Qatari Emir Holds Talks with Iran’s Supreme Leader, Foreign Minister
Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani discussed bilateral relations with Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei and Foreign Minister Kamal Kharazi Tuesday, the official IRNA news agency reported.
In their meeting, Khamenei spoke of good neighborly relations between Iran and Qatar and underlined the necessity to develop Tehran-Doha relations and not to trust Westerners, IRNA reported.
The Qatari emir discussed ways of expanding bilateral relations with the Iranian Foreign minister.
"Qatar is very interested in expanding cooperation between the two countries, particularly over gas and petrochemicals. We must use one another's capabilities and implement various cooperation initiatives," said Sheikh Hamad as quoted by IRNA.
He went on to say, "Iran and Qatar have always had a good and expanding relationship and the results of productive cooperation between the two countries are becoming more and more apparent."
The emir arrived in Tehran Monday for an official three-day visit, the first by a Qatari head of state since the 1979 Islamic revolution.
According to IRNA, Kharazi made reference to periods of difficulty in the Arabian Gulf, but said that "we must do away with the remnants of the period of animosity and the cold war and turn to cooperation and participation."
"We are like passengers on a boat, many pirates await us. Past disagreements should not prevent us from cooperating to bring stability to this strategic region," said the foreign minister.
Discussions were also held about the role of the two countries in the Organization of Islamic Conferences (OIC), the presidency of which is set to switch from Iran to Qatar in November.
Earlier on Monday, Sheikh Hamad met with Iranian Defense Minister Ali Shamkhani to discuss possible military cooperation.
"The exchange of military capabilities and expanding cooperation in the areas of training and transfer of defense knowledge between Tehran and Doha are priorities in the defense relationship," said Shamkhani after the meeting.
Sheikh Hamad, who is heading a large political and economic delegation, met immediately upon his arrival with Iranian President Mohammad Khatami, who visited Doha in April last year.
Iran and Qatar have good relations despite Tehran's criticism of Doha's trading links with Israel, and they share the giant Pars oil and gas field in the Gulf. Khatami paid an official visit to Doha in April 1999 – TEHRAN (AFP)
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