Qatar Emir leads high-level delegation on fifth visit to Iran

December 20, 2010

Qatar’s Emir Shaikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani on Monday led a high-level delegation on a one-day visit to Tehran.

Iranian Ambassador to Qatar Abdallah Sohrabi told Qatari media that the Emir and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad would discuss bilateral relations and the latest developments in the region and the world.

The two leaders also reviewed the situation in Palestine, Lebanon, Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and other international issues of mutual interest, the envoy said, Qatari daily Gulf Times reports.

Shaikh Hamad also metAyatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khamenei, Iran’s spiritual leader.

This is the Emir’s fifth visit to Tehran.

“There is much exchange of reciprocal visits of senior officials between the two countries,” Sohrabi said. “Qatar will host Al Quds (Jerusalem) Conference and exert efforts to maintain stability in Lebanon and Sudan” he said. The three issues are of high interest to Iran.

“Economic relations between Doha and Tehran are strong and diverse. Iran provides Qatar with food materials, agricultural soil, steel, cement and has many companies working in the country. The two countries are the most important producers and exporters of natural gas in the world; therefore they need to work together in this area.”

Iran is looking forward to benefiting from the business opportunities in Qatar in the run-up to the World Cup 2022, the ambassador said.

Governors of three Iranian provinces – Tehran, Gilan and Gazvin – will visit Qatar next Wednesday to attend the Qmoney International Exhibition and hold meetings with some ministers, while a delegation from Qatar Foundation will visit Tehran on Wednesday to discuss relations in education, science and culture.

Sohrabi said Qatar winning the bid to host the 2022 World Cup was a success for the Arab and Muslim people. “It proves that this region is safe and can host an event of this size. The only problem of the Gulf region is external interference in its internal affairs.”

In comments on the sacking of foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki, the ambassador said the outgoing minister had worked for a long period serving Iran in foreign relations and five years in the Iranian nuclear programme.

“He accumulated great experience. He is very competent and will succeed in any task assigned to him. The new minister is also well experienced and is a great friend of Arabs. The first decision he took is to strengthen relations with Saudi Arabia. He speaks Arabic language fluently.”

Ahmadinejad last Monday removed Mottaki from his post while he was on a diplomatic mission in Senegal and appointed Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran Ali Akbar Salehi as acting foreign minister.

The sacking waded into controversy and Iranian legislators who rival the president from within his own camp expressed their indignation.

Tehran Times reported that Majlis speaker Ali Larijani disapproved of the way Mottaki was removed and said that the removal should have been done with caution and dignity.

“If they had planned to replace the foreign minister, they should have made the change prudently and respectfully, and not in the middle of his visit (to Senegal),” Larijani was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Mottaki denied any knowledge about his sacking before embarking on the trip. “Dismissing a minister during a mission is un-Islamic, undiplomatic and offensive,” Mottaki said. “I was never informed.”



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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