Iran’s Foreign Minister visits Qatar and Oman in diplomatic push

Hossein Amirabdollahian also met Houthi negotiator Mohammad Abdulsalam in Muscat

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim meets Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian in Doha on Tuesday. Reuters
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Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian has made visits to both Qatar and Oman to meet senior Gulf officials in a flurry of diplomacy.

In Doha, Mr Amirabdollahian met Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim to discuss bilateral relations.

Sheikh Tamim hailed the strong relations between the two countries and called for the comprehensive development of ties, particularly in the economic sphere, Iran’s Mehr news agency reported.

Mr Amirabdollahian described political relations between the nations as “excellent” and called for bilateral trade ties to be expanded in proportion to their “close and friendly” relations, Iran’s Irna news agency reported.

The minister's visit to Doha comes ahead of an imminent meeting of the Iran-Qatar Joint Economic Commission.

The pair also discussed transport co-operation, particularly in the maritime sector.

Mr Amirabdollahian also praised Qatar's recent efforts to resolve regional problems, and called on both countries to enhance co-operation to ensure regional peace, stability and security.

Later on Tuesday, Mr Amirabdollahian and his delegation travelled to Muscat to meet Mohammad Abdulsalam, the chief negotiator of Yemen's Houthi rebel group.

Mr Amirabdollahian also met his Omani counterpart Sayyid Badr Albusaidi.

Sanam Vakil, director of Chatham House's Middle East and North Africa programme, said Iran’s recent diplomatic push both in the Gulf and the wider region was part of efforts to show it can overcome its challenges.

Iran is “looking to show that despite sanctions and domestic protests it continues to weather the storm by bolstering stronger international economic and foreign ties”, Ms Vakil told AFP.

“These links … aim to increase economic connectivity and boost internal morale,” she added.

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi has also been on a foreign policy tour recently, visiting China, Syria and Venezuela, as well as hosting Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister, Prince Faisal bin Farhan.

Updated: June 21, 2023, 8:11 AM