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Iran, Qatar Sign 14 Economic Deals, Calling for Expansion of Ties

By Orkhan Jalilov February 22, 2022

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The picture shows a meeting between Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani, in Doha, on February 21, 2022. / president.ir

The Iranian and Qatari officials have signed 14 major economic cooperation agreements during President Ebrahim Raisi’s official visit to Doha on February 21.

The documents will cover close cooperation between the two countries in various fields of economy, including trade, shipping, aviation, electricity, and cancellation of visas as Qatar prepares to host the 2022 World Cup.

In a joint press conference following a meeting with the Emir of Qatar, the Iranian president said that the sides “agreed to seriously increase cooperation in the fields of economy, energy, infrastructure, trade, investment, food security, health, and culture.”

“We also exchanged views on regional issues such as the fight against terrorism, the situation in Afghanistan, drug trafficking, and agreed that the fight against terrorism and its various forms is one of our priorities,” President Raisi added.

For his turn, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani expressed his satisfaction with signing several agreements and memoranda of understanding between the two countries, saying that “this is a very important issue and their implementation should be pursued.”

President Raisi is visiting the Persian Gulf country at the official invitation of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. His two-day trip is the first trip by an Iranian president to Qatar in more than a decade.

As part of his visit, Iran’s president also attended the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF) summit on February 22 and met with Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Khalifa bin Abdul Aziz Al Thani.

While addressing the meeting with the Qatari prime minister, President Raisi proposed opening an Iranian trade center in Doha.

“An Iranian trade center in Doha will help familiarize Qatar’s economic actors and elite with Iran’s capacities,” Raisi said.

“The Islamic Republic has made enormous achievements in such fields as production, industry, technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology and knowledge-based projects, which can be shared with Qatari businesses,” the president added.

Accompanying the president on his trip, Iranian Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian tweeted on February 22 that “the relations between Iran and Qatar, both between the peoples and the governments, have strong roots and are based on mutual interests.”

“Expansion of relations with neighbors, especially Arab countries, is a key priority in Iran’s policy. Our arms are open to neighbors,” he added.

Tehran and Doha have been enjoying growing economic and political relations since June 2017, when Iran offered its full support for Qatar after the Arab country came under a blockade by Saudi Arabia and several other countries in the region.

The South Pars/North Dome field shared between Iran and Qatar is the world’s largest gas field, covering 9,700 square kilometers of the two countries’ territorial waters in the Persian Gulf. Collective output from the field has reached about 1.4 billion cubic meters per day in recent years.

Meanwhile, Qatar has called on Arab states of the Persian Gulf to enter talks with Iran for years. Former US President Donald Trump’s administration worked to build a united front against Iran in the Gulf, including by encouraging normalization of relations between the region’s Arab states and Israel.