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March 30, 2020
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Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim to visit Iran for talks

The visit comes amid heightened tensions in the Gulf following the US killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani.

Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will meet Iranian officials [File: Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]
Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani will meet Iranian officials [File: Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin Pool Photo via AP]

Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani is due to arrive in Iran’s capital, Tehran, to hold talks with senior officials, including President Hassan Rouhani.

The visit on Sunday comes amid heightened tensions in the Gulf following the US assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad and Iran’s retaliatory missile strikes at US targets in Iraq.

State-run Qatar News Agency (QNA) said the talks will focus on “bilateral relations between the two countries and ways of promoting and enhancing them, as well as the latest developments in the region and the regional and international issues of mutual concern”.

Sheikh Tamim is accompanied by an official delegation.

Earlier on Sunday, the emir headed to Oman’s capital, Muscat, where he offered his condolences to the Gulf state;s new sultan, Haitham bin Tariq Al Said, for the death of his predecessor, Sultan Qaboos bin Said Al Said.

‘Reduce escalation’

A day after the January 3 killing of Soleimani, the head of the overseas wing of the elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani met his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Tehran.

The two officials discussed the latest developments in the region, “especially the events in Iraq as well as ways of calm to maintain collective security of the region,” QNA reported reported at the time.

On Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed said Qatar is closely following developments in Iraq, and seeking to coordinate with friendly countries to reduce tensions.

“We seek through a series of communications to consult and coordinate with friendly and brotherly countries to calm and reduce escalation,” he wrote on Twitter.

SOURCE: Al Jazeera New

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