(Photo Credit: AP)
UAE National Security Adviser Sheikh Tahnoon Bin Zayed al-Tayhan met with Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on 28 June to discuss the advancement of bilateral relations and several regional developments of common interest.
This visit is Sheikh Tahnoon’s second since Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt severed ties with Qatar in 2017 over accusations that Doha was involved in aiding illegitimate armed Islamic groups. Qatar continues to deny these allegations.
Doha and Abu Dhabi have yet to arrange the appointment of ambassadors to Qatar, though they have already restored travel and trade links.
Indirect talks between Washington and Tehran are set to restart on 28 June in Doha, after a push by the EU to resume nuclear talks.
Sheikh Tahnoon visited Iran in December last year to discuss overcoming their long-standing difference and to increase cooperation between Tehran and Doha.
On 21 February, Iranian President Raisi met with a team of Qatari delegations in Doha, to sign 14 cooperation documents in the fields of “aviation, trade, shipping, radio and television, visa cancellation, electricity, standards, culture and education.”
Rostam Ghasemi, Iran’s Minister of Roads and Transport, said that the agreements include the construction of an underwater rail-and-road tunnel that would connect Iran and Qatar, a project that is currently undergoing a feasibility study.
Iran’s Ports Authority executive chief, Ali-Akhbar Safaei, said on 20 February that the tunnel will link Iran’s Port of Dayyer, situated in its southern province of Bushehr, to Qatar.
Prior to his flight to Doha on 21 February, Raisi said that Iran viewed the visit as “a step towards activating diplomacy with neighbors, especially Persian Gulf countries,” where the two nations could take advantage of “their capacities to develop political and economic ties.”