The 13th administration in Tehran has labored hard to follow up a balanced policy in dealing with both East and West. Of course, prioritizing neighboring states has been focused in the current administration in Iran, so President Raisi kicked off his two-day trip to Qatar at the official invitation of Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani on Monday.
The tour is scheduled to pursue two missions: First, bolstering ties with the Arab littoral state of the Persian Gulf; and second, participating in the six summit of the GECF.
Last time when an Iranian president visited Qatar was former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s tour to Doha to meet with Qatari officials and take part in a GECF summit in 2011.
President Raisi’s trip to Qatar is also considered as his first visit to a littoral state of the Persian Gulf since his inauguration on August 3, 2021.
Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amirabdollahian travelled to Doha with the aim of preparing situation for President Raisi’s trip. The Iranian FM met with Qatar’s emir as well as Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani on January 11, 2022.
Amirabadollahian stressed the importance of boosting relationship based on bilateral and regional cooperation, as well as expanding mutual trade, economic and investment collaborations.
It is worth mentioning that Qatar and Iran seek a sort of amicable relationship that differentiates with their ties with other member states of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council.
Iran was among the first countries who recognized independence of Qatar. Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, the two nations have gradually deepen relationship. Doha’s support for Tehran when it came to facing international pressures on the Islamic Republic and Iran’s aid to Qatar in standing against siege imposed by certain Arab nations helped develop mutual cooperation and coordination at regional and international levels.
Although an Arab alliance imposed sanctions on Qatar in an attempt to force Doha reduce relationship with Tehran, such pressures bore no fruit and the siege ended up in enhancement of Iran-Qatar ties.
Observers are of the opinion that shipping, transit, tourism, petrochemical, hotel, food, fishery, medicine, and dairy industries are among the most important fields of collaborations between Doha and Tehran.
Possession of a joint natural gas reservoir in the Persian Gulf has helped upgrade bilateral cooperation between Qatar and Iran. Now, both countries contribute to preserving security of the biggest natural gas field also known as the South Pars/North Dome Gas-Condensate field.
Amid the escalation between Russia and Ukraine, the political and economic weight of Qatar can increase remarkably, because the Arab country can play a key role in supplying gas to Europe.
President Raisi is scheduled to make a speech in the six summit of the GECF.
The Gas Exporting Countries Forum was established in Tehran in 2001. GECF members together control over 71% of the world’s natural proven gas reserves, 44% of its marketed production, 53% of the pipeline, and 57% of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports across the globe.
Algeria, Bolivia, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, Russia, Venezuela, and Trinidad and Tobago are member states. Angola, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Norway, Peru, and the United Arab Emirates are observers in the Gas Exporting Countries Forum.
The headquarters of the GECF is located in Doha, Qatar.
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Original News : https://en.irna.ir/news/84658768/President-Raisi-s-important-mission-in-Qatar