Iran, Qatar seek improved relations despite differences

Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani
Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani

Iran can play “an important role in establishing peace and security in the region,” Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani said.

Iran and Qatar should “get over their differences” and boost relations to ensure regional stability, Qatar’s emir has told Iran’s president as the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan gets underway.

Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and President Hassan Rowhani also called in a telephone conversation Thursday night for an end to violence in the region during the holy month, Iran’s ISNA news agency reported Friday.

Iran is the main regional ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and of Shiite militia in Yemen known as Houthis.

In contrast, Qatar supports rebels fighting to overthrow Assad and is part of a Saudi-led coalition that has been bombing Houthis in Yemen for more than two months.

“There might be differences over some issues, but the two countries, as friends, brothers and neighbors, should get over these obstacles,” Sheikh Tamim said, calling relations with Iran “historical and robust.”

Rowhani said there was “good potential for economic and political” relations between the two countries.

The conversation comes as warring factions in Yemen are meeting in Geneva for U.N.-sponsored talks.

So far, no advances have been made at the talks, which are expected to wrap up Friday.

The United Nations hopes to least get them to agree to a two-week humanitarian truce.

Iran can play “an important role in establishing peace and security in the region,” the emir said.

Dialogue must replace conflict in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, he added.


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