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EghtesadOnline: Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani visited Iran on Sunday to meet senior Iranian officials, including President Hassan Rouhani, amid efforts by regional countries to alleviate current tensions.

Talks focused on bilateral relations and ways of enhancing them, as well as regional and international developments and issues of mutual concern, according to Financial Tribune.

Rouhani said in a press conference after his meeting with Sheikh Tamim that they made important decisions about boosting bilateral ties, including the establishment of a joint commission to convene annually, IRNA reported. 

"Given the importance of regional security, especially the safety of waterways in the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Sea of Oman, we decided to improve our consultations and cooperation for [ensuring] security in the whole region," he added.

The Qatari emir said de-escalation and dialogue are needed to resolve regional crises at a “sensitive” time.

Sheikh Tamim also thanked Iran, with which his country shares a giant gas field, for supporting Doha by providing air and land routes after Saudi Arabia and its allies imposed a trade and transport boycott on Qatar in mid-2017. 

The situation in the already volatile Middle East has escalated following the United States' assassination of top Iranian commander, Martyr Major General Qasem Soleimani, in Baghdad and Iran's retaliatory missile strikes at US targets in Iraq.

The tit-for-tat military measures raised fears of an all-out war, which could have serious repercussions for the entire region.

A day after Soleimani's assassination, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani had met his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, in Tehran. 

They discussed the events in Iraq as well as ways of calming the situation to maintain regional security, according to Qatar News Agency. 

Sheikh Mohammed had said Qatar was closely following developments in Iraq and seeking to coordinate with friendly countries to reduce tensions.

"We seek through a series of communications to consult and coordinate with friendly and brotherly countries to calm and reduce escalation," he wrote on Twitter.



Pakistani FM Arrives 

Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi also arrived in Iran on Sunday to meet Zarif in a bid to defuse rising tensions. 

"Recent developments seriously endanger peace and security in an already volatile region and underscore the need for immediate and collective efforts for a peaceful resolution," Pakistan's Foreign Office said in a statement, AFP reported. 

Shah Mehmood Qureshi will convey to Iran "Pakistan's readiness to support all efforts that facilitate the resolution of differences and disputes through political and diplomatic means," it added. 

After meeting his Iranian counterpart, Qureshi is set to visit Saudi Arabia to hold talks with Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan, before flying to the US to complete his diplomatic mission. 

Pakistan has good relations with both Iran and Saudi Arabia, and represents Tehran's consular interests in the US. 

Turkey also pursued shuttle diplomacy between Iran and the US to calm the situation. 

Following Soleimani's martyrdom, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu held phone calls with his Iranian and US counterparts to discuss the issue. 

"We will continue to work with other countries to solve this problem, or deescalate tensions in the coming days," he had said, according to Reuters. 


Iran Hassan Rouhani Tehran Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani Qatar tensions Emir Regional Efforts