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Qatar to Turkey, Iran: 'Gulf agreement will not affect our relations'

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (not seen) hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow, Russia on December 23, 2020. ( Russian Foreign Ministry - Anadolu Agency )
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Qatar Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al-Thani and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (not seen) hold a joint press conference after their meeting in Moscow, Russia on December 23, 2020 [Russian Foreign Ministry - Anadolu Agency]

Qatari Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani confirmed that Qatar would not alter its relations with Iran and Turkey after signing the reconciliation agreement to end disputes with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Egypt.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the minister disclosed that Doha had agreed to cooperate in the fight against terrorism and "cross-border security" with Saudi Arabia and the other three countries, noting that: "Bilateral relations are primarily governed by a sovereign decision and national interests."

He stressed that this: "Will have no impact on our relations with any other country."

READ: Qatar finance minister visits Egypt for first time since Gulf blockade

Among the reasons announced by Saudi Arabia, the Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt when they severed ties with Qatar in 2017 were Doha's relations with Iran and Turkey, in addition to its support for Islamic movements, while requesting at the time the closure of the Qatari-funded Al-Jazeera channel.

The Qatari minister affirmed that no changes would be made regarding Al-Jazeera after signing the reconciliation agreement.

The minister expressed: "We hope that in the week following the signing of the accord, measures will be taken to return relations to normal."

He stressed that all countries benefited from the agreement, while acknowledging that it could require some time to achieve full reconciliation.

The official conveyed his hope that the other countries involved in the Gulf conflict "would enjoy the same political will as the Saudis," adding that if they did, "they will find that Qatar has the political readiness to cooperate."

READ: 'UAE Turkey's number one trade partner in region'

He elaborated: "The matter will need action taken by the countries to rebuild relations. There will be differences and outstanding issues that will be discussed bilaterally between the countries. Each country has a different set of disputes with Qatar."

The minister, who is also chairman of the Qatar Investment Authority, stated that the sovereign wealth fund could invest in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries if the crisis ends: "If there are opportunities that can be seen in the future, and if we see a continuing political will among the countries to participate, then we are very open."

The minister asserted that Doha agreed to suspend legal action against Saudi Arabia and its allies, including cases before the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).

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Europe & RussiaIranMiddle EastNewsQatarTurkey
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