Qatar to reinstate ambassador to Iran

 24 Aug 2017 - 11:19

Qatar to reinstate ambassador to Iran
Photo: Abdul Basit / The Peninsula

Agencies / The Peninsula

Doha: Qatar is to restore diplomatic relations with Iran, foreign ministry announced on Wednesday.

A statement from the ministry said Qatar aimed to bolster relations between the two countries, which share the world's largest natural gas field.

"The State of Qatar announced today that its ambassador to Tehran will return to exercise its diplomatic duties," read the statement.

Qatar was also seeking to "strengthen bilateral relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran in all fields", it added.

Doha pulled its ambassador from Tehran in January 2016 following attacks on the Saudi Arabian embassy, spurred by Riyadh's decision to execute a Shiite cleric in the kingdom.

Political and business leaders in Qatar have argued that they have to maintain ties with Iran because of the gas field, which Doha calls the North Field and in Tehran is known as South Pars.

The Foreign Minister H E Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani held a telephone conversation yesterday with Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations and means of boosting and developing them as well as a number of issues of common concern.

Iran has allowed Qatar's national carrier to use its airspace and sent fresh food supplies to Doha after Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt severed ties and cut transport and trade ties with Doha and imposed a blockade on Qatar in June.

Arabic daily Al Sharq said in its editorial that by the return of the Qatari ambassador to Tehran, "we must remember that the State of Qatar had decided to withdraw its ambassador from Tehran because of the attacks on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran," the paper said, adding that this decision expresses Qatar's full solidarity with Saudi Arabia.

Now, the Qatari daily said, the reason for which the Qatari ambassador has been withdrawn no longer exists.

Furthermore, the paper stressed that Iran is a neighboring country and it is normal for relations to extend, pointing out that Qatar always calls for respect for neighborliness and resolving differences by dialogue.

It also added that the presence of the ambassador in Tehran will help facilitate economic transactions and increase the flow of goods, indicating that during the siege, maritime, air and shipping traffic as well as the pace of trade with Iran, which is the sole gateway of the State of Qatar, have increased.

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