Iran sees breakthrough in Gulf Arab ties

Iran’s senior foreign ministry official said President Raisi’s February visit to Qatar, during which 15 MoUs were signed, and the president’s trip to Oman on Monday are also signs of improvement of Iran’s relations with Gulf Arab states, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

The relations between Iran and Gulf Arab states have seen a “breakthrough” since President Ebrahim Raisi assumed office in 2021, a top official said in Tehran.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have taken “positive and constructive steps” toward resolving their differences, the Foreign Ministry’s Undersecretary for Diplomatic Affairs Ali Reza Enayati told the local media.

He also mentioned the earlier dispatch of Iranian representatives to the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) headquartered in Saudi Arabia where their cooperation with the OIC was facilitated by Saudi officials, reports Xinhua news agency.

The official hoped that further negotiations between the two major regional Muslim states would pave the way for the participation of Iranian pilgrims in the annual Haj in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia severed diplomatic ties with Iran in early 2016 in protest against the attacks on its diplomatic missions in Iran following the kingdom’s execution of a Shia cleric.

The relations further soured during the Yemeni civil war between Iran-backed Houthi rebels and the internationally-recognised government supported by the Saudi-led coalition.

Enayati said Raisi’s February visit to Qatar, during which 15 memoranda of understanding were signed, and the president’s trip to Oman on Monday are also signs of improvement of Iran’s relations with Gulf Arab states.

Raisi’s Oman visit

In Oman, Sultan Haitham bin Tarik and President Raisi have reaffirmed the positive role of the private sector in augmenting the volume of investments and commercial exchange. They also laid emphasis on the significance of exerting more efforts to establish security and stability in the region and the world at large.

According to the official communiqué issued on the occasion, the visit bolsters the already strong bilateral relations and reiterates mutual appreciation and respect between the leaderships of the two countries and their peoples, based on tenets of religion and ties of fraternity and good neighbourliness.

A session of official talks held by Sultan Haitham and Raisi explored vistas of cooperation, bilateral relations and means of developing them in various spheres, notably commercial exchange and investment. They touched on coordination about areas of interest to the two countries. The two leaders expressed their satisfaction with the level of existing cooperation, and they decided to open up channels for new economic partnership.

The two leaders also expressed their delight over the high level of concord among the joint cooperation committees, and they issued directives for the committees to convene on a regular basis.

Both leaders have underscored the positive role of the private sector in both countries to enhance joint activities, hoping that these activities will augment the rate of investment and trade exchange. They also welcomed the signing of agreements and memoranda of understanding to streamline cooperation in the fields of investment, sports, agriculture, fisheries, livestock, maritime transport, ports, logistics, oil and gas.

The two leaders called for exerting more efforts to maintain regional and international security and stability in the region and the world at large. They recommended coordination between the two sides—at regional and international events about issues of relevance to security and stability in the region and the world.

Sultan valued the policy of expanded, interactive and constructive interaction that stems from fundamentals of Iranian policy credited to the Iranian President and his government, as well as the policy of openness towards all countries, notably neighbouring states.

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He said that this approach leads to the establishment of positive relations based on mutual respect and cooperation that bring about an exchange of economic, commercial and cultural benefits, while at the same time contributing to the consolidation of pillars of security and stability in the region.

The two sides underlined the need to curb all forms of terrorism and extremism.

During the visit, twelve cooperation documents were signed between senior officials of Iran and Oman in the fields of energy, politics, transportation, diplomatic cooperation, trade and economic relations, science, environment and sports.

These documents were signed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Industry, Mines and Trade, Oil, Roads and Urban Development and the Head of Trade Development Organisation of Iran and their Omani counterparts, the Iranian President’s office said in a press release.

Meanwhile, President Raisi also extended an invitation to Sultan Haitham to visit Iran, which was ardently welcomed by the latter.

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