News ID: 100365
Publish Date : 23 February 2022 - 22:01

Iran, Qatar Turn New Leaf in Bilateral Cooperation

By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
It seems Iran and Qatar are all set to turn a new leaf in their long positive bilateral ties in the wake of Hojjat al-Islam Seyyed Ibrahim Raisi’s state visit to Doha – the first in eleven years by an Iranian president.   
The 14 agreements signed between the two gas-rich countries during the 2-day trip that coincided with the 6th summit of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GEFC), range from trade, industrial, and diplomatic cooperation to sport, culture, and tourism.
The Islamic Republic as the principal supporter of the Emirate of Qatar since the 2017 abortive bid by fellow Persian Gulf states of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Bahrain – along with outsider Egypt – to isolate Doha, is to soon open a trade office in the Qatari capital to boost commercial transactions between the two countries and display the wide variety of Iranian products that are of better quality and economically feasible compared to imports from the West and the East.
Only a narrow waterway separates the two Persian Gulf neighbours which have long term plans for laying a submarine pipeline for supply of fresh water from Iran and also building an underwater tunnel to facilitate two-way traffic.
It is worth noting that issues relating to the removal of customs obstacles were discussed and Iran’s Industry, Mine and Trade Minister and Qatar’s Commerce and Industry Minister were tasked with taking immediate steps to remove economic, trade, and investment barriers between the two countries.
An important point to note is that since the Football World Cup to be held in Qatar later this year, Iran, which signed a sport, culture, and tourism agreement during President Rais’s recent visit, can play a major role in attracting visitors and arranging tours for them by setting up a joint Tehran-Doha committee.
Iran’s relations with Qatar can cover several fields, including medical/health tourism in view of the fact that Doha was not a party to the political ploys of certain Persian Gulf states against the Islamic Republic.
This indeed a plus point for further upgrading of bilateral ties, and the people and government of Qatar realize how Iran firmly stood beside them in those critical four years of isolation which though officially ended this year is far from removing the distrust of Doha vis-à-vis Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and the repressive Aal-e Khalifa minority regime in Manama.
To sum up, there are plenty of opportunities for cooperation between the two sides to the benefit of each other, including joint exploration of the markets of other countries, especially of African states.      
Besides possessing skilled killed manpower capable of providing technical and engineering facilities, Iran also has highly experienced medics and scientists to cure many of those seeking treatment of a variety of complicated ailments, such as cancer and infertility among women.