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Press TV: Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani says his country attaches importance to cooperation with Iran as an influential player in the region, pointing out that any security coordination among regional countries will be of no avail in the absence of the Islamic Republic.
Speaking at a meeting with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Sunday, the Qatari Emir said Doha and Tehran had always cooperated on different regional and international developments at various levels.
Qatar believes heightened tension in the region is not beneficial to any country, the Emir said, highlighting the fact that the Islamic Republic has always pursued a wise and prudent stance on regional developments.
Al Thani urged the Iranian and Qatari authorities to work for further cooperation in trade, tourism and joint ventures. Doha, he added, welcomes expansion of economic partnership between tradesmen and enterprises from the two countries and would facilitate their activities.
The Qatari Emir arrived in Tehran on Sunday to hold talks with senior Iranian officials.
Qatar is close to the United States and hosts its largest military base in West Asia, but Doha also enjoys strong ties with Tehran, with whom it shares the world’s largest gas field.
Enhanced Iran-Qatar ties serve mutual national interests: Rouhani
The Iranian president said in the meeting that expansion of mutual relations served national interests of the two countries.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to take new steps in trade and economic spheres between the two countries,” Rouhani said.
He emphasized that Qatar, as a friendly country, can turn into a base for trade, economic and maritime cooperation between Tehran and Doha.
Highlighting Iran’s advances in various fields of science and technology, knowledge-based activities as well as such utilities as water and power supply, Iran’s president said Tehran was ready to transfer its experiences in these fields to the friendly and brotherly country of Qatar.
Dialog, only solution to all crises: Qatari Emir
Speaking at a joint press conference with the Iranian president following their meeting, the Qatari Emir said his visit to Tehran “comes at a very sensitive juncture in the region” and that he agreed with President Rouhani that dialog is the only solution to the ongoing crises.
Al Thani hailed Iran’s stance on Qatar, particularly at a time of a Saudi-led blockade on the Arab country, saying Tehran has provided Doha with all necessary facilities at the earliest.
The Qatari Emir was alluding to escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf region after Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) severed their diplomatic relations with Doha in June 2017, accusing it of sponsoring “terrorism” and destabilizing the region.
The quartet also imposed sanctions against Doha, including restrictions on Qatari aircraft using the airspace of the four countries. To further pressure Qatar, Saudi Arabia totally closed its land border with its neighbor, through which much of Qatar’s food supply crossed. Doha, however, rejects the claims, saying its sovereignty has been attacked.
Qatar will never forget the Islamic Republic’s positive attitude, the Emir emphasized.
He said he has invited the Iranian president to visit Doha in the near future, which was accepted.
Iran will stand by Qatar: Rouhani
The Iranian president told reporters that despite restrictions imposed by some countries against Qatar, the Islamic Republic has stood and will continue to stand by the country.
Rouhani stressed the importance of boosting regional security and said, “Given the significance of security in the region, particularly security of waterways in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, we decided to have more consultations and cooperation on [improving] security of the entire region.”