,” the Qatari foreign minister said in an interview with Bloomberg TV in January. 

Zarif positively responded to the Qatar proposal. “Iran welcomes my brother FM @MBA_AlThani_'s call for inclusive dialogue in our region. As we have consistently emphasized, the solution to our challenges lies in collaboration to jointly form a 'strong region': peaceful, stable, prosperous & free from global or regional hegemony,” he tweeted on January 19.

Following his visit to Qatar, Zarif visited Baghdad on Monday morning. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said on Monday that these visits are part of Iran’s “Ramadan diplomacy.”

Speaking at a weekly press conference, Khatibzadeh said, “Dr. Zarif's visit to Qatar and Iraq is part of Ramadan diplomacy. We have good and brotherly relations with both countries. Both in Qatar and in Iraq, bilateral issues, issues of the Islamic world and cooperation at the regional and international levels are a priority. These trips have nothing to do with third parties.”

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