12:53 GMT18 April 2021
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iran has always had close relations with Qatar and welcomes any efforts by Doha to broker dialogue in the region, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in an interview with Sputnik.

    The diplomat was commenting on the possibility of Qatar becoming a mediator between Iran and the Gulf states after the latter lifted the blockade of Doha.

    After the three-and-a-half-year-long sea, air and land blockade of Qatar over its perceived support of terrorism was lifted earlier this year, Doha called on the Gulf nations to establish a dialogue with Iran. In an interview with Bloomberg, Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani expressed his country's readiness to mediate the dialogue.

    "As for Qatar, we have very respectful and close relations with this country. Qatar has always tried to use its capabilities to mediate disagreements between the countries of the region, and this is not only about Iran. Therefore, we always welcome any efforts and good intentions of our Qatari friends," Khatibzadeh said.

    The diplomat added that apart from Qatar, Iran had good relations with many countries of the Persian Gulf, including Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, based on mutual respect.

    "We have a fundamental relationship with the UAE due to the fact that the UAE is one of our main trading partners. Effective steps have been taken to improve the level of these ties. Of course, we have had ups and downs in political relations with the UAE, but our trade and economic ties are getting stronger and better," Khatibzadeh stated.

    Commenting on relations with Saudi Arabia, the official noted that they differed significantly and could not be called good-neighborly, as the kingdom had chosen "the path of enmity," by unleashing a war against its poorest neighbor, Yemen, imposing a blockade on Qatar, and sponsoring and supplying militants in Syria with weapons.
    terrorism, UAE, trade, Saudi Arabia, diplomat, talks, Doha, Iran
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