Saturday, March 2, 2024

Qatar says working to bring US, Iran views closer

Qatar's Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani says Doha is using its open channels with Washington and Tehran to bring their views closer.

His remarks come after US President Joe Biden and Qatar’s emir met in the Oval Office on Monday to discuss bilateral ties and pressing regional issues.

Al-Thani visited Iran on Thursday, just days before the ruling emir’s diplomatic visit to Washington and as efforts by Tehran and major powers to revive a 2015 nuclear pact enter a crucial time.

The Biden Administration has announced it sees a path to an agreement in the Vienna talks over the nuclear deal, but Iran must make “tough political decisions now”.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh has said the Vienna talks have made significant progress.

“There are still important issues left in the field of sanctions removal … Progress [made] must be acceptable in the fields of verification and assurances,” he added.

“The other parties are clearly aware of the disputed issues and they, especially Washington, must make political decisions,” the spokesperson continued.

The foreign minister also said limiting Europe’s energy supply problems solely to the current Ukrainian crisis was “unfair”, adding that “global energy issues are not short term, rather, they take collective action to be resolved.”

Qatar, the world’s largest supplier of liquefied natural gas may divert supplies to Europe if the Ukraine conflict disrupts Russian gas deliveries to the continent.
Al-Thani welcomed Biden’s promise to designate Qatar as a major non-NATO ally saying it reflected the strength of bilateral relations and opened up “partnership opportunities.”

Qatar’s emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani ended his visit to Washington after sealing a Boeing freighter deal and meeting separately with Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas to discuss arms sales.

Qatar has reached an agreement with the Taliban to resume chartered evacuations out of Kabul airport, according to the Qatari foreign minister.

The agreement is for two flights per week, chartered by Qatar Airways, and will allow the United States and other countries to evacuate thousands more of their citizens and at-risk Afghans, Axios reported.

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