Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani held talks on Thursday with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amirabdollahian in Tehran, ahead of talks with President Ebrahim Raisi.

Discussions tackled bilateral ties and political developments in the region.

Amirabdollahian met with Qatar’s ruling emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and Sheikh Mohammed during his visit to Doha on Jan. 11.

On Tuesday, Al Thani held talks with Iran’s FM over the phone, Iranian Ambassador to Qatar Hamid Reza Dehghani announced on Twitter.

According to a Foreign Ministry statement, the ministers discussed bilateral and regional issues, including Afghanistan and Yemen, without referring to the nuclear talks.

Al Thani said in a tweet that he he met with his Iranian counterpart and held fruitful discussions on the latest regional developments.

“I emphasize the constants of Qatar’s foreign policy, based on good neighborliness and constructive dialogue, to foster political dialogue aimed at achieving sustainable regional stability,” he added.

Raisi underscored the importance of “deepening ties between regional countries” in a meeting with Sheikh Mohammed, who invited the president to attend Gas Exporting Countries Forum summit in February in Doha.

Al Thani’s visit comes after Amirabdollahian on Monday said Tehran is ready to consider direct talks with Washington if it feels it can get a “good nuclear deal.”

However, Iran’s state news agency IRNA said the visit was not intended to help set up direct talks with Washington.

“Although Doha and Tehran are experiencing good and close relations, this visit … has fueled some misconceptions. Some are fabricating it to facilitate direct talks with the United States,” IRNA said, Reuters reported.

The US and Iran have held eight rounds of indirect talks in Vienna since April aimed at reinstating the 2015 pact that lifted sanctions against Tehran in exchange for restrictions on its nuclear program.

After then-US President Donald Trump quit the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed harsh sanctions, Iran gradually started violating the pact’s nuclear curbs.

Significant gaps remain about the speed and scope of returning to the deal, including Iran’s demand for a US guarantee of no further punitive steps, and how and when to restore curbs on Iran’s atomic work.

Sheikh Tamim will hold talks with US President Joe Biden on Jan. 31 including on efforts to salvage the pact.

Source » aawsat