IranMiddle East

Qatar Won’t Forget that Iran opened Airspace at time of Blockade: FM

Qatari Foreign Minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said on Friday Doha won’t forget that Iran has opened its airspace for Qatar at a time of blockade imposed by a Saudi-led bloc also including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt.

“Iran opened its airspace for Qatar at time of the blockade. We won’t forget this,” the foreign minister said at the Mediterranean Dialogues forum in Rome.

He noted, meanwhile, there has been “some progress” in talks with Saudi Arabia on ending a bitter two-year-old rift between Doha and the kingdom and its allies.

The Saudi-led bloc cut all diplomatic and transport ties with Qatar in June 2017 over allegations it backs extremist militants and seeks closer ties with Iran, charges that Doha vehemently denies.

In the latest sign of a thaw between the two sides, Al-Thani said there had been “some progress” in talks with Saudi Arabia, according to the Doha-based broadcaster Al-Jazeera.

“In recent weeks, we have moved from a stalemate to some progress where some talks took place between us and, specifically, Saudi,” he said at the Mediterranean Dialogues forum in Rome.

“We hope these talks will lead to progress where we can see an end (to) the crisis.”

The Qatari minister said the talks took place under Kuwaiti mediation and thanked Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad Al-Sabah, for his “continuous efforts and commitment”.

The talks come shortly after Saudi King Salman invited Qatar’s emir to a summit of the Gulf regional bloc in Riyadh on Tuesday.

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