Qatar's Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani met Iran's President Hassan Rouhani, the country's supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei and other senior leaders on Sunday and agreed that de-escalation and dialogue were the only solutions to rising tensions in the Middle East between the United States and Tehran.
Qatar and Iran agreed that de-escalation was the "only solution" to regional tensions, Al Jazeera quoted Sheikh Tamim as saying after the meeting with Rouhani. "This visit comes at a critical time in the region, and we agreed with the brothers and with His Excellency the President that the only solution to these crises is de-escalation from everyone and dialogue," he told a news conference.
"Dialogue is the only solution" to resolve the crisis, the Sheikh added. The meeting came amid heightened tensions in the Gulf following the US assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad and Iran's retaliatory missile strikes on US targets in Iraq. Sheikh Tamim was the first national leader to come to Iran since Soleimani's killing on January 3 in an American drone strike. Qatar is one of a few countries in the region that maintains a close relationship with Washington and Tehran, with which it shares the world's largest gas field.
According to media reports, the two officials also discussed the latest developments in the region, "especially the events in Iraq as well as ways of calm to maintain collective security of the region." Last Wednesday, Sheikh Mohammed 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. (ANI)