January 14, 2020
Emir of Qatar Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani said that de-escalation and dialogue were needed to resolve regional crises during this “sensitive” time.
“We agreed… that the only solution to these crises is de-escalation from everyone and dialogue,” he said during a joint news conference with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in Tehran on Sunday.
Sheikh Tamim underscored the “historic bilateral ties that have witnessed huge development”, stressing that channels were always open between Qatar and Iran.
He also invited Rouhani to visit Qatar, thanking Tehran for supporting Doha by providing air and land routes during the blockade imposed against it.
For his part, Rouhani stated that despite the “siege” on Qatar, Iran has stood and will continue to stand by the country.
His remarks were interpreted as an implicit demand to Qatar to stand by Iran against US sanctions that are aimed at forcing Tehran to change its regional policies.
Rouhani threw a reception at the Sadabad Palace Complex in Tehran in honor of Sheikh Tamim. The visit came shortly after the US killed top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in air strikes in Baghdad. Tehran retaliated by firing missiles at bases housing American forces in Iraq.
Rouhani thanked Sheikh Tamim for his visit, hoping to develop bilateral relations with Doha, reported the German news agency (dpa). Both parties took significant decisions to expand these ties.
The Qatar ruler later met with Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei.
“The situation in the region is inappropriate because of the United States and its friends, and, the only way to deal with it is to rely on inter-regional cooperation,” Reuters quoted Khamenei as saying.
“The current situation demands – more than ever before – strengthening of relations between countries in the region,” he added.