Qatar FM backs Saudi call for dialogue with Iran

Qatar FM backs Saudi call for dialogue with Iran
Doha has expressed support for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's desire for a 'good and special relationship with Iran'.
2 min read
29 April, 2021
Qatar's top diplomat backed the call for 'good neighbourliness and dialogue' [Getty]
Qatar's foreign minister has voiced support for a Saudi call for dialogue with Iran this week in the latest sign of warming ties between the two Gulf nations.

"We back His Highness Saudi Crown Prince's call for a foreign policy based on principles of good neighbourliness and dialogue in the region, including with Iran," Mohammed bin Abdulrahman said in a tweet, referring to Mohammed bin Salman.

"Adhering to the UN charter, respect for sovereignty of states and non-interference in their affairs are fundamentals of the civilised countries," the foreign minister added.

The top Qatari diplomat was referring to a speech made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday, in which the de-facto Saudi ruler said the kingdom sought a "good and special relationship with Iran".

Tuesday's comments marked a change in tone compared to previous interviews in which bin Salman had lashed out at Tehran, accusing it of fuelling regional instability.

Nonetheless, the Saudi crown prince still pointed to Iran's "negative behaviour" on Tuesday as the cause behind damaged relations and regional tensions.

Of particular concern for Riyadh is Tehran's backing of militias across the region, including in Yemen where Saudi Arabia has led an international coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels since 2015.

Saudi Arabia and other countries launched a blockade on Doha in 2017, accusing it of supporting extremist groups and being too close to Iran - claims it strongly denies.

Saudi Arabia and allies agreed to reestablish ties with Qatar earlier this year.

On Monday, the office of Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani said the ruler had been issued an invitation to visit Saudi King Salman in Riyadh.

It is not clear whether Al-Thani accepted the invitation or when he will visit the kingdom.

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